Scotland co-captain Rory Darge says Scotland must assert themselves physically if they are to cause a Six Nations upset against Ireland.  

The visitors travel to Dublin having not won in the city for 14 years, and off the back of a dismal second half collapse against Italy last weekend.  

Darge knows if their poor record is to come to a shock end, and end the hosts’ hopes of a second successive Six Nations title, Scotland must confront Ireland up front. Even then, he knows it might nt be enough.  

He said: “England really got in their faces in defence and put them under pressure.  

“They still scored some great tries and Ireland still performed.

"They’ll be disappointed with some of the things they did in that game but they’re a class outfit so I think putting them under pressure is probably not enough to get the win. I think you have to be on it in every other facet as well.” 

Scotland Rugby News: George Turner and Rory Darge during Scotland's captain's run at the Aviva StadiumGeorge Turner and Rory Darge during Scotland's captain's run at the Aviva Stadium (Image: PA)

The 24-year-old knows the scale of the challenge facing Scotland tomorrow. Ireland have won 23 of their 24 home games since Andy Farrell took charge in 2020, with a home record of 39 wins in 41 games dating back to November 2016 

The Scotland co-captain added: “It is going to be a tough challenge. Ireland are, if not the best team in the world, then certainly one of them. Coming here to get a result is going to be a tough ask but we’ve got a lot to play for. 

"They seem to be able to deal with a lot that’s thrown at them. We just need to focus on what we can do better from the Italy game but also what we think might put them under a bit of pressure.” 

Ireland could have been going into this match looking to become the first side in the Six Nations era to win back-to-back Grand Slams, before their shock defeat to England.  

That result means Scotland are now the only side who can win the Triple Crown, and Darge believes that can be a motivator for the players.  

He added: "Gilco [Grant Gilchrist] mentioned earlier that it had been 34 years since a Scottish team won the triple crown and after a loss like last weekend the first thing you want to do is get back out there and try to put things as right as you can. That’s what we are looking for.” 

While Gregor Townsend and his players have been criticised in the wake of defeat in Rome, Darge insists the squad are paying no attention to that.  

"We’re not paying a massive amount of attention to the external noise,” he said.  

“Personally, I don’t think it does a lot of good for the fuel or motivation. We think we can put on a performance that is much better than what we’ve shown in this campaign. 

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“That’s where the pride part comes in – putting in a performance for the full 80 minutes that we can be really proud of.” 

Throughout the championship, Scotland have struggled to wrestle control of games away from their opponents. In Wales, they stemmed the tide for the final stages to hold on for a single-point win when they had been 27-0 ahead.  

Then in Italy last weekend, they let a 12-point cushion slip in a dreadful second half showing.  

On both of those occasions, Scotland fell on the wrong side of the penalty count. They can ill-afford a repeat tomorrow.  

Darge added: “Discipline is not necessarily purely about the penalty part of it but if you’ve made a decision and you’re fully focused. Sometimes you get calls against you and sometimes they go for you. 

“But it’s those moments that we’re not maybe fully 100 per cent focused and you make an error - I think that’s where we’ve been getting on the wrong side of referees.  

Scotland Rugby News: Scotland have fallen foul of refereeing decisions during the championshipScotland have fallen foul of refereeing decisions during the championship (Image: PA)

“If you look at that period in Rome after the disallowed try there was a spell where we were on the wrong side of the referee. You don’t get many opportunities to speak as a team, as a collective, so it’s just about going into it knowing what’s expected of us.” 

He reiterated the need for a complete performance if Scotland are to upset the odds. 

“The first 20 minutes or so will be huge," Darge said during his pre-match press conference. 

"The first 20 minutes has generally been good for us during this championship, it’s making sure that we can back it up over the full 80.  

“That’s the challenge. Ireland are a full 80-minute team. We need to make sure we match that.”