Scotland cannot afford to dwell on Saturday’s 46-0 thumping by England as they prepare to face Italy in Parma on Saturday knowing victory could put them in poll position to secure qualification to next year’s Rugby World Cup.  

A third-place finish in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations is likely enough to be sufficient for a place at next year’s World Cup, but assistant coach Matt Banahan insists the focus must be on putting right a below-par display against the Red Roses. 

“It’s not one of the games we were fully aiming for,” the former England wing said of the weekend’s eight-try defeat.  

“There were definitely parts where there were opportunities, but we’ve also got to recognise they’re the number one team in the world and there’s a reason why they are there. 

“But after the learnings you’ve got to park it and move on to the games we’re now focusing on.” 

Like Scotland, Italy go into round three off the back of a defeat, losing 38-15 to France, while they have just the one win so far, but are a dangerous side at home.  

Banahan said Scotland will take confidence from the way the French capitalised on Italian errors. 

Scotland Rugby News: Player of the Match Ellie Kildunne celebrates one of England's eight tries

Banahan said: “Italy also showed that they can be a dangerous act, but at the same time we’re looking at how France capitalised against them with momentum and speed of ball - that’s something that we want to look at going into this weekend’s game.  

“The opportunities are there. It’s now parking England but looking at the positives from the other two games, against Wales and France, where we showed the good stuff from us - and get back on to that bus and go at it again.” 

The victory over Wales was Scotland’s seventh in a row in all competitions, and while results haven’t gone their way since, Banahan admits that is part of top-level sport.  

“Setbacks are just part of sport,” the ex-Bath and Gloucester wing, who won 16 caps for England, added.  

"The challenge is sometimes just to park it and move on. It is life. You don’t go through your whole career as a coach or a player winning 100 per cent of games.  

“I’m really looking forward to to this weekend against Italy, because if the weather is anything like it says on the internet, it should be a good game - a running game of rugby and we should be able to show ourselves.” 

Emma Wassell, a late withdrawal from the team to play England, is expected to miss the trip to Parma for personal reasons.  

Wing Coreen Grant, who was forced off for a head injury assessment and did not return to the field, is the only other fitness doubt.  

Banahan said: “She’s going through her head injury assessment protocol, which is part and parcel of rugby.  

“We’ve got strength in depth on the wings, we’ve got people coming back to fitness, and it’s a squad effort.