Scotland may still be licking wounds both physical and psychological in the wake of Saturday’s Twickenham trauma but there is a sense of relief that they have an immediate opportunity to respond on the field.
Forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys admitted that, despite the fact a number of players were striving to regain fitness in time for Saturday’s Six Nations finale at home to Italy, the less time spent stewing over that 61-21 Calcutta Cup thrashing the better.
“I think everyone is pretty keen to get on, train, play the next game as soon as we can because that’s basically all you can do. The one week prep is definitely preferable,” said the Welshman at Scotland’s Oriam training base.
Humphreys and the Scotland staff could only look on in agony as Scotland’s Triple Crown bid fell apart from the start as Fraser Brown’s early yellow card set the tone for a miserable afternoon but the packs chief said all thoughts were now focused on setting things right this weekend.
“Look, it’s a difficult one, there is a lot of things happened in that game which you can’t really plan for,” said Humphreys. “When you have a system it’s very difficult to get that back, especially against a team that haven’t been beaten for a long, long time.
“We can try and pick the bones through it and re-evaluate it but we move on. We know what we’re capable of and that we are a pretty decent team who have been in good form.
“We’re going to try and fix the things we can while focusing on what the next step is for us. Italy pose different problems so we need to make sure we are mindful of what’s coming not what’s just been.”
Head coach Vern Cotter suggested the events of three days ago constituted a “rogue game” and Humphreys agreed that there was no cause for despair.
“I don’t think we should take away how well England played,” he insisted. “They were outstanding and sometimes when teams get beaten they fail to acknowledge that fact. But they were outstanding, very very good and we were certainly off where we needed to be.
“What we need to address is that we are playing Italy and if we win it will be the best tournament for a while. That’s our sole focus.
“[During my playing career] I once came off a thumping to England with Wales. The only thing you can do as a player is want to play, you want to get back out there again.”
With the citing cloud hanging over hooker Brown and Mark Bennett definitely out with knee and arm injuries, Humphreys confirmed that Stuart McInally and Gloucester centre Matt Scott were with the squad this week.
Finn Russell, Huw Jones (both knee) and Richie Gray (hamstring) all underwent scans yesterday, while Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour and Ryan Wilson are all in the concussion protocols process.