ALLY DICKINSON has urged Scotland rugby fans to stick with the team as he believes future opponents could soon suffer.
The 41-cap Edinburgh prop forward feels that, with some “fine tuning”, a record showing five wins from the last six meetings with Italy can be improved when the Scots return to BT Murrayfield for their next RBS Six Nations Championship assignment on Saturday week.
In the aftermatch of Sunday’s 26-23 defeat by Wales, Dickinson said: “The foundations are there and we just have to get the monkey off our back, keep scoring tries and it will come. “We are growing as a squad and just need to take that next step and finish games off.
“I thought the crowd were awesome and we don’t want them to lose heart and lose belief in us.
“It is just getting across that final hurdle.
“Wales are a quality side who last year put fifty points on us. Obviouslym we have improved and it is a game we could have won. We had a really good maul and the scrum was dominant. The foundations are there. A couple of decisions just didn’t go our way.”
Much frustration centred on Kiwi referee Glen Jackson, particularly when he refused to allow a restart after Finn Russell had slotted a conversion with four seconds remaining.
“There was no guarantee we would have scored but it would have been an opportunity,” said Dickinson. “I felt there was probably time but the officials took the decision out of our hands. Things like that are really annoying.”
However, one high-ranking refereeing source has told the Evening News that confusion may have arisen because of a timing discrepancy between the person operating the stadium clock and the TMO who normally guides the match officials.
Some may also have been mistaken 15-a-sides with sevens where a game must always restart following a try.
Dickinson added: “We were getting explanations and it is always hard for the referee, who has a tough job. Some of the calls might have been harsh but it is one of these things.
“We shouldn’t have given him opportunities to ping us and we will remedy that.
“I don’t think our game plan is going to change very much.
“There were a lot of areas we played pretty well and put Wales under pressure. It is fine-tuning.”
One of the bright spots, according to Dickinson, was the emergence of Sam Hidalgo-Clyne whose progress to a second cap from off the bench he has monitored from the beginning at Edinburgh.
“We are a tight unit with some great young guys in their early twenties including Finn (Russell), Hoggy (Stuart Hogg), Jonny Gray and even Richie Gray is only 25.
“Then there’s Sam, a great lad who has worked hard to get where he is in a short time.
“Sam is a real passionate kid at Edinburgh – always working on his game.
“Now he is learning from a great leader and great player that is Greig (Laidlaw).
“Greig is just a warrior, a tough wee man who will go for 100 minutes if necessary.
“It’s great for Sammy to have someone like Greig to look up to and learn from.”