Jamie Ritchie believes a powerful efficiency in opposition to Italy and a third-place end behind the highest two sides on the earth will seal a constructive Six Nations marketing campaign for Scotland.
Back-to-back defeats by France, ranked second on the earth, and the top-ranked Ireland imply Scotland can now not declare silverware from a match that began with wins over England and Wales.
But Ritchie feels there’s nonetheless loads at stake going into Saturday’s marketing campaign finale at BT Murrayfield as Gregor Townsend’s facet bid to make it three wins out of 5 and end third for the primary time since 2018.
“I outlined our goal of five good performances and I think we’re at three and a half just now,” stated the captain. “To get it up to four and a half would be good so we’re looking for a strong performance. To secure that third place outright would be a positive.
“We shouldn’t change our application based on the opposition. For us it’s about maintaining the same standards and trying to put out our best performance, which I don’t think we’ve done yet.
“I don’t think we’ve put out that complete 80-minute performance so tomorrow’s the day, hopefully.”
Ritchie believes it might characterize a strong constructing block forward of the World Cup within the autumn if Scotland can get the win that every one however ensures they may end as better of the remainder behind the 2 clear big-hitters.
“Arguably against France for the majority of the game we were the team in the ascendancy,” he stated, mentioning Scotland had troubled the world’s elite. “We put ourselves under pressure with a slow start but for huge parts of that game, I certainly believed we could go on and win it.
“There will be a huge amount of positives to take out of the tournament.”
Italy have misplaced all 4 of their matches however Ritchie is adamant they are going to be a harmful opponent this weekend.
“They’ll be frustrated that they’ve played a lot of really good rugby and run a couple of good teams close but not converted that into results,” he stated.
“They come here with nothing to lose. They’re always a passionate team but there might be a little bit more passion because they enjoy playing against us, they target this game.
“We know there will be a challenge coming against potentially the best Italy team we’ve ever played, so we need to be ready.”
Scotland will go right into a Six Nations match for the primary time since 2019 with out both Stuart Hogg or Finn Russell after the 2 influential backs pulled out with accidents that compelled them off in opposition to Ireland final weekend. Their locations are taken by Ollie Smith and Blair Kinghorn respectively, and Ritchie has been impressed with the way in which others within the squad have stepped up this week because the skilled pair left the camp.
“Although the changes have been enforced, that little bit of new blood and new energy into the group from guys who have been chomping at the bit for an opportunity is just what we needed in that short week,” stated Ritchie.
“A lot of guys are stepping up to lead who have maybe been waiting in the wings or staying more quiet, so it’s been good.”