Kellock out to spoil party
Scotland lock hopes to put a dampener on last Ireland match at Croke Park
Last Updated: March 17, 2010 6:09pm
Kellock: Cutting edge
Scotland lock Alastair Kellock has warned Ireland that he and his team-mates intend to put a dampener on their Croke Park swansong when the two sides meet in the RBS Six Nations this weekend.
After a residency at the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association that has lasted three years, Ireland hope to return to the revamped Lansdowne Road having secured their fifth Triple Crown in seven years.
But Kellock has said that Scotland hope to upset the odds and end the competition with their first victory - one that would almost certainly spare them the wooden spoon.
"We're not going over there to take part in any ceremonies, whether it's the Triple Crown or whether it's the last game at Croke Park," the Glasgow captain said.
"We need to go over there and focus purely on ourselves and playing the best rugby that we can.
"In saying that, it's a fantastic place to play.
"We play in some of the best arenas in the world in the Six Nations and it's an opportunity to play in front of a huge crowd.
"It's a game that as a player you want to give absolutely everything to be involved in."
Although Andy Robinson's side have failed to win any of their four games so far, their performances have been encouraging - to the extent that Kellock believes they can cause a surprise in Dublin.
"We've been desperate to get the win all through the championship," said the 28-year-old, who wins his 25th cap - and first against Ireland - this weekend. "We've given absolutely everything we can.
"We need to find the extras, work on them, and get that cutting edge.
"When we find that cutting edge, I think it'll stay with us.
"It's not an easy thing to put into a team but, once they've got it, it's a difficult thing to take out a team."
As well as seeking a cure for the "white-line fever" which has hampered their campaign, Scotland must also cut out the needless penalties they have given away.
Defence coach Graham Steadman was scathing in his criticism of his side on Tuesday - a point of view that Kellock could not argue against.
"It's just got to be hammered and hammered and hammered again," he said. "It's not just coming from the coaches.
"We've got to make sure we're policing it ourselves.
"In saying that, an international game is full of pressure and, at times, you make bad decisions.
"We've got to make sure we keep them to a minimum and we've got to force the pressure onto the opposition so that they make bad decisions and they start making mistakes as well."
Scotland do, however, believe they are not to blame for the collapsing scrums they have also been punished for, with Kellock claiming that referee Marius Jonker made the wrong calls against England last Saturday.
"It's a difficult thing to comment on from the second row - I just push as hard as I can," he said. "The referee wasn't always 100 per cent sure what was going on or he would've yellow carded.
"We want a fair battle in that area, we've got a good pack, a good front row, so we want to be keeping it up.
"If there's an obvious infringement by somebody then the referee has to deal with it.
"But you don't want referees guessing."