Another dismal result for Scotland on Saturday - it really brings out the optimist in me! Well, there's always the next match to look forward to (against Italy - 27 February).
So rather than focus on the negative aspects, are there any lessons that we can learn from the match?
I think there are a few things:
We played with more adventure (at least in the first half) than when we played France. Things only started to unravel when we played more defensively, absorbing pressure and losing momentum.
LESSON - loss of momentum is a killer.
Our overall play improved - better execution of moves; better tackling and breakdown activity; played as if they knew each other (at times against France they looked like strangers meeting for the first time!). But... they didn't finish it off.
LESSON - starting well is good, but ultimately fruitless if you don't finish well.
We finished the game with 13 men - the referee invited two Scots to watch the end of the match from the comfort of the bench/changing room.
LESSON - discipline and concentration on the objective are essential.
At the very end of the match, Scotland could have kicked the ball into touch and the match would have finished as a draw. They didn't, Wales scored, we lost. Bizarrely I totally agree with this decision. Scotland set out to play a more expansive game; played to win; played - I hope - as they intend to play from now on, with a sense of adventure.
LESSON - stick to your principles - especially if they are the basis for future growth.
We suffered several notable injuries - most notably Thom Evans' neck injury which later required surgery.
MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OF ALL - be grateful for good health.