“If Ireland lose this one, it makes it very tough for them to get anywhere close to winning the competition,” said Scotland loose forward Josh Strauss. Photo: Wallace Woon/EPA

EDINBURGH – Josh Strauss has urged Scotland to take the fight to Ireland in this weekend’s Six Nations clash after England showed the way by overpowering the 2018 Grand Slam winners.

Eddie Jones’ side dominated in Dublin on Saturday thanks to powerhouse performances from Manu Tuilagi and Mako and Billy Vunipola, running up four tries on their way to a bonus-point triumph.

Strauss was impressed by the tactics used by the English at the Aviva Stadium as it sparked memories of Ireland’s last Edinburgh visit.

The Sale No 8 was in the Scotland team for that 2017 clash, which the home side edged 27-22.

“I wasn’t involved last year in Dublin, but we’ve watched a lot of the clips leading up to this year’s match trying to see what we did well and where we could do better,” said Strauss.

“Physically we didn’t match them as a team last year, but in 2017, we fronted up very well. We’ll need to take a similar step this week, because we’ve seen what England have done.

“If you match that, you will probably get something out of the game. That is something we’re focusing on.”

Ireland’s title ambitions are already on the line against Gregor Townsend’s men after their defeat to England.

And Strauss hopes to exploit that make-or-break situation to his team’s benefit at Murrayfield on Saturday.

“If Ireland lose this one, it makes it very tough for them to get anywhere close to winning the competition,” he said.

“I don’t think they as a team will want to focus on it perhaps being the end of their tournament. They will just want to focus on it game by game.

“But if we can put a lot of pressure on them in the first 20, that changes their mindset. They might have to change their tactics if they end up chasing the game, because we’re far enough ahead.

“The first 20 is always the focus in any game, but there is a bit more to it with them losing the first game.”

AFP