British Lions centre Scott Gibbs believes Wales will face their judgement day in this year’s Six Nations Championship when they travel north this weekend.
The pressure is on Graham Henry’s side following their mauling off England at the Millennium Stadium.
And Gibbs is in doubt that the Welsh dragons must breath some fire into their campaign by beating Scotland.
‘‘There are matches which are as much a test of a team’s character as its footballing ability and Wales face one at Murrayfield on Saturday,’’ Gibbs told rugbyicons.com.
‘‘We have to beat Scotland after not just being beaten by England but coming a distant second. If we lose, we may as well walk home.
‘‘After you have suffered a defeat like the one England handed out to us, all you want to do is get back onto the field and make up for it and we have a lot to prove against Scotland.
‘‘In my view, perhaps our failing in some recent matches is that we have tried to play too much football.
‘‘We have been too loose and we have made consequent mistakes. Against top teams like England, you are going to be punished for them.
‘‘The Scots also thrive on chaos in the opposition ranks and we have to be cool and deliberate in everything we do.
‘‘If it means boring the crowd for a while, so be it. Winning, not entertaining, is what matters.’’
Gibbs is relieved to have shaken off a niggling injury doubt, insisting: ‘‘I was confident all along that what turned out to be a soft tissue injury picked up during the England game would not keep me out.’’
And he revealed that Henry, who will also take charge of the Lions tour to Australia this summer, has attempted to take some of the heat off his under-fire side.
‘‘There was a tension in the build-up to the England game,’’ admitted Gibbs. ‘‘You try to persuade yourself it is otherwise, but it was a big match for both sides with a lot at stake.
‘‘Graham Henry has this week made sure that the mood is more relaxed.
‘‘Light-hearted would be stretching a point, but if, as a team, you go into a match afraid of losing, you are already halfway to defeat.’’
According to Gibbs, the Welsh have already proved that they can bounce back when the chips are down.
‘‘What we have shown under Graham Henry is that we are at our most dangerous when our backs are against the wall,’’ he added.
‘‘Two years ago, we were told the wooden spoon was ours after defeats against Scotland and Ireland; we then won in Paris and defeated England at Wembley.
‘‘Last season, after thrashings by France and England were followed by the Grannygate affair, we were given little chance in our final two matches but we ended up beating Scotland and Ireland.
‘‘We have to show similar powers of recovery and I am confident that we will.
‘‘We have a lot of experience in the squad and the selectors have kept faith with the players by making only two changes from the England match.
‘‘It is up to us to respond. I do not want to go through another seven days like last week.
‘‘They were long, dark and almost never ending. Who says that winning isn’t everything?’’