Six Nations frustration fuels Paterson craving for success
The Edinburgh wing might be forgiven for being an emotional wreck after kicking the match-winning penalty against Italy and the points which secured the first Calcutta Cup victory in six years, and perhaps contemplating a beach holiday. But, such is the fractured nature of Northern Hemisphere rugby, he returns to Wales tomorrow, six weeks after Scotland's agonising defeat in the Millennium Stadium, this time leading his club into battle with the Ospreys.
Paterson, however, has long displayed an appetite for the game which would make the Duracell bunny seem a tad lethargic, and he believes Scotland's improvement has injected a new desire in his team-mates to finish the season with silverware.
He said: "This might sound strange, but I came out of the Six Nations feeling a little frustrated. We won three games, yes, brilliant. We beat France and England at home, won away in Italy, and these are huge strides forward, but we want more.
"It's not an arrogant thing to say, but we know we did not play as well as we could. Our attack did not really function; we didn't really play well in Ireland. Frank [Hadden] said that afterwards in the dressing room - 'you have played awful, but there were just six points in it, so what would you have done if you'd played well?'
"So there is a really ambitious mood around, and a great work ethic. The players going back to their pro teams this week know that we can get better and don't want to be happy celebrating three wins when, being honest, it could have been five. It's about achieving things now and the boys at Edinburgh want something tangible, and the Celtic League is in the sights."
Edinburgh welcome back ten of the Scotland squad which won in Italy, Simon Taylor, the No 8, sitting out due to a minor back injury which coach Todd Blackadder hopes will clear up in time for the next game, against Cardiff, in a fortnight. Rory Lawson, the Gloucester-bound scrum-half, is also back from Melbourne, where he was part of Scotland's disappointing performance in the Commonwealth Games sevens. The Ospreys welcome back Wales props Duncan and Adam Jones and livewire backs Gavin Henson and Shane Williams.
Paterson added: "The difference when you come back is the drop in exposure, the pressure that goes with international rugby, but when you come off a good championship, like this time, I think you slip back into it quicker.
"Last year we slipped back in, I suppose, because we were just desperate to leave the Scotland camp and get back to an environment we enjoyed playing. But it is that enjoyment factor again; it plays a big part in building players' confidence but also in helping players deal with changing from one level to another.
"We have seven league games to go. If you win all seven you will win the league, and that's our aim."
Neath Swansea Ospreys (v Edinburgh at Liberty Stadium, Swansea, tomorrow, 4.10pm, live on S4C): S Terblanche; R Mustoe, S Parker, G Henson, S Williams; S Connor, J Spice; D Jones (captain), H Bennett, A Jones, A Wyn Jones, I Evans, D Dillon, J Thomas, R Pugh. Subs: R Hibbard, C Griffiths, L Bateman, J Bater, M Roberts, M Jones, L Davies.
Edinburgh: H Southwell; C Paterson (capt), M Di Rollo, P Jorgensen, S Webster; P Godman, M Blair; A Jacobsen, D Hall, C Smith, A Kellock, S Murray, M Mustchin, D Callam, A Hogg. Subs: A Kelly, D Hewett, D Duley, A MacDonald, R Lawson, D Hodge, M Pyke.
Referee: D Keane (IRFU).