Hooker Ross Ford admits Scotland have taken a backward step with Saturday's RBS 6 Nations defeat to Wales at Murrayfield.
The Edinburgh man has played an intrinsic part in Scotland bouncing back from last year's wooden spoon disappointment to register the nation's first back-to-back wins in the tournament since 2001.
But ambitions of making it three victories in a row were dashed by a combination of pedantic refereeing by South African Craig Joubert and the Scots' own indiscipline at crucial moments.
The 28-18 defeat ended Scottish hopes of a tilt at the title but what worried Ford most was that the positive signs shown in earlier wins against Italy and Ireland were completely missing from their display against Wales.
"It's never good to lose, but we didn't give ourselves much of a chance. We allowed Wales to control the game quite well," he said.
"Now we just need to look at the video and work out where we can improve. It's always the basics that are most important and against the Welsh, it was a lot of basics that let us down.
"We need to keep working hard there and try and rectify that before France next week. But we are very frustrated.
"On reflection, we didn't control the game well enough. We made it hard for ourselves to get control and momentum. It's a loss and that's a step back for the team, given how things have been going.
"We would have liked to have built on the previous two wins. We can't continue that sequence now but we can go to France and try and get a good performance in and put ourselves in a good position."
Such was the baffling nature of Joubert's nit-picking, he awarded 28 penalties during the Murrayfield encounter - including a world-record 19 attempts at the post.
Ford himself was warned late on that he faced a stint in the sin bin if he could not halt Scotland's tendency to enter into the engage stage of the scrum before the official's liking.
But the front-row forward refused to point the finger of blame at the referee's fussy display and instead admitted it was he and his colleagues' duty to improve their own performance at the set-piece.
He said: "I spoke to the referee a few times. You need to agree with him and get him on your side. Show him that you are trying to work with him. But it didn't work that way.
"We gave him the wrong impression from the first couple of scrums and it just continued from there.
"There were a few when it was our fault and we need to deal with that better. We didn't deal with what Wales were doing well and the referee seemed to agree with them. We have got to sort that out quickly."
Ford admitted he had never known a game with so many interruptions by the match officials.
He added: "We've looked at the video and some of them were penalties but others were going against it a bit. But we have to be able to deal with that."
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