This time around, Irish supporters will take their seats with every bit as much confidence as in the past but perhaps with more justification. Here we have a settled Irish side whose recent record include wins over Australia and Argentina, a side who, on paper, look the most likely to threaten England's dominance this season, given that they have Clive Woodward's side in Lansdowne Road.
But whatever about those long-term ambitions, it's the short-term prospect of the Scots and Murrayfield and 'that' record that will concentrate Irish minds this afternoon.
That Ireland at their best are good enough to win is in no doubt, but they will need to be at their very best for the full 80 minutes. Player for player they hold the whip hand in the key positions and need just to reproduce the fire, the passion and the concentration, that they exhibited in the autumn Tests, for a victory that will define their Six Nations campaign.
Besides the overall team performance, it's the players such as Girvan Dempsey, Peter Stringer, David Humphreys, Malcolm O'Kelly and the back-row of Victor Costello, Keith Gleeson and Anthony Foley who will determine the outcome of this game. At the moment, all of these are playing out of their skins for their respective provinces and if they can bring that spirit and level of performace to the national side then Ireland will be celebrating come 4.45 this evening.
Scotland: 15 Glenn Metcalfe, 14 Kenny Logan, 13 Andy Craig, 12 Brendan Laney, 11 Chris Paterson, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Bryan Redpath capt 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Andrew Mower, 6 Martin Leslie, 5 Stuart Grimes, 4 Scott Murray, 3 Bruce Douglas, 2 Gordon Bulloch, 1 Tom Smith. Replacements: 16 Steve Scott, 17 Gavin Kerr, 18 Nathan Hines, 19 Ross Beattie, 20 Mike Blair, 21 Gregor Townsend, 22 Kevin Utterson.
Ireland: 15 Girvan Dempsey, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll capt, 12 Kevin Maggs, 11 Denis Hickie, 10 David Humphreys, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Anthony Foley, 7 Keith Gleeson, 6 Victor Costello, 5 Malcolm O'Kelly, 4 Gary Longwell, 3 John Hayes, 2 Shane Byrne, 1 Reggie Corrigan. Replacements: 16 Frank Sheahan, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Leo Cullen, 19 Alan Quinlan, 20 Guy Easterby, 21 Paul Burke, 22 Geordan Murphy.