Scotland boss Townsend insists he is to blame for defeat by Ireland

Scotland boss Townsend insists he is to blame for defeat by Ireland

Two minutes later Ireland scored their first try and took a lead they were not to lose.

With Best's Ulster team-mate Jacob Stockdale among the scorers, Ireland bounced back from their harrowing loss to England in Dublin that opened the Championship but, while Best said the side were more like themselves, the hooker does not yet feel that they hit the high watermark of past year.

"I'm so proud of the players with the way they played and the effort they put in", he said.

"He seems to be doing quite well now though, so we're hopeful he'll be okay for the next game".

Scotland badly needed some points but turned down a simple three for a quick tap by Russell and the Irish defence swarmed to force a turnover inside their own five metre line. Despite matching the team ranked No 2 in the world for long spells, Sam Johnson's first-half try was the only time they managed to breach the Irish defence.

With Scotland back in the game at 10-12, the second half was delicately poised and both teams went into the dressing room still on optimistic of a win.

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"Johnny Sexton got a bit of treatment out there and he got a stamp on the head but he is feeling better and we expect him to be back in the next couple of weeks", Schmidt said. "We are frustrated and disappointed".

"I think it was very important", he said of the result and Ireland's Six Nations title hopes with England in the ascendancy after their emphatic 44-8 win over France yesterday.

"There was a lot of knock-ons and we gave away penalties in the second half". Obviously, it wouldn't have done much for his confidence [conceding the try to Scotland] but to bounce back like that showed great resilience. We're always going to err on the side of caution with those because we want to look after people.

Scotland's next match is against France in Paris in two weekends' time. The Scotland head coach, Gregor Townsend, felt his side should have been awarded a penalty but does not expect the citing officer to review the incident.

Scotland never got enough of the ball in the final ten minutes to even threaten getting back into the game and by the end their attempts to strike from deep were frantic and disorganised.

"But if we hadn't won this game, we were definitely out of it".

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