Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

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

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

Johnny Sexton suffered a head injury leaving Joey Carbery to run the game for nearly an hour: the Munster star threw an intercept pass for Sam Johnson's try for Scotland, but conjured the winning score for Earls. "We knew that if we lost we would be dead and buried because teams do not come back from two opening defeats, but we need to be more fluid and play more rugby".

"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. We've got to make sure we kick on from here. "If you're Gregor Townsend [Scotland coach] you're going "we blew that".

The visitors took 54 minutes to score their first try, when winger Josh Adams touched down, having shown a little too much respect to the home side in the first half when starting flyhalf Dan Biggar kicked four penalties.

"I think that was the first knock and then he got another one after that".

Scotland finally forced some possession in the Irish 22 but Ireland willingly surrendered a soft penalty, and Laidlaw brought Scotland back to six points behind.

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'We have a couple of chances and we took them. 'We talk about Test matches turning on small points and, again, that just allowed the pressure valve to be released. "Because he is who he is that's going to happen and Johnny probably knew he was only going to play 20 minutes so he jammed it all into that time", Schmidt said.

The young stand-off didn't have the pace to go all the way but slung a long pass - which looked suspiciously forward - to the unmarked Earls, who scored the decisive try, converted by Carbery.

Three defensive calamities by Scotland gave Ireland all the ammunition they required to get back on track and inflict the first away win at Murrayfield in the Guinness 6 Nations for three years.

"I felt we dominated that first half, a lot of that was through how we defended as well as how we attacked - it's a message for our players that we can play at that level and create more opportunities". Poite did seem rather reluctant to punish Ireland at times, with Schmidt's men using all their experience to close the game out. "We trust the players to come off the bench and step up as Joey did".

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