Six Nations: Ireland earn hard-fought 22-13 victory over Scotland

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"They tried their heart out and you never question the courage of this team - that's not what anyone is talking about - or their commitment, but their attack was like watching paint dry". When his side came back into the.

"We can be better, we can play more rugby, and I'm sure Joe will touch on that when we meet up again".

"We just didn't kick on in the second half, it was pretty flat for both teams, the energy dropped, we were disappointed with the execution, that's on my head as a coach". 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, now ranked seventh, may have cruised to a 33-20 win over Italy last week, but they lost concentration and conceded three late tries that took the shine off the performance.

The 22-year-old flanker was frustrated, however, to be off the field during that key set of phases at the end of the first half which saw Scotland's relentless toil go unrewarded as he was having 12 stitches put in above his eye.

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Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton was forced off after being struck by a series of big hits, the heaviest in the build-up to their second try.

Centre Huw Jones and full-back Stuart Hogg are also injury concerns after suffering knee and shoulder ligament injuries respectively in the same game.

Everyone waited to see if the theory that Ireland are overly reliant on the 2018 world player of the year would be proved correct.

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. He was hailed down by the retreating Keith Earls but smartly popped a pass for Johnson to run in for the try, Laidlaw converting. Poite did seem rather reluctant to punish Ireland at times, with Schmidt's men using all their experience to close the game out. Scottish hooker Stuart McInally denied his team was demoralized to still go in behind, but admitted they were "knackered" in the second half. But if we hadn't won here, we were definitely out of it. Russell asked. "What changed? If we're going to progress as a country we're going to have to start winning these games".

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