Townsend takes the blame for Scotland's defeat to Ireland

Annette Crawford
February 11, 2019

Hosts Japan know they will nearly certainly have to beat one of the European heavyweights to reach the quarterfinals by finishing in the top two of a group that also includes Russian Federation and Samoa.

The champions recovered from their chastening defeat by Eddie Jones's team by going back to basics to end Scotland's run of six successive home victories in the championship and put themselves back in contention.

But Scotland, who have been revitalized nearly beyond recognition in recent years, had the world No. 2 side on the back foot for much of the first half, especially when their exciting backs got on the ball and unleashed their renowned passing game. "We felt like we made a few errors in the second half, whether that be launching from line-outs and just sort of releasing the pressure valve". He seems to be doing quite well now though, so we're hopeful he'll be okay for the next game.

FINN RUSSELL says it is time for Scotland to stop flattering to deceive and fully deliver on their potential.

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

Townsend took over from Vern Cotter in 2017 after the New Zealander had restored hope and pride to a Scottish side that had been in the doldrums for 15 years.

Having opened their campaign with a 33-20 home win against Italy, Scotland also remain in contention for the Six Nations title, though next up for them on February 23 is a trip to face France in Paris, where they last triumphed in 1999.

But old failings still surface. There was always a knock-on or a penalty.

"There was definitely a rise in temperature, an increase in energy", said Schmidt.

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. What changed in the fifteen minutes of half time?'

Everyone waited to see if the theory that Ireland are overly reliant on the 2018 world player of the year would be proved correct. "When Keith Earls scored, we had the chance for a fourth try but couldn't get any sustained pressure down there".

Scotland will have the opportunity for revenge on September 22 when the two sides meet again in the opening round of the World Cup in Japan.

"We couldn't really build any pressure in the second half because we just kept turning over possession. We conceded the try a minute after that and lost one of our best players".

"These are the situations you love to be in when you're on the back foot a little bit and have to come out fighting. If we're going to progress as a country we are going to have to start winning these games".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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