Six Nations 2019: Scotland 'must start winning' big games to progress - Russell

Rob Kearney of Ireland makes a break during the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh Scotland

Gregor Townsend's men lost their second Six Nations fixture 22-13 to Ireland after an error-strewn second half. 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. 'We got a lot of our attacking game into play, really good decisions and really good work rate off the ball meant that we were finding space in that first half. We're not going to blame him, though.

Handling errors cost us, but the referee doesn't seem to like us. We weren't accurate enough. They restricted Scotland to an interception try and conjured two of their own, the second coming from Schmidt's set-piece playbook that saw Jonathan Sexton, in virtually the fly-half's final act before leaving the field with ankle and head injuries, committing the defence and freeing the wing Jacob Stockdale on halfway.

Sexton stood flat throughout his 23 minutes on the field, committing tacklers before passing the ball and was dumped on his back time and again. 'We'll see what will happen over the next few days.

"If we were able to replicate that first half after the break, then I think we'd be here with a win". "We pushed a good team all the way but we can play better". In the second we took the foot off the gas, allowed them into the game and they took control. 'I just felt that Romain was right there (looking at it), but he gave a knock-on against us when it clearly wasn't a knock-on.

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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. I threw a forward pass. "Once you make one mistake you make another and it's a snowball effect", the pivot added. From our point of view, we were disappointed with it.' Stuart Hogg could be an injury worry for Scotland ahead of the visit to face France in Paris in a fortnight. "We'll need to be at our best if we are to win over there".

"We're going to have to bounce back against France", the 26-year-old said.

Townsend was, however, impressed with the pressure his players applied on Six Nations champions Ireland, restricting the visitors' influence with the boot, usually such an important part of their play.

"I'll be fine if I have to go back to Racing and play during the Championship's week off". That's just the way it is.

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