It was a match they could and should have won is the general consensus from the Scottish media following defeat to Ireland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
A pretty game it was not. It was a case of minimum aim achieved for Ireland.
"In an offensive sense, Scotland regularly worked themselves into good attacking positions, only to throw forwards, or knock on, or give away a penalty," writes Andy Harrow for the Scotsman regarding the match.
"They continually let the Irish off the hook when they could have had them pinned to the wall, wriggling and helpless. In the second half, missed tackles in the midfield led to Keith Earls’ score which ultimately sealed the win."
Former Lions coach Ian McGeechan is of a similar opinion in his Telegraph column.
Scotland will be kicking themselves this morning. Ireland were there for the taking and they let them off the hook due to their own errors.
Scotland had easily as many opportunities as their visitors yesterday. In fact, they probably got across the gain line more often and created more overlaps. But 14 handling errors in the second half?
That is effectively 14 turnovers. You just cannot afford to do that in international rugby. Certainly not against Ireland, albeit an out-of-sorts Ireland.
For the Herald, Stuart Bathgate offers a different take, writing that Scotland "lost out to a smarter, more experienced side, albeit one that was some way below its best."
"It was a close contest for much of the 80 minutes, but the moments that mattered went Ireland’s way.
"Their three tries to Scotland’s one was an indication of their superior cutting edge and, although they made an unusually high number of handling errors, those mistakes were less damaging than the errors from their opponents."
In the Sunday Times, Stephen Jones felt that though it was far from an impressive Irish performance, they always had enough to beat the Scots.
"Ireland will be pleased to have come through, but frankly their performance levels often seemed far closer to those they produced against England last week than those they touched against New Zealand last autumn," writes Jones.
"They always had enough, but considering their pedigree, they did not have an awful lot. They were superb in defence but plodding in attack."
He also offered some hope.
"You would think that Ireland will revive. The Henshaw-Ringrose midfield needs to be restored when fit. Their back row yesterday were one-paced and lacked that lovely sweep and devil of the past few seasons."
In his Sunday Times column, Stuart Barnes tells of how impressed his was with Joey Carbery's 56-minute appearances of the bench for the injured Johnny Sexton.
"Carbery is just beginning. A man of vision, skill, confidence and edge. Sexton’s understudy is ready for the spotlight when his time comes."
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