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Gregor Townsend: Basic passing errors cost Scotland

The Scotland coach says his side must progress in time for World Cup next year.

Gregor Townsend admits Scotland still have work to do as his side were convincingly beaten 28-8 by Ireland in Dublin.

The Dark Blues Six Nations hopes crumbled at the Aviva Stadium as Joe Schmidt's team scored four tries and after England's result in Paris the win was enough to see the Irish crowned champions.

An intercepted Peter Horne pass led to Ireland's first try and Townsend's team were guilty of blowing three golden opportunities to claw themselves back into the clash as Horne, Stuart Hogg, and Huw Jones all failed to find a team mate with simple passes.

"Our basic skills were pretty good in a number of areas, our tackling was outstanding and our contact work when we had the ball was outstanding.

"We created those opportunities and it was basic passing skills which caused a couple of missed opportunities.

"Sometimes that's about what the defender does. I thought Rob Kearney did very well when Stuart Hogg was about to pass as he stepped back. But Stuart finishes them off in every training session, we all make errors.

"We certainly played some outstanding rugby at times, we caused a very good side problems through the set-piece and defence and by what we did in attack."

Questions had been asked of Scotland's away form having only won twice away from home in Six Nations history against opposition other than Italy but the former Glasgow Warriors boss believes progress has been made.

He added: "That was night and day compared to Cardiff. It was a team performance right from the start. It was committed, focused and we took the game to the opposition right to the end.

Townsend, in his first year in charge of Scotland, believes that lessons must be learned ahead of the World Cup in Japan next year and paid tribute to the status of Irish rugby.

"We're very proud of how the team played but there is a realisation that we have more work to do," Townsend said.

"We are three or four years behind Ireland in terms of what they've done and achieved in there experiences over the last few years.

"We need to make sure that when we have these experiences that are tough, it goes into our work to improve.

"We play Ireland next year in the Six Nations and we will play them in 18 months at the World Cup and we need to make sure we are a better team when we play them."

Scotland skipper John Barclay agreed with Ireland coach Joe Schmidt's assessment that Scotland were hard done by with the 20-point gap.

"I don't want to say it because I think you get what you deserve in rugby but the scoreline didn't maybe show the competition in the game,"

Barclay said. "They had three chances on top of the intercept, and took all of them. We had four chances, clean two-on-one chances, and took one of them. That's the difference today."

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