Scotland were defeated at home in the Six Nations for the first time in over three years as Ireland outscored them three tries to one in an nervy and error-strewn encounter at Murrayfield.

For Scotland, it was once again a case of what might have been as the mistakes and misjudgements that bedevilled them in Dublin last year once again came back to haunt them. For Six Nations champions Ireland, this was the win they so desperately craved after defeat in Dublin by England last week. Performance was always going to be secondary to the outcome for Joe Schmidt's men.

Gregor Townsend talked about accuracy throughout the run-up to this match, only for Scotland to deliver a succession of early errors which cost them dear.

They had some good early pressure and took the lead through a Greig Laidlaw penalty after Bundee Aki handled in a ruck in front of the posts, but immediately ceded the initiative when Huw Jones knocked on a restart which was heading into touch.


That led indirectly to Ireland's first try, when they spread the ball wide and Jacob Stockdale kicked ahead. Tommy Seymour fielded the ball but with the cover closing threw a poor pass at Sean Maitland, who parried it into Conor Murray's path for the opening try.

With Stuart Hogg going off with a damaged shoulder after a late tackle by Peter O'Mahony, his replacement, Blair Kinghorn, was caught completely out of position when five minutes later a nice scissors move with Johnny Sexton saw Stockdale charge through the middle to go over for a second try and make it 12-3 to Ireland.

Scotland soon rallied though. Finn Russell, who was once again outstanding, was the spark, the stand-off intercepting a pass from Joey Carbery shortly after he came on for Sexton. Despite being hauled down just short, Russell's pass to Sam Johnson off the floor created Scotland's first try.

The Scots dominated the final 10 minutes of the half and would have led going into the break had they kicked either of the penalties they were awarded. Instead they opted to run, only to be kept out and trail 10-12 at the break.

Ireland took what turned out to be a decisive lead 15 minutes into the second half when Carbery seized on a loose ball on the halfway line and broke into Scotland's 22, before a long pass, as the cover closed in, put wing Keith Earls over to give the visitors a nine-point lead.

Laidlaw and Carbery traded penalties, leaving Ireland 22-13 ahead as the match entered the final 10 minutes. By now, Ireland were in control, and, despite Scotland's efforts, easily saw out the match to keep alive their hopes of retaining their Six Nations title.