Townsend: We stayed in the fight right until the end
Scotland went down 19-12 to Ireland in their opening Guinness Six Nations fixture at the Aviva Stadium this afternoon and Gregor Townsend has praised his players for their performance in Dublin.
However, he was frustrated that his team didn’t score more points to come away with more than a losing bonus point.
Gregor Townsend said: “I was proud of the performance of the players, I thought we started the game very well. We had our moments in the first-half, we should have put more points on the board but it was great to see that we stayed in the fight in the second-half.
“There were a couple of occasions, one we were over their try-line and one we were close to the try-line near the end and it could have been a different score.
“But to see that performance of a new team that has come together there is a lot we can be encouraged about.
“You’ve got to credit the Ireland defence. At times they were excellent. They turned us over close to the try-line and we’re frustrated we didn’t take some of the opportunities, especially the clear ones which were there.”
Adam Hastings made his first Guinness Six Nations start in Dublin and Townsend was impressed with the way the Glasgow Warriors fly-half managed the game.
He said: “Adam is a confident player and there are parts of his game he’ll have learned today. I thought when we had ball he managed the game excellently.
“He moved the ball wide, played through the forwards and put in a couple of really good kicks, but we just didn’t have enough ball or build enough phases after that initial 10 minutes due to some decisions around the breakdown and to us turning over the ball.”
Townsend was also quick to praise Stuart Hogg, who despite losing control of the ball over the tryline at one stage, put in a big performance in his first game as captain.
He added: “Stuart has led the team really well over the last two weeks and I thought he played outstandingly well.
“A try would have been a great bonus for him on top of a very good performance.”