Scotland lose forward Wilson for rest of Six Nations

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Kinghorn's pace running the ball back gave Scotland a little lift but it needed opportunism from Russell to get them back in the game on the half-hour. "These are the situations you love to be in when you're on the back foot and you have to come out fighting".

"I believe that the way we play will put pressure on any team, whether we're playing at home or away".

"They're obviously disappointed, the effort the players put into the first-half was outstanding, how they implemented the game plan we worked on all week and put Ireland under pressure", he said. Scotland, now ranked seventh, may have cruised to a 33-20 win over Italy last week, but they lost concentration and conceded three late tries that took the shine off the performance.

But Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is confident his star man will still be able to play his part in the rest of his side's Six Nations title defence.

"There was a definite rise in temperature and increase in energy", he said.

With Scotland back in the game at 10-12, the second half was delicately poised and both teams went into the dressing room still on optimistic of a win. Head coach Schmidt later downplayed the extent of Sexton's injury as he said: "Johnny failed an HIA, he just banged his head in the build-up to our second try, he just fell pretty heavily".

Everyone waited to see if the theory that Ireland are overly reliant on the 2018 world player of the year would be proved correct.

Earls extended the advantage after half-time with Ireland's third try.

BOD reiterated what needs to occur in Sexton's mindset and game preparation if Ireland are to keep hold of their talisman for a longer time.

Scotland badly needed some points but turned down a simple three for a quick tap by Russell and the Irish defence swarmed to force a turnover inside their own five metre line.

But Jones fumbled a restart from Jonny Sexton that looked to be going out on the full, and Ireland had their first foothold, although initially the Scots seemed to repulse them and won turnover possession. Scottish hooker Stuart McInally denied his team was demoralized to still go in behind, but admitted they were "knackered" in the second half. "If we're going to progress we need to start winning these games".

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