Scotland captain Finn Russell admitted his side must be mentally stronger after a third defeat of the Guinness Six Nations against Ireland in Dublin.  

Russell praised his side for a “brilliant” defensive display, but lamented Scotland’s inability to back those performances up thoroughout the campaign.  

He said: “It’s a bit frustrating that we weren’t able to do that week-in, week-out in this campaign but the boys showed passion and how brave we are coming to play Ireland at the Aviva with them having the title on the line. 

“The performance we put in was outstanding. There are areas that we still need to work on and get better at, but as a whole I was really proud of the boys.” 

Russell also conceded unforced errors – like a restart he kicked out on the full and the overthrown lineout by George Turner that allowed Dan Sheehan to score the opening try – are proving costly.  

He said those moments summed up Scotland’s whole championship.  

READ MORE: Five things we learned as spirited Scotland defeated by Ireland in Dublin

The Bath fly-half added: "There have been soft mistakes or allowing teams access into the game to build momentum. We need to go forward from a tough campaign and be better. 

“We need to get better at putting in performances week-in, week-out, and putting in 80-minute performances. 

“We’ve had spells in this championship where we have been brilliant but at the same time we’ve had spells where we’ve let teams get on the front foot and build momentum.” 

In previous games, Scotland have compounded one error with another, and barring a spell early in the second half, they avoided repeating that trait at the Aviva Stadium.  

Russell knows the response to making an error is crucial.  

"Today showed that yes, we had a couple of moments where we made mistakes or not the right choice, but we bounced back,” he said.  

The 31-year-old added: “When you have these moments when you drift, the most important thing is getting back into the moment. We were able to do that today and moving forward we need to keep that mentality. 

“You’re going to have moments where mentally it is tough, but we need to make sure we are looking out for the guys around us and getting them back in as soon as possible.” 

He also praised Stafford McDowall for his performance on his first Six Nations start.  

“I thought Stafford was brilliant,” Russell said.  

“He put their defence under pressure and in defence he was really good. 

“The first half especially, he shrugged off Bundee [Aki] and made a linebreak which really got him into the game. 

“He’s been brilliant in training for us in this campaign and he really took his chance today.”