Grant Gilchrist admitted his missed tackle on Ireland’s Garry Ringrose in the Rugby World Cup hammering in Paris last October stayed with him weeks after Scotland were knocked out of the tournament.  

The Ireland centre skipped between Gilchrist and Zander Fagerson inside the opening minute as James Lowe scored the first of six tries in a 36-14 win that saw Scotland eliminated at the pool stage for the second World Cup in a row.  

Gilchrist said the painful memories of that match remained with him for a long time afterwards.  

The Edinburgh lock said: “I was involved in the first try and every time I shut my eyes or switched my brain off, that’s what I thought about for weeks afterwards, because that’s how much I care.  

“When I was busy it was fine, but I’m sure all the boys felt the same: whenever we had any kind of spare time, when you’re in your own head, I was just thinking about that game, because we didn’t show how we can play individually and collectively. That’s what was disappointing.” 

He said it is difficult to move on from those disappointments.  

Scotland Rugby News: Gilchrist cut a dejected figure with his Scotland team-mates at full-timeGilchrist cut a dejected figure with his Scotland team-mates at full-time (Image: SNS)

“It’s not a nice feeling,” the former Scotland captain said.  

“If you perform at your best, you can live with the result. When you don’t perform at your best, it’s really tough to take, because you get left with that feeling.” 

Scotland haven’t beaten Ireland in the seven years Gregor Townsend has been in charge, a run that spans nine matches.  

Gilchrist knows they can ill-afford a repeat of the slow start he and the team endured in Paris when they take the field at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.  

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He said: "We’ve always been chasing them. Maybe with the exception of the Six Nations game last year when we were right in it at half-time.  

“The reality of who you play against is that you have to be on it right through the whole game. If you have a 10 or 20-minute spell like we did at the weekend, you’re going to get killed.  

“They’re too good to have moments where we go away from our plan, whether we get a little bit loose, where we make individual or collective errors, they’ll punish you.  

Scotland Rugby News: Duhan van der Merwe in action against Ireland last yearDuhan van der Merwe in action against Ireland last year (Image: SNS)

“We did that at the start of the game in Paris, we probably did it at the end of the game [last year] at Murrayfield.” 

If Scotland can produce the 80-minute performance they have been crying out for all championship, Gilchrist believes they can worry title-chasing Ireland.  

He added: “We showed within that we can cause them problems.  

“The second half in Paris, I know the game was gone, but there was way more us in how we played. And that first 40 at Murrayfield last year was proper, proper intensity. And if we can keep going, we can win. But it needs to be over that full 80 minutes.” 

In recent years, Irish pundits have written off Scotland, with former Ulster centre Darren Cave this week saying it would require only a “seven or eight out of 10 performance” from Andy Farrell’s side to win. Before the sides’ last meeting, Simon Zebo said he could see “no way” for Scotland to beat Ireland.  

But Gilchrist insists that is all outside noise to those within the Scotland set-up.  

“I don’t really care. I don’t really pay much attention to that,” he said.  

“The only reason we look at them in such high regard is because of the level of their play. If they want to say stuff contrary to that then that’s up to them.  

“We’ve got nothing but respect for them as a team and we know how good we have to be to match them.” 

While Scotland’s hopes of winning the title are all-but over – Townsend's side would require a 77-point swing and to deny Ireland any match points, and hope other results went their way – they are still playing for the Triple Crown in Dublin.  

Not since the Grand Slam year of 1990 have Scotland won that accolade, and Gilchrist believes that should be huge motivation for the squad.  

Gilchrist, 33, added: “To win away from home in the Six Nations is a huge achievement.  

“They don’t come without a real performance, whoever you are playing, but especially this team and with the history we’ve had against them where we’ve really not played our best rugby. 

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“But we also have to look at what an opportunity we have to go and win a triple crown for the first time in 34 years.  

“I was born in 1990 and I’m the old guy around here so that time that everyone else wasn’t born the last time Scotland had it! 

“There’s no bigger challenge, but what a reward as well.”