Joe Schmidt is not a coach who is distracted by a defeat, no matter how comprehensive he is. Chilly gusts greeted Ireland in the Scottish capital a week after they had been swept away by England, but they were not lighthouses as the champion took his familiar formula to establish a leadership and successfully defend it while defeating his opponents Series of mistakes forced.
Scotland had won their previous six home games in the Six Nations in a run dating back to the opening round of 2016. But after taking early lead with Greig Laidlaw's penalty, they were spanked by a mix of howlers, a typical move from Schmidt, misalignment and the relentless, relentless nature of Ireland's possession as a team equipped to catch up, became too short devices.
Schmidt had spent the week asking questions about Ireland's game plan, which is largely risk-averse. Their previous fly-helped Tony Ward used the words "not pretty" instead of boring, but Schmidt's response was that sport was not a beauty contest and that a style of play was dropped that would have brought 18 wins in 19 tests before starting the championship rather an emotional than a practical answer.
England's victory last weekend rested on dominating the contact area, something that Scotland would never repeat, missing a host of strikers. Instead, they relied on moving the ball quickly, varying the attack points and eliminating the collapse. Scotland also asked questions, and in the first half there was a moment when the momentum of the game had tipped.
They had responded by giving two quick tries by scoring after catching a shot after Finn Russell had awaited Joey Carbery's pass and set up Sam Johnson. Scotland had the wind behind them and the crowd behind them: they pounded off and finished the first half with a 25-phase move that would have led to an attempt if Huw Jones' pass to Tommy Seymour did not force the wing would have to stop what Jacob allowed Stockdale to restore his position and make the duel.
Laidlaw later complained about the laissez-faire Attitude of the referee Romain Poite: Both sides could refer to decisions that do not go their way. Scotland's defeat was much more in the three line-ups played, the mistakes they made in preparation for Ireland's first and third attempts, and the failure to take advantage of chances in the first half than the way the match went has been.
Scotland was excitable, sometimes overly, as if Russell were serving a five-meter penalty and the ball was struck, while Ireland was temperate and would never get carried away at the moment.
Her first attempt followed her first printing period. Seymour had knocked the restart after Laidlaw's penalty. When Stockdale stepped into House 22, Seymour managed to get the ball to the ground, but he threw Sean Maitland a pass. Conor Murray just had to score.
Ireland's third, as they were leading 12-10, came off another loose ball. When Carbery had picked up halfway, there was no sign of it, but the fly somehow limped from Allan Dell and Rob Harley into space and put his pass to Keith Earls As Tacklers approached him, the wing could deliver the weapon Coup de grace,
There is a reason why Ireland ranks second in the world ranking and Scotland seventh. If the greater ambitions of Scotland make mistakes more likely, they must capture crucial moments, and here they do not have the architects of their own demise.
Ireland, standing in front of the scoreboard, did not do more than was necessary. The victory after losing to England was so important that in the end they did not hunt the try bonus point and concentrated on keeping Scotland at bay. Their second attempt was typical Schmidt and owed much to the courage of Jonathan Sexton, who lasted 23 minutes before he left the field with an injured ankle and a judgment of the head injury did not exist.
Sexton had been the target of fierce duels from the start, some of them on the verge of being late, but he never flinched. Ryan Wilson thundered into him early and then again. However, Dell, Jonny Gray and Josh Strauss did so, but the lions stopped halfway and kept beating. His reward came after a mid-way line-out: When Sexton got the ball, Dell lined him up in a row, and he wanted to wipe out the number 10, so he did not notice Stockdale had come out of his wing into midfield ,
Dell threw Sexton neatly to the ground, but not until a subtle pass was delivered to Stockdale. He ran into the room Dell had cleared, and walked away from hooker Stuart McInally to reach the fifty meters of the line.
Sexton left a few minutes later after Scottish full-back Stuart Hogg suffered a shoulder injury after firing the ball forward and clashing with Rory Best.
Scotland was missing Hogg, especially on both sides of the break when the result was in limbo. Despair crept into her game and the quality of the game worsened as the players got tired.
The home fans were hopeful as Laidlaw's second penalty reduced Ireland's lead to six points on the hour. This was eradicated six minutes later by the boot of Carbery. On the windiest days in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is now in fourteen days on a difficult journey to Paris, lost its breath.