Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend rued the fine margins that cost his Scotland side after they narrowly came up short away at Ireland in their Guinness Six Nations opener.
The visitors dominated large parts of the game but a lack of cutting edge at decisive moments ultimately cost them a first win in Ireland for ten years.
Adam Hastings kicked Scotland in front in the early stages, before new Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton dotted down for the game’s only try.
The opposing fly-halves were the only two men to get on the scoreboard, and a string of soft penalties contributed to Ireland securing a 19-12 win in boss Andy Farrell’s first game in charge.
Despite admitting he was frustrated to leave Dublin empty-handed, Townsend was buoyed by various aspects of his team’s display and insisted there was plenty of positives to take into their Round 2 Calcutta Cup clash at home to England.
“We were unlucky at points in the game,” he said. “And we have to be better and take our opportunities when we get them.
“But we put ourselves in several positions to win the match which is really encouraging going forward.
“We can’t afford to give away soft penalties like we did because you’re going to get punished at this level. We have to work on building phases, narrowing defences and scoring tries when our players are playing so well with the ball.
“I think we looked very dangerous when we had possession. We knew were in the game throughout and we stayed in the fight for the full 80 minutes even when things weren’t going our way.
“We’ll work together as a coaching group and as a playing group and look to come back stronger next week.”
One of Scotland’s best chances fell to new captain Stuart Hogg, whose knock-on over the try line summed up how close last year’s fifth-place side came to clinching what would’ve been a famous win.
Following defeat, the 27-year-old insisted he was proud of his team’s display and was hopeful of converting such close calls into wins in the coming weeks.
He said: “It was a schoolboy error and I’m gutted with how it happened, but I can’t change it and I’ve just got to get on with it. What will be will be and we have to move on.
“It was a really hard-working effort by the whole team today and I’m incredibly proud of the boys. We came over here with a huge task on our hands and we fronted up.
“We feel we’re in a good place and it’s now about kicking on and making sure we’re in a better place at this point next Saturday.”