Six Nations 2013: Ireland bottled it against Scotland, says O’Callaghan

Six Nations 2013: Lock Donncha O'Callaghan says Ireland players "bottled it" in their 12-8 loss to Scotland on Saturday

Donncha O’Callaghan has admitted the Ireland players “bottled it” in their disappointing 12-8 loss to Scotland at Murrayfield in the Six Nations.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney received most of the post-match criticism, specifically for his decision to play untested fly-half Paddy Jackson ahead of veteran Ronan O’Gara, with the move backfiring as Jackson missed two penalties and a conversion attempt.

But while O’Callaghan praised Scotland’s togetherness he admitted the fault lay squarely at the feet of the Irish players, who somehow managed not to turn their overwhelming possession and territory into points.

“They seemed tight, like they were playing for each other which is maybe a little bit different from the last time we played them,” O’Callaghan told the Irish Times.

“I’d love to give them more credit for the win, I really would, and I don’t mean to take anything away from them but I think we bottled it.

“We had to get a result and we weren’t good enough. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to them but we had the winning of that game and weren’t good enough to take it, which is really tough to take.

“You go into games with set game plans and goals that you want in defence and you feel if you achieve them you might get the result.

“That was there for them, there’s a bit of a mental toughness that comes into games as well and finding a way to win, and that’s where we came up short. You know it’s on for the players there to sometimes to get across the line and I don’t think we did that.”

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