Trailing 8-7 at the break, Scotland conceded 14 points without a response to the World No 1 team as their hopes of winning the Triple Crown and staying in the hunt for the Six Nations title died. However, they were extremely competitive in the opening 40 minutes but were unable to make serious inroads on the scoreboard. “We lacked that finishing touch in the first half and didn't create as many opportunities in the second,” said Ritchie. “They upped their game, we didn't, and it's unfortunate. It was a very tight first half and Ireland put their foot down in the second half and we took our foot off the gas and didn't create enough pressure.
"I've not been on the right side of a result against Ireland, unfortunately. They stepped it up in the second half, they were clinical and they took their chances. Once they quick ball, they are a very good team and are very well-coached. For us, there are some learnings to take from that. We are saying similar things about the France game. The positive is that we are creating those opportunities, we'd be a bit lost if we weren't. The great thing for us is that they are minor fix-ups. It's about doing it.
Scotland’s final match is against Italy on Saturday and Ritchie added: "We're not done yet. Italy have caused teams problems in this championship. It's a massive game. I said at the start of the tournament that we wanted five good performances. Today was a bit mixed.”