Scotland hungry for further improvement, says Stuart McInally

By Phil GoodladBBC Scotland
Stuart McInally playing for Scotland against Ireland
Stuart McInally came on as a replacement in Scotland's defeat by Ireland

Hooker Stuart McInally acknowledges Scotland have improved during the Six Nations but still have a "long way to go" if they want to win titles.

The Scots lost their final match of the campaign 35-25 away to Ireland on Saturday and ended the championship with two wins and three defeats.

Edinburgh front-rower McInally, 25, won his sixth cap in Dublin and believes progress is evident.

"We're happy we've made strides forward," he told BBC Scotland.

"We've improved. If you look back to that first game against England [losing 15-9] I thought we were below par and quite poor.

"We played better against Wales [losing 27-23] and then came the two wins against Italy [36-20] and France [29-18].

"We scored 25 points [in Dublin] and we've scored more tries in this tournament than in any of the previous years. But we've still got a long way to go if we want to start winning trophies."

'Little mistakes, silly errors'

A slow start and indiscipline blighted Scotland's performance at the Aviva Stadium with yellow cards particularly damaging.

Nineteen of Ireland's points came during two spells when the visitors were down to 14 men - John Barclay was sin-binned in the first half and Alex Dunbar in the second.

McInally, who came on early in the second period for Ross Ford, feels his side need to make a better impression on referees.

"We conceded a lot of penalties and got on the wrong side of the referee, which didn't help us," he explained.

Stuart McInally
Discipline is an area Scotland need to work on, according to McInally

"Little mistakes and not looking after the ball; silly errors are costing us and it's something we hope to improve on and take into the summer."

Scotland are scheduled to play two June Tests in Japan before welcoming Australia and Argentina to Murrayfield in the autumn.

And McNally revealed the group are already targeting what they need to work on against their upcoming opponents.

"We need to start better," he added. "We started poorly against France and fortunately we managed to turn things around.

"It's hindering us. I felt we were pretty streetwise throughout the game [against Ireland] - we didn't take many backward steps.

"The discipline is one thing we will have to look at. Playing 20 minutes of the game with 14 men at this level is always going to be tough. It's something we will have to address."

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