Ireland coach Joe Schmidt blamed bad timing for Ireland's opening RBS Six Nations defeat as his side lost 27-22 to Scotland at Murrayfield.

The coach lamented Ireland’s under-par first half performance as his side trailed by 13 points at the break, Scotland leading 21-8.

"We arrived at the stadium 10 or 15 minutes late and we were late for most things in the first half,” Schmidt told RTE Sport after the game.

"It’s particularly tough to take. We were well off our game and I think the Scottish attack took advantage of that.

“They have some sharp players, especially when they gave it some width.”

And while Ireland managed to fight their way back into the contest to lead by one point midway through the second half, Schmidt rued his side’s missed chances, which allowed the home side back into the match, with two late penalties to secure the victory.

“I thought we clawed our way back into the game in the second half and we shut down some of that attack.

“They didn’t score [any tries] in the second half but as much as we clawed our way back it was incredibly disappointing to let it slip at the end.

“We had some gilt-edged chances, Rob put a foot in touch and Jamie almost got to the line, it’s incredibly disappointing.”

Captain Rory Best said the squad would have to plenty to mull over following the set-back and Schmidt admitted that the video analysis of the error-strewn performance will be difficult viewing.

“It will be a tough reflection on Monday"

“We were very, very passive and we were very slow to get ourselves set and it was incredibly disappointing but that is something that we worked pretty hard on.

“It will be a tough reflection on Monday.

“We’re not out of the competition, we did get a point out of the game with the bonus point system.”

After a stellar 2016 that saw scalps of the southern hemisphere ‘Big Three’, Schmidt said that rustiness from the three-week break was evident in a game that saw Ireland turnover possession on 13 occasions.

“We missed our timing. We haven’t played for a long time and there was a few changes from the last time we played.

“At the moment, the priority is to recover. We can’t change the result. We can’t change what we just delivered on the pitch.

"What we can do is work towards much better performance the next time.”