We toughed it out, says Irish captain Best

Ireland's flanker Peter O'Mahony (2L) tackles Scotland's scrum-half Ali Price (L) during the Six Nations international rugby union match.

Ireland's flanker Peter O'Mahony (2L) tackles Scotland's scrum-half Ali Price (L) during the Six Nations international rugby union match.

AFP

EDINBURGH - Ireland captain Rory Best credited his team's mental strength in defeating Scotland 22-13 to end the hosts' seven-match unbeaten home Six Nations run and putting behind them the opening weekend loss to England.

The 36-year-old hooker -- who along with his team-mates put in a considerably better performance than in the 32-20 defeat by the English in Dublin -- said it had been a challenging week but they had come through.  

"We have a lot of belief in what we're doing and how good a team we are," Best told the BBC.

"That was a really tough game, and it was tough mentally in the build-up to it.

"We asked for a physical reaction and by and large we got that. We had a couple of chances and we took them and were quite clinical. We've got a lot of improving to do."

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Best, who has skippered the Irish to two wins over world champions New Zealand and the Six Nations Grand Slam last year, specially praised Joey Carbery, who came on after 24 minutes for the injured world player of the year Johnny Sexton.

The New Zealand-born fly-half -- who moved to Munster last year after being an understudy to Sexton at Leinster -- made a nervy start with his pass being intercepted leading to Scotland's try at the end of the first-half.

However, a superb burst from inside his own-half created Ireland's third try, veteran Keith Earls touching down, which he converted and he added a well-taken penalty later in the second-half to give the Irish some breathing space.    

"Joey Carbery has flourished since moving to Munster and starting regularly," said Best.

"We trust the players to come off the bench and step up as Joey did."

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt also praised Carbery for his character in recovering from the intercepted pass.

Source
AFP