Irish players troop off the pitch after losing to Scotland
Ireland coach Declan Kidney said he was "bitterly disappointed" after watching his side lose 23-20 to Scotland but admitted the Irish were second best.
"Scotland played well and we didn't play to the best of our ability so it was not to be our day," said Kidney.
"Our performance wasn't great - we made errors and didn't execute some of our moves in the way that we should.
"We knew that Scotland would not roll over - I said that any team can beat any other side in this competition."
Kidney added that the Scots had "played a good game" but added that Ireland had "given themselves a mountain to climb".
"We got back into the game but it was not enough," he said.
"They had field position and we made errors as we were not right into the game.
We needed to be dogged and disciplined but we weren't
"Their line-out record was even better than ours in this tournament and they put pressure on us in the line-out.
"We conceded about five turnovers there while they committed people to the breakdown and some crucial decisions went their way, which sometimes makes the difference.
"We are disappointed to lose our final game at Croke Park and we don't have an opportunity to put it right until June.
"[Fly-half] Jonathan (Sexton) had a good campaign and Ronan (O'Gara) was excellent too - we are blessed to have the two of them."
Ireland forward Paul O'Connell said he believed Scotland had gained "momentum and belief" after the home side made mistakes early in the game.
"We gave away some clumsy penalties and most of them were within kicking range," he said.
"Dan Parks punished us by converting most of them and we needed to be dogged and disciplined but we weren't."