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Townsend wants even more from Scotland against Ireland

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Edinburgh (AFP)

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend believes his side will have to improve on their impressive Calcutta Cup win if they are to spring another Six Nations surprise by beating table-toppers Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

It seemed as if the Scots did little wrong in defeating reigning champions England 25-13 last time out in Edinburgh, the home side delighting the Murrayfield faithful by running in three tries in a superb first-half performance on the way to a first win over the Auld Enemy in a decade.

But former Scotland playmaker Townsend knows better than anyone that his side must improve their away form if they are to maintain their title challenge following back-to-back home wins over France and England.

It is eight years since Scotland last beat Ireland in Dublin, and since the Six Nations era started in 2000 the Scots have won just six away matches -- and four of those were against perennial strugglers Italy.

Ireland are the only team left in this season's Championship who can complete a Grand Slam, with Townsend saying: "They are a top-three team in the world and they have a very good home record.

"There are not many, if any, weaknesses in the team and they get the detail and physicality right, so you have to be at your best to win."

Scotland dominated the breakdown against England, forcing several turnovers, but Townsend forecast a much more difficult battle for possession in Dublin.

"There are lots of things we could improve on from the England game. I would be here for hours if I listed them all," he said.

"We were obviously very good around the breakdown.

"It will be much tougher this weekend because of how Ireland are in contact."

Meanwhile Townsend said it was "terrible" to see the verbal and physical abuse suffered by Eddie Jones while catching a train from Edinburgh to Manchester on the morning after the Calcutta Cup match.

One video clip posted by the BBC showed Jones's posing for a 'selfie' with Scotland fans only to be on the end of crude verbal abuse from the same group of supporters the moment the pictures had been taken.

"Anybody that gets verbally abused like that, it's terrible to see, especially when it's someone involved in our sport and a fellow coach," said Townsend.

"So it was not good to see and hopefully that'll never happen again."

"No-one deserves that. I thought the way England handled it, which would have been a big disappointment for their players, to how they spoke after the game, to the coach -- showed they were good losers as well as being very good winners over the last couple of years."

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