Scotland relish Six Nations push

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We showed spirit and heart - Johnson

Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson is relishing a push for the Six Nations title after his side clinched their second win by beating Ireland.

Johnson's team battled past Ireland, who dominated possession and territory, in a 12-8 win at Murrayfield.

"We're still in the tournament - we are in it up to our ears," he told the BBC. "That's great for the fans and the team but let's not get carried away."

Scotland are two points behind leaders England with two rounds of games left.

After losing at Twickenham on the opening weekend, Scotland bounced back with an encouraging four-try victory against Italy.

And now Johnson's team, unfancied by many outside of Scotland before the tournament, find themselves firmly in the title chase after back-to-back Six Nations victories for the first time since 2001.

Scotland host third-placed Wales at Murrayfield on 9 March, with each side knowing victory is likely to extinguish the title hopes of the other, and then travel to France on the final weekend.

But they struggled to find any sort of attacking rhythm against Ireland, who missed a host of penalty and try-scoring opportunities, as Greig Laidlaw's boot secured victory.

"I'm happy for the boys because it showed a different side to us - we showed great resolve," said Johnson. "We could have been well behind at half-time.

"If you can combine that resolve with the skill sets we have then we can do some damage. I'm happy but there is still plenty of our performances we can improve on.

"I've got to be honest, that was not a game we should have won. But we showed great spirit and great heart - and I love a team which shows great spirit and great heart.

"Sometimes the pressure builds on the opposition. They felt they should have been well in front on the scoreboard and that creates its own pressure.

"We're proud of the victory but the clear, honest assessment is that we've got to improve."

Johnson, 50, was handed the Scotland reins on a temporary basis following Andy Robinson's resignation in December.

But the Australian has refused to discuss his prospects of earning the job permanently.

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Six Nations highlights: Scotland 12-8 Ireland

"Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves," he said. "I will sit down with the board at the end of the tournament and decide what is best for Scotland."

Scotland number eight Johnnie Beattie praised an "incredible defensive performance" from his team as Ireland enjoyed 78% of possession and 80% of territory before the break.

"It shows we can bend but we just don't crack," he said.

Greig Laidlaw, who converted all four of his penalty attempts, said Scotland took confidence from Ireland's inability to open up a commanding lead.

"We hardly touched the ball in attack in the first half and it was only 3-0," said the Edinburgh scrum-half. "We said at half-time 'if we can get hold of the ball, we can do some damage'. We did that and we were able to keep them out again."