Ferris: Occasion got to Ireland
Stephen Ferris fears Ireland were consumed by the occasion as their Croke Park farewell party ended with an anti-climatic upset.
Scotland departed Dublin with a richly-deserved 23-20 victory that meant they evaded the RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon while ending their rivals' final assault on a fifth Triple Crown in seven seasons.
Ireland were shattered by the result and their failure to deliver a fairytale ending to their highly successful four-year tenancy at the cathedral of Gaelic sport.
"There was a lot of hype coming into this game and you can't help but lift the paper and read about it," he said. "It was a massive day for us and the whole of Ireland but perhaps sometimes you need to distance yourselves from that."
He added: "For me personally there was so much hype about Scotland being the last game at Croke Park that you can try too hard and sometimes that isn't the best thing to do.
"When you're on the pitch it's all guns blazing like every Test match, but before the game we were thinking about the occasion a bit more than we usually would.
"Maybe that impacted our game, maybe it did for mine slightly.
"That's the way it was for me and it might be the same for a few of the other players. But that's experience and it's in the bank now."