Lady Luck is a fickle mistress. Just when you need a couple of breaks to go your way, they go against you and your goose is well and truly cooked. In Scotland’s case, served with all the tasteless trimmings and a big dod of hubris sauce.

If Richie Gray hadn’t got injured half-an-hour into the tournament, and if an Irish TMO had believed what his eyes were telling him, and if a handful of questionable decisions – especially scrum penalties – had gone Scotland’s way throughout the tournament then we might be hailing Gregor Townsend’s team as champions and not also-rans. 

It wasn’t the best Six Nations I have ever witnessed, but there were some hugely entertaining and very close games, and we at least beat England and Wales who both again flattered to deceive at times - they were mostly poor overall. 

Ireland deserved to win though they did not get the Grand Slam I predicted, and the most improved side was Italy, now benefitting from the recruitment and training of their young stars by a certain coach that I will mention shortly.

READ MORE: Townsend eyes consistency to make Scotland Six Nations contenders

The fact is that Scotland made too many mistakes – added to indiscipline - across the Guinness Six Nations to be overall winners, exemplified by that first try by Ireland on Saturday. First of all, who decided to go with a shortened line-out just five metres from the line, and how did hooker George Turner overthrow, or Grant Gilchrist not get high enough? How do you make such a crucial error and gift Ireland a try? That’s Ireland, the best team in Europe who hardly need any help to score tries against Scotland or anybody else.  

Basic errors above all meant we finished fourth despite playing some excellent stuff – the first half against Wales, and the whole of the Calcutta Cup match – but Scotland failed to kill off France and Italy when we had them at our mercy. The Scottish defence was magnificent against Ireland, but we did not create enough openings for our talented attackers due largely to Ireland’s defence and pressure play which, for example, kept Duhan van der Merwe quiet by his standards.

So not a totally disappointing campaign by Scotland and at least we now have a squad with strength in depth.

There have been the usual calls for Gregor Townsend to go, and none at all for SRU chief executive Mark Dodson to shed his blazer – that’s because he’s already said he would go at the end of the season and may be on gardening leave for all I know – but his departure is one reason why Townsend should stay in post for the foreseeable future. There will need to be some stability at Murrayfield in the months to come, as the incoming CEO will need time, and probably lots of it, to turn around the finances of the SRU and anyway, he or she shouldn’t be near team matters.

Also, I know of no other Scottish coach who could do a better job than Toonie at the moment, Jim Telfer being 84, and we do need a homegrown coach, don’t we? I suspect that if Franco Smith delivers success at Glasgow Warriors this season, the fans will forget he is South African and the clamour for him to replace Townsend will simply grow.

READ MORE: Scotland to host world champions South Africa in autumn internationals

The Italy we saw defeat Scotland and Wales and draw with France has a quorum of youngsters who were nurtured by Smith in spell as Italy’s head coach and then Head of High Performance. Given the whitewash suffered by our under-20s in their Six Nations, perhaps he could be called on even now to lend a hand before stepping up to the big job.

There has also been criticism of Scotland taking on a summer tour of the Americas. Not quality enough, I’ve seen it written, but Canada, USA, Chile and Uruguay will all present tests of different sorts. I suspect World Rugby bunged the SRU a few quid to visit the latter two countries as part of its desire to grow the game in lesser rugby nations, and anyway, look who’s heading to Murrayfield in November – the reigning world champions South Africa, Australia, Fiji and Portugal, who, like Uruguay, surprised many people with their displays at the World Cup, especially Fiji that they so memorably conquered. 

That’s eight Tests to look forward to in the rest of the year, and they can’t come quick enough. But with all due respect to our future opponents I am already suffering post-Six depression and can’t wait for the world’s greatest annual team sports tournament to return next year.

Meanwhile it only remains for me to wish our woman’s national side all the very best of luck for the Guinness Women’s Six Nations. They really deserve some success for the improvement they have shown so let’s get behind them as they prepare to face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.