The Irish were assured of it when defending champions England lost 22-16 to France in Paris.
Scotland drew first blood in Dublin as Greig Laidlaw kicked them into a 3-0 lead, but it was the hosts who would edge a scrappy opening half.
The New Zealander noted: "There are plenty of knocks but no injuries, one of the good things is we made a few tactical subs but none of them were really injury induced". A puncture, perhaps, but one which is easily repairable.
Whatever happens in Paris, Ireland, who have now won 11 matches in succession for the first time, will go to Twickenham next weekend within sight of a momentous grand slam, having denied England a similar feat last season.
The Scotland scrum-half's celebrations after the England game - memorably shown on social media - were in keeping with how long he'd waited for that win, but this week it was swiftly back to serious business plotting how to down the Irish on their home turf for the first time since 2010. I think we kicked 32 times (the stats say 38), I might be wrong, but when you think back to the game you certainly never thought that Scotland kicked the ball 32 (38) times in the game. Early in the game he did really well contesting the high ball, he nearly got away to create that score at one stage.
Instead it was Ireland who struck on the stroke of half-time, with Ringrose at the heart of a second Stockdale score.
Skipper Guilhem Guirado said he was "proud" of the team's spirit.
They fell apart against Wales in Cardiff and came undone against England at Twickenham a year ago.
Captain John Barclay, downbeat and frustrated, chimed in with Townsend's long-term view that Scotland are a building side.
"We're two physical teams across the water from each other, so obviously there are going to be fireworks".
Before Saturday's game, Scotland had not beaten England for ten years and failed to score a try against them at Murrayfield since 2004. "I would be here for hours if I listed them all", he said. Scotland had its chances but wasn't as accurate, and butchered two tries, probably three.
'It was good to train alongside them with the Lions, especially Conor Murray, to sort of get to see him close up.
A Wales win at the death would have broken Irish hearts but as Wales went for broke, Jacob Stockdale picked off a loose Gareth Anscombe pass and cantered home under the posts. "We didn't capitalise, we didn't convert our chances and that was the difference". But with the 2019 World Cup in Japan looming into view, this is a good opportunity to examine his squad depth.
With equally enthralling contests set to take place on the wings and through the pack, Ireland's favourites tag is not something either side will pay any heed to.
But the Dark Blues skipper believes his side can make the Aviva Stadium a home from home on Saturday if they replicate their stunning performance against England.
"Winning at Twickenham would be a huge achievement", he added.