Report: Ireland 17-13 Scotland

Report: Ireland 17-13 Scotland

Ireland maintained their dominance over Scotland over the last seven years and completed back-to-back championships at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, tonight.

But it was not the contest that so many had expected as Scotland – through a combination of unrelenting defence and a determination to stay in the fight – played with massive pride, completing almost three times the number of tackles made by their hosts.

Scotland thwarted two Ireland attacks on their goal-line and courtesy of a stunning 77th minute individual try from Huw Jones, his 17th for Scotland, earned a losing bonus point that could yet prove crucial in the Guinness Six Nations Championship’s final standings.

No Triple Crown for Scotland then, after a 34-year wait and a helter-skelter campaign with victories in Cardiff for the first time in 22 years and a fourth successive win against England. The referee/TMO combo from the France game at Murrayfield grates even more tonight and Italy’s win in Cardiff today underlines the growing competitive nature of the competition.

Scotland made a late change on the bench with Edinburgh prop Javan Sebastian coming in for Elliot Millar-Mills who had a calf injury.

Ireland also made a switch with full-back Hugo Keenan ruled out through a hip injury, leading to a call-up for Jordan Larmour.

Both teams were looking to atone for defeats in Round 4, Scotland in Rome and Ireland at Twickenham.

There had been persistent drizzle in Dublin throughout the afternoon as Tadhg Beirne, winning his 50th cap, led out the teams.

Finn Russell kicked off for Scotland and Blair Kinghorn looked to counter after Jamison Gibson Park had cleared from the Irish 22. A contact penalty, won by Dan Sheehan, as Duhan van der Merwe was caught, enabled Ireland to gain territory.

A knock-on and Russell clearance, preceded a bit of aerial ping-pong in which Kinghorn made a secure start.

In the fifth minute, Andy Christie charged down a clearance from James Lowe, but the ball trickled agonisingly into touch five metres out. Ireland conceded a free-kick at the lineout, but Zander Fagerson was turned over as he sought to rumble towards the goal-line.

Lowe was penalised for crawling on the deck and from the ten-metre line, Russell landed a super goal to open Scotland’s account. (0-3, 8 mins).

From a Lowe touch-finder, Christie caught at a lineout inside his own 22 and Ben White hoofed the ball upfield, but Ireland countered anew with Robbie Henshaw breaking, as Scotland were caught offside.

They opted for the touchline and sought to attack around the front, only for Sheehan to be muscled into touch.

From Scotland’s throw, George Turner could not find Grant Gilchrist and Sheehan pounced for the softest of tries. Jack Crowley converted (7-3, 13 mins).

From Scott Cummings at the lineout and with Pierre Schoeman carrying purposefully, Ireland were caught offside through Joe McCarthy and Russell was on target (7-6, 17 mins).

Into the second quarter and van der Merwe would have done much better to have offloaded as Scotland attempted to attack down the narrow side from more quality breakdown work from Christie.

Further plaudits to the visitors’ pack, as Fagerson counter-rucked to pirate a turnover and set up the game’s first scrum, from which Stafford McDowall broke, White eventually prodding Scotland into the Irish 22.

Scotland continued to bring solidity to their defence and although they conceded a cheap penalty when Schoeman and Christie got in a muddle, Crowley pushed the long-range effort wide.

Half-time: Ireland 7-6 Scotland

From the restart, Ireland found space on their left and went through the phases to earn a penalty inside Scotland’s 22, which Crowley landed (10-6, 42 mins).

Russell overcooked his kick-off and Ireland were awarded a penalty at the subsequent scrum to fire them back towards the Scotland 22.

From Caelan Doris at the lineout, Ireland unleashed their big guns with Bundee Aki menacing and Tadgh Furlong thundered over the try line. But after consultation with TMO Marius Jonker, referee Matt Carley ruled that the ball had gone forward and Scotland were able to clear via a goal-line drop-out.

Ireland pulverised Scotland at a scrum and van der Merwe, even allowing for a juggle, did well to rescue ball.

But from the lineout and with Aki, Gibson-Park and Henshaw in concert, Calvin Nash stepped inside four Scottish defenders, only to be repelled valiantly by the excellent Christie, supported by Gilchrist.

As the hour mark neared, Ireland again went through the phases from a five metre lineout but Scotland’s rearguard inspired, substitute Garry Ringrose knocked on and Ireland were penalised at the scrum.

Scotland once again performed defensive heroics as substitute Cameron Redpath and the admirable Christie held up Henshaw, confirmed by the TMO.

Scotland however had irked referee Carley who sin-binned Ewan Ashman for a third successive offence.

The dam had to burst and Andrew Porter thumped over from a tap penalty for Ireland’s second try. Crowley converted. (17-6, 65 mins).

Scotland had to shuffle resources and Matt Fagerson ended up throwing in at lineouts and Turner returned to the front-row with Christie having to depart.

They maintained the scoreline and ensured there was some late drama.

Ireland sub Harry Byrne was yellow-carded after making head contact with Russell and Scotland benefited from the numerical advantage, as George Horne, typically busy, menaced and then Jones produced a magical step to swerve  Lowe and go in under the posts.  Russell converted (17-13, 77 mins).

Alas, however, the finale was Ireland’s, playing keep ball and then hoofed into the stands.

Full-time: Ireland 17-13 Scotland


Ireland: Jordan Larmour;  Calvin Nash, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, James Lowe, Jack Crowley, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Joe McCarthy, Tadhg Beirne, Peter O’Mahony CAPTAIN, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Subs: Ronan Kelleher for Sheehan (55 mins) Cian Healy for Porter (67 mins), Finlay Beatham for Furlong (51 mins), Ryan Baird for McCarthy (55 mins), Jack Conan for O’Mahony (64 mins), Conor Murray for Gibson-Park (70 mins), Harry Byrne for Larmour (67 mins) and Garry Ringrose for Nash (56 mins).

Scotland: Blair Kinghorn (Toulouse); Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Stafford McDowall (all Glasgow Warriors), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby); Finn Russell (Bath Rugby) CO-CAPTAIN, Ben White (Toulon); Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby), George Turner, Zander Fagerson (both Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Andy Christie (Saracens), Rory Darge CO-CAPTAIN, Jack Dempsey (both Glasgow Warriors).

Subs: Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh Rugby)for Turner (48 mins), Rory Sutherland (Oyonnax) for Schoeman (48 mins), Javan Sebastian (Edinburgh Rugby) for Zander Fagerson (69 mins), Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) for Cummings (70 mins), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) for Darge (61 mins), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) for White (61 mins),  Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) for McDowall (61 mins)  and Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Warriors) for Kinghorn (66 mins). Turner on for Christie (66 mins).

Sin bin: Ewan Ashman (Scotland) and Harry Byrne (Ireland).

Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match: Jamison Gibson-Park.

Referee: Matt Carley (England) Assistant referees: Karl Dickson and Christophe Ridley (both England) TMO: Mairus Jonker (South Africa) Bunker: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa).

Spread the word

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign-up for our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Scottish Rugby.


Principal Partners