Planet Rugby

Scotland hand crown to France

20th March 2010 14:01

Share:

Dan Parks drops a goal against Ireland

Key man: Dan Parks

France were handed the Six Nations crown an hour before even running out in Paris as Scotland upset Ireland 23-20 at Croke Park on Saturday.

It was an efficient performance from the visitors, who threw the Wooden Spoon over to Italy, thanks to a structured 80 minutes that caged the Irish.

The holders were in contrast very off colour for their stadium farewell before moving back to the old Lansdowne Road, with their lineout one major reason for defeat. In all, Rory Best threw one not straight while six were stolen or overthrown.

And those errors ultimately led to a lack of ball and momentum for Ireland, who hauled off Jonathan Sexton for Ronan O'Gara on 51 minutes. It was a tough call on the youngster but the experienced Munsterman almost won it.

That word again is almost as it was to be another day in the sunshine for Dan Parks, who landed two hammer blows to Ireland at the end of each half. His one in the first was a smartly taken drop-goal, which saw Scotland go in 14-7 to the good, while a last-minute touchline penalty denied the Triple Crown and Championship-chasing Ireland even a share of the spoils.

Glasgow fly-half Parks finished the contest with an 18-point haul and the man-of-the-match award - his third in four games since returning.

Ireland had started much the brighter and looked to be following the points-chasing script on eleven minutes when Brian O'Driscoll belatedly celebrated his 100th cap of last week with a beautifully taken score following Sexton's clever loop around his centres.

But Scotland responded in clinical fashion just four minutes later. Graeme Morrison started the score off down the left wing before handing the ball over to Johnnie Beattie, who showed power and pace to cross with two Irish defenders on his back.

Then came the intelligence of Parks following Sexton's fairly simple penalty miss 40 metres out. It was Paul O'Connell who infringed at ruck-time and the ten stepped to extend the scores to 7-11 with 120 seconds to go until the break. He then struck again with a vital drop-goal in the last action of the half to leave Dublin stunned and Paris joyful.

Declan Kidney needed to lift his troops and seemed to have done so going from their effort at the turnaround. And they were soon rewarded when their go-to man Tommy Bowe struck with on 64 minutes to bring the Irish back level at 17-17 with a big finish on the cards.

It was then a scrap for territory as Parks and O'Gara traded three points before South African referee Jonathan Kaplan awarded Scotland a penalty wide on the left that the former slotted, much to the delight of himself, Andy Robinson and Gregor Townsend.

Man of the match: Johnnie Beattie was superb once again but the form of Dan Parks since being recalled for Phil Godman has been immense. He kept his cool to land the match-winning penalty from the touchline but his first-half drop was something out of the top draw.

Moment of the match: Tough to decide over Dan Parks' hammer blows at the end of each half. However, I have to go for the 79th minute effort from the touchline. Well done Scotland, you would not have deserved to be holding the Wooden Spoon.

Villain of the match: So often you can hear a pin drop at Irish provincial and also home internationals when a visiting kicker lines up a kick. Not today. That late sucker punch was greeted with plenty of hisses from the Dublin crowd.

The scorers:

For Ireland:
Tries: O'Driscoll, Bowe
Con: Sexton, O'Gara
Pen: Sexton, O'Gara

For Scotland:
Tries: Beattie
Pen: Parks 5
Drop: Parks

Ireland: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (capt), 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 David Wallace , 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Hayes, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Tony Buckley, 18 Leo Cullen, 19 Shane Jennings, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Robert Kearney.

Scotland: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Max Evans, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Chris Cusiter (capt), 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 John Barclay, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alastair Kellock, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Richie Gray, 19 Alan MacDonald, 20 Mike Blair, 21 Phil Godman, 22 Simon Danielli.

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Jérôme Garces (France)
Television match official: Giulio De Santis (Italy)
Assessor: Steve Hilditch (Ireland)

By Adam Kyriacou

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Preview
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Preview
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
Northland vs Hawkes Bay20:05
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00