Planet Rugby

Scotland stay in the hunt

24th February 2013 15:40

Share:

Scotland v Ireland: Kelly Brown

Scotland: Shock the Irish

Scotland kept their Six Nations title hopes alive thanks to a hard fought 12-8 victory over Ireland at Murrayfield on Sunday.

It's the first time since 2001 that the Scots have won back-to-back Six Nations matches.

After trailing 8-0 early in the second half, the hosts put 12 unanswered points past their Celtic rivals thanks to the boot of scrum-half Greig Laidlaw that helped his team to an unlikely win and that effectively ends Ireland's Six Nations challenge.

It certainly wasn't the most memorable Championship clash ever witnessed, as the two teams served up a borefest in the first half with Ireland - who dominated possession throughout - heading into the break with a slender three-point lead.

However, Scotland's fightback in the second half breathed some life into a tight contest.

Ireland started the game with a roar and a hiss, with centre Luke Marshall breaking the Scots' defence with ease in his Test debut. But Ireland failed to convert pressure into points - even against 14 men after Scotland prop Ryan Grant was sin-binned - and only had a 35th-minute Paddy Jackson penalty to show for their dominance.

Ireland finally found the breakthrough they deserved when wing Craig Gilroy crossed early in the second half out wide. The tricky conversion from Jackson, who missed three times from the tee, was unsuccessful.

That try only seemed to give Scotland the wake-up needed to mount a comeback and it didn't take long for Laidlaw to put his team on the scoreboard with his first penalty kick of the match on 53 minutes.

Jackson pulled another penalty wide two minutes later, but Laidlaw showed the Irish rookie how it was done with his second three-pointer of the afternoon that cut the deficit to just two points and suddenly the crowd came alive.

Laidlaw continued to find his target and made no mistake with two more accurate kicks to give the Scots a four-point cushion entering the final five minutes of what was turning into a gripping finale.

But Ireland weren't prepared to roll over yet, and threatened to steal the match from their hosts when they awarded two attacking scrums 10m out from Scotland's tryline.

However, Scotland dug deep in defence and there was no way through for the Irish whose knock-on sent Murrayfield into raptures.

Man of the match: Scotland lock Jim Hamilton won the official gong, and his hard work at the set-piece was a real standout for the hosts. But we've opted for hero of the day Greig Laidlaw, who's four perfect kicks at goal handed Scotland victory.

Moment of the match: There weren't many. But those last few minutes that so nearly ended in heartbreak for the hosts was a real nail-biter.

Villain of the match: Ryan Grant's sin-binning didn't prove as costly as Paddy Jackson's three missed kicks at goal which ultimately cost his side dearly.

The scorers:

For Scotland:
Pens: Laidlaw 4
Yellow card:Grant (15th min)

For Ireland:
Try: Gilroy
Pen: Jackson

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Kelly Brown (c), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Moray Low, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Max Evans.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Iain Henderson, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ronan O'Gara, 23 Luke Fitzgerald.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins vs Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Preview
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Leicester 29 - 13 Sale SharksLeicester vs Sale Sharks Report
More LV= Cup results
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Italy 24 - 13 SamoaItaly vs Samoa Report
Wales 28 - 33 AustraliaWales vs Australia Report
England 21 - 24 New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand Report
Georgia 9 - 23 TongaGeorgia vs Tonga Report
Ireland 29 - 15 South AfricaIreland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720