Ireland v Scotland

Ireland host Scotland in penultimate Six Nations hurdle at the Aviva

Patrick Madden Sat, Mar 10
LIVE: Ireland v Scotland

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  • Good afternoon!

    Welcome to our coverage of Ireland’s penultimate Six Nations clash against Scotland, live from the Aviva Stadium.

    Joe Schmidt’s boys are two games away from true greatness – two games away from going down as one of the best teams in Irish sporting history.

    But whisper the words Grand Slam quietly. There’s plenty of work to be done first. Today the flying Scots are in town, tails up after a stunning Calcutta Cup win over England last time out.

    In many ways, Scotland have nothing to lose in Dublin. Gregor Townsend’s stewardship has been more than ratified by that 25-13 win at Murrayfield, the mercurial Finn Russel is the cock of the walk and there’s the an outside chance of a first Championship win since 1999.

    But a well drilled, efficient and brutally clinical Ireland are a stern proposition for anyone. The hosts will fancy their chances of winning and piling the pressure on England ahead of their trip to Paris later in the day.

    It’s an intriguing match-up, and we’ll be bringing you all of the action.

    Here’s to a good one.

    Come on!!!!


    IRELAND:  Rob Kearney  (Leinster);  Keith Earls  (Munster),  Garry Ringrose  (Leinster),  Bundee Aki  (Connacht),  Jacob Stockdale  (Ulster);  Jonathan Sexton  (Leinster),  Conor Murray  (Munster);  Cian Healy(Leinster),  Rory Best  (Ulster) (capt),  Tadhg Furlong  (Leinster);  James Ryan  (Leinster),  Devin Toner  (Leinster);  Peter O’Mahony  (Munster),  Dan Leavy  (Leinster),  CJ Stander  (Munster).  Replacements:  Seán Cronin (Leinster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), Andrew Porter (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Joey Carbery (Leinster), Jordan Larmour (Leinster).

    SCOTLAND:  Stuart Hogg  (Glasgow Warriors);  Blair Kinghorn(Edinburgh),  Huw Jones  (Glasgow Warriors),  Pete Horne  (Glasgow Warriors),  Sean Maitland  (Saracens);  Finn Russell  (Glasgow Warriors),  Greig Laidlaw  (Clermont Auvergne);  Gordon Reid  (London Irish),  Stuart McInally  (Edinburgh),  Simon Berghan  (Edinburgh);  Grant Gilchrist(Edinburgh),  Jonny Gray  (Glasgow Warriors);  John Barclay  (Scarlets) (capt),  Hamish Watson  (Edinburgh),  Ryan Wilson  (Glasgow Warriors).  Replacements:  Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Willem Nel (Edinburgh), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), David Denton (Worcester Warriors), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Nick Grigg

  • There was a worrying rumour doing the rounds that Johnny Sexton has back spasms and wouldn't be playing - but he's out on the pitch kicking away. Phew.
  • Plenty of time for some reading before the 2.15 kick off.

    You can read Gerry Thornley's match preview HERE.

    Meanwhile Ruaidhri Croke has run through all you need to know ahead of the match - see his guide HERE.

  • Two changes to the Ireland XV today - Tadhg Furlong is fit again and back in the saddle, while Garry Ringrose replaces the injured Chris Farrell in midfield. Iain Henderson was absent against Wales but along with Furlong he has recovered from a hamstring injury - Devin Toner retains his place in the engine room but expect a strong second half cameo from the Ulster lock.
  • One new face in the Scottish side today - Edinburgh's Blair Kinghorn makes his international debut.

    The midfield battle will be fascinating today. Scotland's Huw Jones has been one of the tournament's stand out players - but Ringrose and the brilliant Bundee Aki is a serious partnership.  

  • 30 mins 'til kick off!
  • The Scots have hung a Saltire from the posts - marking a bit of territory.

    I'm sure Johnny will still have no problem popping the ball over.

  • The last pints are being sunk and the ground is filling up nicely. Plenty of Scottish have travelled and it promises to be a raucous afternoon.

  • I really, really shouldn't say this - but Ireland can win the Championship today. A bonus point win here and there is huge pressure on England to do likewise.

    But, one step at a time.

  • Conor Murray might have said during the week that revenge isn't a motivation for Ireland here - but it surely will be. Last year's Six Nations campaign fell apart at the first hurdle with defeat in Edinburgh.
  • Here come the teams, met with the crackle of fireworks.
  • Michael D is out to meet the players. There's a proper buzz around Lansdowne now.
  • Time for the anthems.
  • More fireworks.

    Here we go.

  • Wayne Barnes today's ref.

    A last minute huddle for Scotland. A roar goes round the Aviva.

  • Finn Russell has the ball in hand.

    We're underway!

  • 1 min: Russell's kick is deep to Bundee Aki. A couple of short phases before Murray clears from the base to Hogg, who juggles with the ball before gathering.
  • 2 min: Scottish possession in midfield but they aren't getting much joy so Russell kicks deep to Earls who calls the mark and finds a decent touch.
  • 2 min: The first big arm wrestle up front and the Irish pack hold Scotland up. Scrum to Ireland just outside the Scottish 10. Early statement.
  • 3 min: Solid set piece and Murray works the short side, chipping through for Earls to chase but Maitland does well. Scotland set Hogg clears but can't find touch. Kearney moves it to Sexton who sends up a brilliant garryowen - Ireland put the pressure on and earn a scrum just outside the 22.
  • 5 min: Good scrum and Ireland look left, Ringrose getting his first touch. The ball goes loose as Sexton tries to drop it deeper to Aki but Ireland secure it. Penalty coming so Sexton switches play with a crossfield - Earls can't quite claim it.

    Ireland are going for the corner!

  • 6 min: And the gamble doesn't pay off - Best doesn't hit Stander at the back of the lineout.
  • 7 min: Ireland probing deep in the Scottish half - great break from Healy to get inside the 22. Ireland move it left and Sexton's pass is intercepted. Barnes has called it forward, Scotland scrum inside their 22.
  • 9 min: Scotland secure the ball and Hogg clears deep to Kearney. He sends it up and challenges in the air - Scottish knock on. Ireland play the advantage, more possession in Scottish territory.
  • 11 min: Scottish penalty is sent to touch on halfway - Ireland pinch the lineout. Slight danger as the ball goes loose from a Sexton wraparound, Earls does well to recover with the dangrous Jones sniffing around.  
  • 12 min: Scotland awarded a penalty on the Irish 22 - fairly straightforward chance for Laidlaw.

    Makes no mistake - the Scots are on the board.


  • 14 min: Every breakdown is a mini-war here, Scotland very competitive on the deck. Plenty of ball for Ireland in the right areas but they haven't cracked it yet.

    Hogg clears deep - Earls fumbles into touch.

  • 15 min: Turns out Earls didn't touch it - Irish lineout. They move it left off the top and Earls then throws a pass over Stockdale and into touch on the other other side.
  • 16 min: Good hands from Scotland - new man Kinghorn is released on the right and he skins Stockdale before offloading to number eight Wilson. He finds Russell and Scotland are on the front foot inside the Irish 22.
  • 17 min: Scotland retain the ball well but Ireland slow it down and earn a penalty on their 22. There's concern over Wilson who is on the deck on the near side - he is on his feet and shuffles off, replaced by David Denton.
  • 18 min: Another poor Irish lineout - Stander losing out at the back.
  • 19 min: Chipped kick from Sexton and he finds Murray before breaking through the middle - he just loses his balance before he can find the offload.  
  • 21 min: Some seriously fierce collisions - Healy dumped in the tackle by two. Stunning work from Hogg, making half a break before offloading cutely.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • That man again - this international rugby lark is pretty easy for Jacob Stockdale.

    Horne throws a big ball to the right wing and Stockdale picks it off and cruises through to score. Nobody was catching him there.

    Sexton converts.


  • 24 min: Well done Garry Ringrose - Scotland get slick ball off the top and Hogg is threatening to get through on the outside shouder but is well shackled.
  • 26 min: What a break! Murray works the short side from a scrum but Aki changes the point of attack and moves it to Ringrose in space on the right. He produces a stunning step and hares into the Scottish half.

    Ireland pressing inside the 22 but they get pinged - good work from Scotland at the breakdown.

  • 28 min: Brilliant, bullocking break from Furlong in the middle of the pitch but his offload is to a blue shirt.
  • 29 min: Golden opportunity for Scotland and they butcher it. Russell takes a quick lineout and moves it left to Jones who chips over Earls and picks up the loose ball. The visitors have a two on one but Maitland's pass to Hogg is poor. They had to score.
  • 30 min: Sexton kicks to touch on halfway and Ireland set a lineout maul, but struggle to get much traction. Great play from Horne - he kicks deep into the Scottish 22. The hosts struggling to get a hold of this.
  • 32 min: Ireland earn a penalty which Sexton sends into touch on the 10-metre. The hosts maul it again, grinding up towards halfway.
  • 33 min: Careless from Ireland - Earls runs into Murray in midfield and Scotland are awarded a scrum.
  • 35 min: Scotland up to 12 phases and on the Irish 22. Sustained pressure.
  • 37 min: Ireland survive and turn it over. They're trying to play their way back into the Scottish half - but Ryan spills a pass. Scottish scrum inside the Irish 10 - good opportunity.
  • 37 min: Healy has taken a bit of a knock and is getting treatment - looks like he'll be ok and he's packing down for the Scottish scrum.
  • 38 min: Good set piece ball for Scotland - Hogg is just about hauled down inside the 22. But then a flat ball goes forward and Ireland have a scrum on the 22. The game is being played at the wrong end at the moment.
  • 39 min: Solid Irish scrum and it's cleared into touch just short of halfway.
  • 40 min: Nearly the perfect end to the half! Ireland pinch the lineout and then earn a penalty. They play the advantage and Sexton moves it to Ringrose who flicks it on to Kearney. Great break from Kearney down the outside and then he checks back inside and finds Murray who can't ge the offload away. Big Bundee steams in and nearly gets over but it held up. Ireland five-metre scrum.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • A sucker punch from Ireland - guess who? They win the scrum and move it right, with a few heavy carries. There's space on the left, Aki pops it to Ringrose who sweeps it wide to Stockdale. Stockdale skins Horne and dives to score.

    Sexton with the conversion from the left touchline - lovely strike.


  • Din Joe Can't understand why Irish players don't try to move further infield before touching down for their tries. Stockdale had room to move further in there. Explain, please.
  • To make things interesting for Johnny, of course.
  • The teams are back out - huge 40 minutes on the way.
  • 41 min: The ball is sent deep to Horne. Scotland run a few phases and Hogg thumps a big kick downfield which Kearney gathers. Kearney sends up a kick and Hogg is there to gather.

    Kinghorn makes a good break on the right - great work on the deck from O'Mahony to earn Ireland a penalty on halfway.

  • 42 min: O'Mahony gets some treatment before Sexton finds touch and Best hits his man at the lineout. Poor kick from Sexton on the 22 but a good challenge from Kearney and Ireland win a scrum. Good chance.
  • 44 min: Solid Irish set piece, Murray moves it to Ringrose who dances into the 22. Ireland building the phases and earn a penalty - Sexton goes for the corner, Ireland going for the throat.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Best hits Ryan and Ireland set the maul, grinding their way up to the five. A desperate Scotland counter before Murray picks it out and dummies, he's held up a fraction short but Bundee Aki is on hand to force him over the line.  

    Sexton converts.


  • 48 min: Murray clears from the base and Scotland have a lineout inside the Irish 10 - which Ryan steals! Ireland attacking from deep, Aki bringing Kearney into the line.
  • 49 min: Scottish turnover inside their own half, before Barnes awards the Scots a penalty - Murray in the way on the deck. Good touch finder from Hogg.
  • 51 min: Scotland butcher another chance, they have a two on one on the right but Hogg throws a terrible, wild pass beyond the grasp of Kinghorn. Scotland had a penalty advantage, but should have taken that.

    Scotland opt for a scrum under the posts - McGrath comes on for Healy.

  • TRY SCOTLAND!!!!!!!!
  • Good set piece and move from Scotland, moving it to the right with a series of short, sharp passes before Kinghorn dives in to finish well in the corner. Back in the game - Hogg reprieved.

    Laidlaw's kick lands on the crossbar and bounces out.


  • 54 min: He's not just a finisher - good take in the air from Stockdale under serious pressure. Poor kick from Sexton down the throat of Russell.

    Another chance wasted - Scotland have another overlap and Horne sends a skip pass to Kinghorn rather than a short ball to Jones, and it goes into touch.  

    Henderson and Jordi Murphy are both on.  

  • 55 min: Sexton has a kick charged down inside the Irish 10 but there was a penalty on the way after the Irish pack put a big squeeze on at scrum time. It's kicked to touch on the Scottish 10.
  • 56 min: Not the tidiest set piece from Ireland and after a few phases Sexton kicks deep to Maitland who calls a mark.

  • 58 min: Ireland up to 10 phases inside the 22, nice little skip and dart from Ringrose. Two big carries from Murphy, Leavy crashing up tp the five. Kearney is nearly in, desperate defence from Scotland. Five-metre scrum for Ireland, great pressure from the hosts.
  • 61 min: Big shunt but Scotland wheel it and Murray does well to secure it at the base. Ringrose carries inside the five but then Ireland get pinged. Breather for the Scots.
  • 62 min: Andrew Porter is on for Furlong. Scotland attacking from deep, working both wings, but Bhatti gets penalised. Sexton then misses touch.
  • 64 min: Good play from Ireland and they earn another penalty, Denton pinged after a good Aki carry. This time, Sexton will go for the posts.

    The kick is between the 10 and the 22, about 10 metres in from the right touchline.

    Poor kick - hooks it.


  • 67 min: A glimpse for Scotland on the outside but good work from Ringrose and Stockdale to force the runner into touch. Irish lineout just inside the Scottish half.
  • 68 min: Great hand off and step from Ringrose who bursts into the Scottish 22. Scotland slow it down well but do so illegally. This time, Sexton goes for touch from the 22. The decision is met with a guttural roar.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • There's the bonus point. Ireland set a maul and Sean Cronin makes a sneaky swandive for the line to score - the type only a hooker could do.

    Sexton converts!


  • 71 min: Murray is off and wrapped up in cotton wool ahead of next week. Marmion in the mix.
  • 72 min: Scottish penalty on halfway - Hogg makes a hash of his touch finder. The visitors are a bit flat now.
  • 73 min: Carbery on for Sexton. Scotland have a lineout deep inside the 22.  
  • 74 min: Good read from Ringrose who tears out of the line to tackle, but Scotland retain the ball just outside the five. Big pressure from the Scots, they're hammering away - but Ireland's defence is solid and they hold it up.
  • 76 min: Good ball for Scotland and Hogg palms off Stockdale before he's wrapped up down the right - Aki picks off the offload. Ireland are nearly there.
  • 77 min: Poor tackle from Carbery who is brushed off by Kinghorn. Scotland are going down swinging but it's not their day.
  • 78 min: The fields rings out around the Aviva as Carbery finds a good touch on the right.
  • 78 min: Kearney named man of the match.
  • 79 min: Scotland put the pressure on at scrum time but Marmion digs it out and finds Earls, who sets off on a mazy, jinking run. Ireland retaining the ball well - they're up to the 22, but then a Marmion pass goes loose off the backside of Barnes.
  • 80 min: Sustained Irish possession on the   Scottish 22. Henderson booms his way through the line before Murphy carries. Ireland lose it - one final hurrah for the Scots.
  • 82 min: There's two stray boots on the pitch. Kinghorn seems to lose the ball in the tackle but Barnes waves play on. Scotland having a pop but they've plenty of ground to make up.

  • Your move, England.
  • Right, thanks for joining on another fine afternoon. Ireland could be Six Nations champions by tea time.

    Enjoy the rest of the day, Allez Les Bleus!