Scotland 7-22 Ireland: Triple Crown hopes dashed at Murrayfield

Scotland punished in the second half as Ireland march on through bruising encounter at Murrayfield.

Scotland 7-22 Ireland: Triple Crown hopes dashed at Murrayfield SNS Group

Ireland marched right over Scotland on their journey to a Grand Slam as a clinical second half performance ended Scottish hopes of the Triple Crown.

Scotland had a early lead and the first 50 minutes were very evenly contested but once the Irish edged in front they did not look back on their way to a fourth consecutive victory of the championship.

Ireland were denied the opening try in bizarre fashion. Scotland took a quick lineout with Richie Gray hurt and the visitors snaffled it then muscled over the line.

But the referee had to blow the play dead as the Scots had thrown a new ball, which cannot be a used in a quick lineout.

The hosts held out well on their line as Ireland played an advantage and once the attack broke down Jonny Sexton kicked the first points of the contest with 12 minutes on the clock.

From kick-off Scotland kept up huge pressure on the Irish and it led to the first try of the match. The men in dark blue carried with huge physicality and when those hard yards milked a penalty advantage for offside, Sione Tuipulotu popped a short pass to Jones to score.

Ireland fired back in the 28th minute when the Scots narrowed their defence and Mack Hansen had just enough room to score in the corner despite the best efforts of Duhan van der Merwe to get back and tackle him into touch.

Both sides threatened the try line again before the half, but the went back to the locker rooms with the Irish up 8-7.

It took 16 minutes for either team to trouble the scoreboard after the break but it came when long box kick from Jamison Gibson-Park was won in the air by Hansen as van der Merwe was caught in two minds to contest on his own five metre line.

Playing multiple penalty advantages Ireland got it wide to James Lowe to score at the corner and Sexton converted to put the men in green up by eight points.

The wind was in Irish sails now as they battered Scotland down the middle and again released a man wide to score – this time Jack Conan crossed at the right wing corner.

Play was then stopped for long period of time as Ireland’s Garry Ringrose received treatment for a bad head knock before being removed from the field on a cart.

The visitors chased a bonus point fourth try but could not execute in the final stages as they take a four point lead in the Six Nations table into the final match against England.

Scotland welcome Italy to Murrayfield on the final Saturday looking to secure a third win and to equal their best performance in the Six Nations.

Scotland Player Ratings

Stuart Hogg 6 – Overcome with emotion ahead of his 100th cap and got himself involved in the attack often.
Kyle Steyn 6 – Did his hard work in defence but unable to make an impact in attack.
Huw Jones 7 – Continued his try scoring form in that dangerous midfield partnership.
Sione Tuipulotu 6 – Has taken responsibility in defence and attack but, like his teammates, tried to force too much after Ireland built their lead.
Duhan van der Merwe 5 – Could not stop Hansen from grabbing the first Ireland score and was culpable for not contesting a high ball that led to the second try.
Finn Russell 6 – Marshalled the attack so well in the first half but his forward pass after 50 minutes was a turning point.
Ben White 6 – Notoriously tough to get front foot ball against the waves of green tacklers but did what he could to keep Scotland on script.
Pierre Schoeman 7 – Tasked with even more hard carrying than usual and relished the responsibility.
George Turner 6 – Steadied the lineout after Richie Gray’s injury.
Zander Fagerson 7 – Produced some intense physicality up against the vaunted Irish pack.
Richie Gray 2 – Took a huge blow in an early carry and was forced off.
Jonny Gray 7 – Massive shift due to the injury to his brother and second row partner.
Matt Fagerson 7 – Made some huge hits and secured some turnovers with his work in contact.
Jamie Ritchie 6 – Got on the wrong side of the ref which is a damaging thing to do when you play on the edge like the captain does.
Jack Dempsey 7 – Set the tone early with some ferocious carrying.
Replacements 6 – Scott Cummings handled his early introduction well. Front row replacements struggled in the scrum which handled Ireland the momentum they needed to take the game beyond reach.

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