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World class Ireland’s win sets up Grand Slam tie

Guinness Six Nations:
Scotland 7, Ireland 22
RIGHT from the kick-off, it was obvious that this was going to be a humdinger of a rugby game and after a hectic and highly physical first half it was Ireland who led by a single point, 7-8. They were unfortunate not to be awarded a try on six minutes when a Scotland lineout went askew but the touch judge spotted that the throw by the hooker was not the match ball one. On 11 minutes Ireland took the lead thanks to a Jonathan Sexton penalty but they conceded seven points when Huw Jones sliced past the defence to touch down, Finn Russell adding the two points.
Dan Sheehan was the first to leave the field through injury and was replaced by Ronan Kelleher on 18 minutes and Ian Henderson limped off six minutes later to be replaced by Ryan Baird. The changes did not affect the Irish effort and a spectacular touch down by Mack Hansen in the corner put his side into that one point lead. Scotland had showed in that opening 40 minutes that they were going to test the mettle of the visitors but it was the Irish who came out on top of this massively physical game, With Kelleher injuring a shoulder, Josh van der Flier took on the job of throwing into the lineout and loose head Cian Healy came in as hooker.
On 56 minutes Ireland scored the crucial next score of the game, James Lowe getting over after some terrific work by the pack and Jonathan Sexton’s conversion put his side 7-15 ahead. Five minutes later the game was put out of reach of the home side. Ireland attacked down the right hand side, the ball was swept out wide and Jack Conan cleverly overcame the tackle to score. Sexton’s conversion sailed through the posts and from there to the finish Ireland soaked up the Scottish pressure to see out the victory. The win was dulled somewhat when an injury to Garry Ringrose saw the centre stretchered off.
So it’s all down to next Saturday in the Aviva Stadium when England trot out to try and deprive the Irish of the Grand Slam. After their performance against France yesterday, that would be something of a u-turn in form.
Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ben White; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson; Richie Gray, Jonny Gray; Matt Fagerson, Jamie Ritchie (capt), Jack Dempsey. Replacements: Fraser Brown, Jamie Bhatti, Simon Berghan, Scott Cummings, Hamish Watson, Ali Price, Blair Kinghorn, Chris Harris
Ireland: Hugo Keenan; Mack Hansen, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (capt), Conor Murray; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris. Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Tom O’Toole, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Robbie Henshaw.

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