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Players’ Reaction: Scotland 18 Ireland 19

Players’ Reaction: Scotland 18 Ireland 19

See below for quotes from players from the Ireland and Scotland sides following Saturday’s Six Nations encounter at Murrayfield.


“It’s certainly a far contrast from the elation of last year’s Triple Crown to this year. I think we are a little disappointed in our performance, glad with the victory of course and the manner in which we were able to dig it out.

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“But I’m disappointed we dipped below what were very high standards we set ourselves against England and not taking our chances when they presented themselves. It did anger the lads. It is a very different dressing room in there than last week and certainly last year.

“We did make line breaks, it wasn’t as if we didn’t have chances. But we didn’t take advantage. We knew it was going to be one of those games. It wasn’t going to be a 20 or 30-point victory as some people had been talking up.

“You don’t come to Murrayfield – particularly with Scotland coming off the back of a defeat like Italy – and expect them to lie down.

“We knew it would be a one-score game either way and that’s what it turned out to be, perhaps we might have been a little more comfortable had we taken our chances but we didn’t and we were made to pay as a result.”


“I didn’t see the (Ronan O’Gara) incident. The first I saw of it was Denis Leamy shouting for help and then seeing Ronan was on the ground.

“Afterwards, Ronan was wondering what all the fuss was about, but we were very worried when we saw him. When he came around, he wanted to know why everyone was standing around him.

“Looking at his face, there was real concern for him because he looked out of it. Some of the guys were very worried.

“At five points down in the second half, we didn’t believe we had fallen too far behind. Our indiscipline had cost us and we’ll have to watch that in the future. But it was a great show from us to come back like that.

“Scotland’s display was right up there and they didn’t let us have too much ball. Their defence was very strong. We played well at times but so did Scotland.

“There was a lot of expectation on our shoulders but we got the win at the end of the day and that’s what it was all about.

“Italy are going very well and they won against Wales, which is going to make Rome a very, very tough place to go. Physically it will be very demanding.”


“It was a bizarre kind of game for us, a very tough game. We knew Scotland were going to come out a very different side. What happened (against Italy) wasn’t a very true reflection of where they are.

“We weren’t very disciplined today. We missed a few chances, myself included. We’re happy to get out of here with a win, especially when we were behind with 15 minutes to go.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have won the Triple Crown. It’s great to come up here and win. I’ve never won it (the Triple Crown). I wasn’t playing in the other two. I’m pretty happy to be involved in this one.

“We haven’t got so far ahead of ourselves that the Triple Crown all of a sudden doesn’t mean anything to us. We’re delighted.”


“I think the Scots certainly showed a bit of a backlash from the last day and really put it up to us but credit to the boys, we stuck at it and came through in the end.

“We put a lot of phases together early on and had a lot of possession but unfortunately we didn’t turn it into points. We showed the character that’s in this side and came through and won the game and the Triple Crown with it.

“We’ll certainly be up for it next week and looking to finish the championship in style. Scotland had a lot to prove and they showed what a quality team they are.

“In many ways, it was a more difficult game than the England game a couple of weeks ago. We’ve a few bumps and bruises and they played well. They had built up for this after Italy and they showed what they can do.”


“Just because we’d won the Triple Crown twice in a row doesn’t detract from the achievement. To beat the three teams in back to back seasons is a great achievement and we are delighted to have won another Triple Crown.

“The reason we weren’t jumping around at the end was because we want to do better than we did.

“We wanted to repeat our performance against England. It might be expecting a lot but that’s what we must strive to do.

“We set our own standards and we didn’t live up to them against Scotland. The boys knew that hence our reaction at the end.

“Scotland were coming off the back of their defeat to Italy and they really wanted to restore their pride. When games are close like that you have to fight for every blade of glass. They were fighting for their lives.

“We kept the ball for a long time and became a bit giddy with it when we should have kept it solid.

“We started well and we looked like we were wearing them down but then they got back into the match in the second half.

“They got their tails up and (Chris) Paterson punished our poor discipline – you can’t give someone like that anything. We’re disappointed to concede those six penalties – especially as our defence was good enough not to give them away.

“In the first half we played all the rugby but started badly in the second and we found out they’re a really tough team to break down.

“It’s hard to create against Scotland because they have a very good defence. We couldn’t get into the game because they weren’t letting us.

“It was never going to be a 20-point win and so we’ll take the one point win. We’re still there or thereabouts in the championship.”


“The two teams didn’t really play the way they wanted to. There were plenty of things which went right for us but our general team pattern wasn’t quite right.

“We were really disappointed but we’re trying to take the positives from it because Ireland are the second or third best team in the world. We were right up there with them.

“We need to pick the bones out of what happened on Saturday and look forward to France this weekend.

“I thought we had done enough to win it but obviously those penalties at the end killed us. We’re just disappointed we got so close, despite not playing all that well and not getting our patterns going. That’s something we have to look at maybe have to change.

“They made a couple of breaks, as you’re bound to do when you’ve got D’Arcy and O’Driscoll, but our defence was fine on the whole.

“The boys were flying in to tackles and it is certainly not a lack of effort that’s hurting us. We’re giving 100 percent but it’s just not quite happening.

“After the Italy game and the way we were beaten it’s tough to come back from that and at the start against Ireland we sat back and it was as if we were waiting to see what they would do. To be honest when they scored their try it was a kick up the backside and we responded.”


“If we’d won the game we’d still have been unhappy because we didn’t impose the strengths of our game on Ireland – the passing wasn’t great, we didn’t create space in attack.

There wasn’t enough spark in the game and for us because we need to play quicker and more open rugby, which we’ll attempt to do in Paris.”