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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Defeat For Ireland At Murrayfield

Defeat For Ireland At Murrayfield

Ireland were outscored by five tries to two at Murrayfield today as they made a losing start to their series of Rugby World Cup warm-up matches. A hat-trick of touchdowns from centre Andrew Henderson was key as Scotland beat the men in green for the first time since 2001.

WORLD CUP WARM-UP MATCH: Saturday, August 11

SCOTLAND 31 IRELAND 21, Murrayfield (Att: 25,127)

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Scorers: Scotland: Tries: Allister Hogg, Andrew Henderson 3, Euan Murray; Cons: Chris Paterson 2, Dan Parks
Ireland: Tries: Isaac Boss, Andrew Trimble; Con: Paddy Wallace; Pens: Paddy Wallace 2, Geordan Murphy

Ireland were dealt a blow which could alter their World Cup selection when Shane Horgan, who was a replacement for the game, injured his knee during the warm-up.

The Leinster man had to be helped off the pitch as concerns grew about his fitness for the World Cup – all will be revealed tomorrow morning.

Horgan’s place in the matchday 22 went to Andrew Trimble and the young Ulster player was involved as early as the 27th-minute as he had to cover for Gavin Duffy (bruised hip) in a makeshift centre partnership with Brian O’Driscoll.

Things were not going to plan for the Irish who fell 14-3 behind during that time. A fired-up and strong-looking Scotland side showed their intent by kicking a first-minute penalty to touch and two minutes later they struck for their opening try off a close range ruck.

Nathan Hines was stopped just short of the line before flanker Ally Hogg burrowed his way over. Chris Paterson added the extras from the right for a 7-0 lead for the hosts.

Geordan Murphy, who broke his leg at this venue four years ago, got a ‘welcome to Murrayfield’ with a shuddering tackle as Ireland spread the ball right after Tommy Bowe had done well to gather the restart.

Ireland had their best spell of possession in the eighth-minute when Paul O’Connell was used twice to barge up the middle and Brian Carney was also involved. A heavy tackle from Sean Lamont had full-back Murphy receiving treatment for the second time but he recovered well by plucking a aerial ball from the sky.

Hands in the ruck allowed Paddy Wallace convert his first penalty from just outside the 22 as the men in green cut the gap to 22. But in too many sectors Ireland were second best as Scotland, with their bulked-up pack on song, took advantage.

They pinned Ireland back near their line on the quarter-hour with a series of well-constructed drives but captain Jason White was held up close to the line. Stephen Ferris was harshly penalised for throwing a punch – television replays show he did not – however Ireland upped their defensive game and Murphy did superbly to gather a dangerous crossfield kick from Paterson, over the heads of both Rory and Sean Lamont, before O’Driscoll stepped in at scrum half to boot clear.

Scotland were dominating in the possession stakes though and a great rumble forward by hooker Ross Ford delighted the home crowd. That set up another good attack for the Scottish forwards, a multitude of offloads almost led to Paterson scampering through for a try and moments later Henderson bulldozed forward off a good Scottish scrum and twisted over near the post for television match official Rob Debney to confirm the try.

Paterson converted again but Ireland managed to get some much-needed possession from the restart with Murphy breaking forward and Wallace haring through on his shoulder. There was a backline reshuffle then as Duffy hobbled off and Trimble came and while Wallace received treatment, Murphy stepped up to slot a penalty for 14-6.

O’Driscoll and Carney made good yardage on the half-hour but Scotland’s dominance at the set piece – they won 14 straight lineouts during the opening half with Ireland losing two – got them back within striking range.

More forward grunt from the Scottish leads to prop Euan Murray lurching over for a 37th-minute try. Paterson’s conversion attempt banged off the left upright, but at 19-6 in front at the break, Frank Hadden’s men could be pleased with their work.

Ireland started the second half well with O’Connell taking a good lineout, Jamie Heaslip and Jerry Flannery also got ball in hand but territorially Scotland were the ones pressing and try number three came in the 46th-minute.

The foundations for the score were laid by the Scottish pack again and Paterson’s skip pass out to the right saw Henderson juggle the ball but gain control before dotting down in the corner for his second try which went unconverted.

Ireland’s second string line-up had to step it up and they did by scoring 15 points without reply over the next 13 minutes. They notched their first try just two minutes after Henderson’s second and it fell to industrious scrum half Isaac Boss.

Questionable hairstyle aside, Boss played a big part in getting Ireland back into the game and after a neat build-up involving O’Driscoll, Murphy and Bowe, he squirmed over past two tacklers for his second international try.

Wallace converted and Ireland were celebrating a second touchdown in the 55th-minute. A terrific touch-finder down the right flank from Murphy put the Scottish lineout under pressure, they coughed up possession and with numbers out wide on the left, Murphy drew a tackle before unleashing Trimble to score.

Wallace failed to convert his Ulster colleague’s sixth try in 16 Test outings but Ireland had the Scottish lead down to 24-18 and it got even better when Wallace bisected the posts with a lengthy 59th-minute penalty.

Ireland looked like they might come from behind to take the win at this stage as Scotland noticeably dropped off their game. Their were some notable highlights for the men in green in the final quarter as Neil Best put a thunderous hit in on Simon Webster and replacement Ronan O’Gara sent away a stunningly assured kick to the right corner to keep his side on the front foot.

However, a silly Irish offside from a subsequent ruck lost them the chance of pressing the hosts close to their line. Ireland threatened to get back within range with O’Connell coming up with a lineout steal but the last word was to Henderson as he dived over under the posts in the 75th-minute, taking a pass from Dan Parks after the Irish midfield, now missing O’Driscoll, had been exposed.

TIME LINE: 3 minutes – Scotland try: Allister Hogg – 5-0; conversion: Chris Paterson – 7-0; 10 mins – Ireland penalty: Paddy Wallace – 7-3; 24 mins – Scotland try: Andrew Henderson – 12-3; conversion: Chris Paterson – 14-3; 27 mins – Ireland penalty; Geordan Murphy – 14-6; 37 mins – Scotland try: Euan Murray – 19-6; conversion: missed by Chris Paterson; Half-time – Scotland 19 Ireland 6; 46 mins – Scotland try: Andrew Henderson – 24-6; conversion: missed by Chris Paterson – 24-6; 48 mins – Ireland try: Isaac Boss – 24-11; conversion: Paddy Wallace – 24-13; 55 mins – Ireland try: Andrew Trimble – 24-18; conversion: missed by Paddy Wallace – 24-18; 59 mins – Ireland penalty: Paddy Wallace – 24-21; 75 mins – Scotland try: Andrew Henderson – 29-21; conversion: Dan Parks – 31-21; Full-time – Scotland 31 Ireland 21

Scotland: Rory Lamont; Sean Lamont, Rob Dewey, Andrew Henderson, Simon Webster; Chris Paterson, Mike Blair; Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Nathan Hines, Jim Hamilton, Jason White (capt), Allister Hogg, Simon Taylor.

Replacements used: Kelly Brown for Taylor (39 mins), Fergus Thomson for Ford (40-44, blood sub), Craig Smith for Murray, Scott MacLeod for White (both 57), Nikki Walker for Dewey (61), Chris Cusiter for Blair, Dan Parks for Paterson (both 62), Ford for Hamilton (77)

Ireland: Geordan Murphy; Brian Carney, Brian O’Driscoll (capt), Gavin Duffy, Tommy Bowe; Paddy Wallace, Isaac Boss; Bryan Young, Jerry Flannery, Simon Best, Paul O’Connell, Malcolm O’Kelly, Neil Best, Stephen Ferris, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements used: Alan Quinlan for O’Kelly (9-12 mins, 24-33, half-time-59, blood sub), Andrew Trimble for Duffy (27), Keith Gleeson for Best (65), Ronan O’Gara for O’Driscoll (67), John Hayes for Young (71), Eoin Reddan for Boss, Rory Best for Flannery (both 75)

Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)
Touch Judges: Wayne Barnes (England), Carlo Damasco (Italy)
Television Match Official: Rob Debney (England)

Man of the match: Andrew Henderson (Scotland)