Townsend wants even more from Scotland against Ireland

11 March, 2018, 01:26 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • At 9pm today the rain will head to the west

Trailing 14-3 at half-time, Scotland stayed in the hunt with a Blair Kinghorn try cancelling out a Conor Murray touchdown off a maul.

A five-metre scrum, the last play of the half and Ireland itching for any kind of control and Ringrose not only set the platform, but also looped around Aki on the next phase, before sending Stockdale in for his and Ireland's second score.

The Irish Grand Slam-chasers top the table with three wins and two bonus points but with a trip to Twickenham still to come, Schmidt's team could yet be caught.

It was Joe Dunleavy's first 6 Nations start for his country, and the Letterkenny man put in a solid performance to help his team to victory. "Rory Best [Ireland's captain] has already spoken to the squad in the dressing-room to keep them focused", he said in the Irish Independent.

Although the championship is in the bag, Schmidt said he wanted this side to achieve everything they could. And if we're not very much in the game, they could get away from us very quickly with the athletes that they have in their team.

Blair Kinghorn's try did narrow the lead to 21-8 with a well-worked try in the 51st minute, but Ireland were simply more clinical and there was a sense of elation when a lineout move in the corner resulted in Cronin, nearly on his knees, going over.

Machenaud made it 19-9 with his fourth penalty kick in the 63rd minute after England conceded for holding on.

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The Dark Blues contributed to their own downfall at the Aviva Stadium as their hopes of mounting a late bid for the Six Nations title crumbled.

Kiwi boss Schmidt talks frequently about keeping his players in a "bubble" in a Test match build-up, but Ulster hooker Best admitted that can not extend to players failing to think on their feet.

"We'll have to look how we can be more clinical", stand-in captain Farrell said.

Last year, Ireland blamed its bus arriving at Murrayfield 15 minutes late for losing to Scotland 27-22.

"The way things are going we're going to be disappointed if we don't win the grand slam with a bonus point". All eyes are now on the Stade de France. But there was a lot of energy and a lot of will from the players.

Ireland has only won the Grand Slam twice - in 1948 and 2009 (in the Brian O'Driscoll-Paul O'Connell era). Against the run of play, the Scots took the first points from a Greig Laidlaw penalty.

Take this on Ireland's gain-line power against Wales, and whether they might seek to adopt the same tactics against Scotland: "It's ironic you say that, because I'd probably challenge people to do a little bit more homework".



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