Saturday, March 20, 2010
Scotland saved the best for last as they produced a great performance to ruin the party for Ireland at their final ever match at Croke Park. Dan Parks kicked the winning kick with a minute or so left on the clock, resulting in a 23-20 win for Scotland.
Scotland avoided the wooden spoon by competing for eighty minutes in what was one of their best performances in recent times.
Dan Parks was handed the Man of the Match award after his kicking feats that included a vital drop goal just before half time, and then the winning kick at the end, resulting in a tally of 18 points.
Johnnie Beattie scored a great try for the Scots as he powered down the wing following another strong Graeme Morrison carry. Brian ODriscoll and Tommy Bowe both scored for the Irish, but it was the Scots who held their nerve to close out the game.
Dan Parks was delighted after the match, having been booed by the crowd a few minutes earlier for time wasting as he ran down the clock while preparing for his kick.
He lapped that pressure up though, and struck the ball beautifully as it flew through the posts, taking his side into the lead with time almost up. He said after the match he could understand the crowds reaction, but that it was all part of the game.
Ireland have now missed out on achieving their fifth Triple Crown in seven years, but the win by Scotland also meant that it effectively handed France the Six Nations title. They will kick off against England in a little under half an hour with the sole goal of a Grand Slam title on the line in front of their home crowd in Paris.