Step and unbelievable dummy sets up try


Southland sensational try after big bump


Joe Marler and his unsual pets


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Why you should always tackle low


Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


Cheslin Kolbe dazzling run, no look pass


Tana Umaga smashes into brother Mike

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Scotland upset Ireland at Croke Park

Scotland upset Ireland at Croke Park

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.


Time: 07:00

Posted at 8:25 pm | 75 comments

Viewing 75 comments

Anonymous March 20, 2010 7:41 pm

Scots win anyway they can, long time coming.

Premier, by the way

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Eoin March 20, 2010 7:47 pm

Fair play to the scots. Ireland were terrible and the scots outplayed us throughout. Sexton throwing away his no 10 shirt, terrible form of late.

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Anonymous March 20, 2010 8:10 pm

Shows the state of NH rugby. Once good teams like Ireland can't even beat the embarassing Scots.

And that's not an attack on just the Irish. France and England have fallen to.

It creates and illusion of improvement for the smaller 3(Italy, Scotland, Wales)... But the reality is the big 3 have fallen off.

I have little hope for the 2011 World Cup. France are the only respectable NH team.

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Anonymous March 20, 2010 8:15 pm

Yes, one match determines everything.

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Anonymous March 20, 2010 8:58 pm

Or maybe, just maybe, these smaller nations new coaching set-ups (esp Scotland) are making a difference? nah, im being silly. theres no chance that a NH should receive any praise, that would mean that the sh fans cant bash them as much...

Boy, I am a silly sally today :(

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Anonymous March 20, 2010 9:34 pm

Or maybe, just maybe, these smaller nations new coaching set-ups (esp Scotland) are making a difference? nah, im being silly. theres no chance that a NH should receive any praise, that would mean that the sh fans cant bash them as much...

Boy, I am a silly sally today :(

......

No, Scotland are NOT getting better. The good teams have simply become average is all.

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Matt March 20, 2010 9:41 pm

lol of course it shows the state of nh rugby.
the fact that the 6 nations is between NH teams and they have to try and beat eachother:O
mayby if everyone drew, then we'd be at the same good level you want us to be:)?

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Pulse March 20, 2010 9:50 pm

Scotland under Robinson are starting to show they can be a real force when they focus on the pitch, great work by the lads!

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FrankyH March 20, 2010 10:15 pm

Scotland have definitely improved. It was a great win by them, don't take anything away from them.

Ireland beat everyone they played last year, which wasn't long ago.. lets not forget that.

Great win, congrats to the Scots and their Aussie, Dan parks. ;)

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Anonymous March 20, 2010 10:42 pm

That's right, NH are crap - it's not as though RSA lost to Ireland. That would be very embarrassing by that theory...

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mitch March 20, 2010 11:36 pm

Scotland deserved this. They should have beaten Wales and Englandand played some good rugby. Well done Scotland.

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Anonymous March 20, 2010 11:39 pm

^ Not only Ireland if I remember correctly? Losing to club teams aswell, but that was just because they didn't care right? :)

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 12:32 am

yeah, SH teams just dont care when playing NH ones. Because South Africa and Australia just didnt care last autumn and no-one gave them any reason to.

Oh wait, Scotland and Ireland did...

Fancy that.

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Eoin March 21, 2010 12:40 am

Anyway, moving away from yet another stupid SH/NH argument.

The worst Irish preformance today was by Kidney, seriously, that man needs to learn how to use the bench. Hayes is past it in terms of the international game and our scrum showed it. No scrum, no lineout, no game. Buckley has come on recently and should have been given a run at TH.

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URFCSEAL89 March 21, 2010 12:45 am

Some of these comments are a complete joke. Some of you SH boys should really climb out of your own arses. Take the backrow for Scotland - Brown, Barclay & Beattie. I would take them over any back 3 combo in the S14 at the moment. French half backs - Parra & Tinh-Duc - world class, hold their own against any SH team, as with the french set piece. I look forward to the Summer tests, a few shocks are in order.

Oh. also, Scotland Vs Australia? who won?

Scotland vs SA in Nov 2008 - SA were literally played of the park - if it weren't for Phil Godawful, different score line there. The minnows of NH rugby are there or thereabouts with the SH giants, the gap isn't as wide as it once was / some idiots would like the believe it was.

Deal Wae It.

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 12:52 am

god its not our fault the sh team's cant defend
new zealand or (fiji/tonga/samoa) i should say are gonna choke once again in front of their own people haaaaaa

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 1:41 am

First

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Feargal March 21, 2010 2:25 am

Yeah we're pretty upset all right. Don't knock Kidney though, don't be a baby.It's sport. The Scots should've beat England and Wales. Think they forgot they had a game when they went to Italy though. We weren't terrible. We just weren't good... at all... ok. We were terrible. Onwards and upwards. Johnny, get back kickin will ya? Idjit!

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Bokke_2007 March 21, 2010 3:00 am

Boys boys boys!! Lets just take a nice big fat empirical look at the SH/NH debate now shall we. How many world cups? Ummm.. 5 to 1, i think that is. Win/loss ratios for the NH playing the TriNations teams? They don't look pretty, do they? Remember any utter pumpings of the home team by Wales, Ireland et al. back in SA, Aus, or NZ? Still no.

But of cause, beating SA at the end of a year in which they'd had the super 14 winners, bent the Lions over and given them one, and comprehensively fucked the All Blacks. Fatigue? Never!! Must have been a sudden immense improvement in NH rugby! keep smoking the herb fellas, we'll see ya at the big dance in Auckland in 18 months, and with France almost caving to England just now I'd say Mr Webb-Ellis will be staying down south..

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No.7 March 21, 2010 3:04 am

'Shows the state of NH rugby. Once good teams like Ireland can't even beat the embarassing Scots.'

And neither can australia.....

lets end this topic on that note...

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 4:13 am

HAHA IRELAND HAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Georgia 10 Ireland 14. YEAH!

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 4:18 am

The only NH team I truly respect is France.

Ireland are pretenders, 2007 world cup proved that. Or have you bitches forgotten about that?

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 4:37 am

i dont really buy into all this NH/SH stuff, i genuinely think its just the s. africans that start all this bullshit, I dont have a problem with aussies or new zealanders, they dont seem to be as arrogant as the s. africans.

Ireland lost fair and square today, twas their own fault, missing kicks etc, sexton didnt do himself any favours today, thats for sure.

good to see scotland winning, even though im irish, i was happy enough for them, theyve been on the rise for the last while and deserved a result of some sort.

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Bokke_2007 March 21, 2010 5:19 am

although you do seem to have a problem with putting a name on your posts. and arrogance is purely relative, come back with all your humble pie when you've dominated the rugby world for 18months.

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Versus March 21, 2010 5:31 am

FrankyH said...


Ireland beat everyone they played last year, which wasn't long ago.. lets not forget that.




Neither was the 2007 RWC.

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London Wasps March 21, 2010 5:44 am

Oh come on! The World XV will always be heavily SH based, I mean, I can't even think of any player in the home nations I would want in a World XV.

1. Benn Robinson
2. Stephen Moore
3. Ben Alexander
4. Brad Thorn
5. Victor Matfield
6. Thierry Dusautoir
7. Richie Mccaw
8. Imanol Harinordoquy
9. Morgan Parra
10. Daniel carter
11. Sitiveni Sivivatu
12. Jean de Villiers
13. Conrad Smith
14. Corey Jane
15. Adam Ashley-Cooper

I'm English, let us face it, we are crap! South Africa doesn't even have many good players anymore, most of them are in New Zealand, Australia and France. No, Brian O'Driscoll isn't better than Conrad Smith.

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Uli March 21, 2010 5:52 am

^thats the shittiest world 15 I've seen in a long time.

Oh yeah, South Africa doesn't have good players anymore? Both of their teams are 1 and 2 in the Super 14 and they dominated both the Wallabies, All Blacks and BIL last year.

Grow up. You don't even have Morne Steyn, Habana, Jaque, Bakkies or Fourie du Preez, in your team, how can that be taken seriously?

I suspect you're a New Zealander in disguise. In that case, 3-0 last year.

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MCB March 21, 2010 9:44 am

Ireland were terrible. They thought they had to just show up and they'd win. Fair play to Scotland, that win was a long time coming. Glad to see ROG got a massive cheer when he came on. Especially after people were quick to write him off when Sexton arrived on the scene. Sexton had shocker with the placed ball but will be back to top form again soon

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 10:27 am

I don't think we should forget who beat SA and drew with Oz less than a year ago, nor should we forget who was a runner up in the '07 WC or who's won the most Grand Slams in the past 10 years.

I agree as a Northerner that SH rugby trumps NH by a mile, but saying all NH teams are crap is ignorance. Both France and Ireland are very decent teams, if they want to be, and I'm pretty sure it's not a stroll in the park when an SH team plays either.

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 11:28 am

"No, Brian O'Driscoll isn't better than Conrad Smith."

Finally, someone says it. Is there anyone who consistently tackles as well as this guy?

To the Ireland-Scotland-clash: well played, Scotland. I only saw the second half, but from what I saw, I can only say I don't like Jonathan Sexton, and don't the Irish practice lineouts?

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 11:55 am

i cant believe you put your name to that world 15 "london wasp".. joke

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 1:44 pm

yeah seriously "london wasp" an all aussie front row, try

Gethin Jenkins when fit

Schalk Britz

Carl Hayman

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goodNumber10 March 21, 2010 1:50 pm

Jesus Christ there are some people with serious problems on here.

It goes in cycles, Australia were rubbish until the 80's they literally were the whipping boys until Jones took over.

every team and hemisphere has good and bad periods that's just how it is...

England dominated world rugby for 2-3 years early 00's, Wales did the same in the 70's. New Zealand in the 80's, South Africa now.

It's just how it goes,it's cyclic teams come and go re-build and then re-build again, NH is in a lull internationally, but the club game is very strong despite what people maintain.

And while I appreciate people should support their team, I suggest people should just enjoy rugby instead of ruining an excellent rugby site with petty squabbles over NH/SH when it's an argument that can never be settled.

Now all of you to your rooms and tidy them...

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 2:06 pm

Anyone who suggests an all Aussie front row should hit the fake tan, have a tug over Tevez and stick to football...

You must be joking :

1. Benn Robinson
2. Stephen Moore
3. Ben Alexander

Euan Murray? The Beast? Barcella? Castrogiovanni? Jenkins? Afoa? Muppet....

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alasdair March 21, 2010 3:43 pm

Currently the best front row is french.

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No.7 March 21, 2010 4:44 pm

Hey Bokke 2007, id agree with that anonymous you comment on!.....

It is just SA fans that start this shit......

Aussie fans have a dig, and provide banter. NZ fans just seem to be proud to be NZ....

but SA, its just one giant mouth, or arse, im not really sure, its just a bunch of shit that comes out!

You start talking about SH 5-1.....yeh great, so you were really happy when australia or NZ won it, and SA didnt get a sniff?!? really you guys talk shit, you'll only be happy when you win it. and when you lose to club teams and ireland and france,it doesnt matter because 'we dont care about those matches, they dont mean anything'.....

you are a tiresome bunch

Oh yeh, and seeing as you appear so chummy with the aussies, i suppose you'll admit they are shit too considering they lost to scotland! am i right?

But then hey you guys won the world cup you beat england: 'Fatigue? Never!!' oh that excuse fits....

whenever NH beats the SH its because the SH was tirrred, they had too many late nights....well guess what? we are tired of all your crap so put it this way:

WHENEVER THE SH BEATS ANY NH TEAM ITS BECAUSE WE WERE TIRED!!!

end of discussion!

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jpm March 21, 2010 4:59 pm

1. Pass to BOD for his try was forward;
2. Bowe did not get downward pressure.

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Steve March 21, 2010 6:13 pm

Ireland were miserable to watch today. Between RWC 2007 and yesterday I can't remember them malfunctioning so horrifically.

HOWEVER!
Scottish rugby is a joke. They scored frickin' 3 tries all tournament. Italy scored more than that. You can't win games by the boot and expect to be considered a good team.

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MCB March 21, 2010 6:48 pm

@ jpm

Drico's try was from forward pass but Bowe's was fine. Clearly got downward pressure.

And what the fuck has this match got to do with the NH and SH. Can people keep this pointless debate to another forum. Same old wind up merchants, give it a rest.

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Keith March 21, 2010 6:56 pm

^Steve, sour grapes at all? if Scottish rugby is a joke how come we beat one of the NH powerhouses, Ireland, and got a win against the aussies. Scotland should have beaten wales, arguably would have beaten italy if we were not plagued by injuries and if luck was on our side we would have beaten england. The Ireland/Scotland match could very well have been a triple crown decider. At the moment scotland lack the resources of the bigger rugby nations, but we make good with what we have, yesterday proved that we can be a threat and we are on the rise. next year i can honestly forsee scotland with a good chance of competing at the top for the 6n trophy.

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Steve March 21, 2010 7:12 pm

^Keith
It's certainly not sour grapes. I actually live in Scotland. Seriously, come back to me when Scotland don't have to rely on place kicking to make scores respectable.

Every comment defending Scotland is full of "if's, but's, could-have-been's and maybe's" against the other teams. When they convert those into results I'll be delighted to recognize Scotland as a contender. You guys badly need a 3rd professional team ... even if its London based.

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Steve March 21, 2010 7:17 pm

^Keith
Giteau handed the match to Scotland with that last minute miss. And they beat Ireland when they were at their worst in two and a half years.

If Scotland are in the ascendancy then it means more than winning one game a year and scoring tries. I look forward to a good showing in NZ 2011.

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no9 March 21, 2010 7:23 pm

kieth it deosn't really make much difference whether you live in scotland or canada.

you still have to admit that ireland were outplayed by the scots.
it was the scottish forwards causing the penelty's. if it was a clear referee's descision then i could understand your frustration, but it was a fantastic performance from all 15 on the pitch unlike what we used to played like.


waiting begging for penalty's.


so dont try and ruin what was a superb performance.

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Keith March 21, 2010 7:45 pm

think u got the names mixed up No. 9 i was saying scotland played great lol. u mean Steve?

Scotland are on the rise, granted we dont have the strength in depth of other home nations but we have class players in all positions. 3/5 lions in the front 5, a sublime backrow, 2 world class scrum halves, a fly-half who won 3/5 man of the matches. Evans brothers (wish the injured Thom a speedy recovery), diamonds-in-the-rough both of them, Lamont brothers (get well soon rory), morrison (who actually had a great game yesterday) de luca did well yesterday and for once southwell played well. Also our talisman paterson when he gets back from injury (hopefully sooner rather than later :P). Along with other talents pushing for places. only thing we lack is finishing our moves and making tries come, and with Robinson taking the reigns that ability will come very soon.

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whippetmania March 21, 2010 8:01 pm

Hello RD, any chance you could get the video for Ireland U20s v Scotland U20s posted? There was some serious talent on display with many great touches. I enjoyed that game more than any others in recent times. By the way, congratulations to the scots, very well played

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whippetmania March 21, 2010 8:01 pm

Hello RD, any chance you could get the video for Ireland U20s v Scotland U20s posted? There was some serious talent on display with many great touches. I enjoyed that game more than any others in recent times. By the way, congratulations to the scots, very well played

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Third Centre March 21, 2010 8:48 pm

By god the SH trolls are working over time......

Congratulations to the scots. A well deserved win. They got their tactics spot on and forced errors from Ireland.

Irish tactics were poor, defence rubbish and a bit of arrogance or lack of concentration.

The important thing though was that the scottish fans are brilliant to go drinking with afterwards !

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Jonny March 21, 2010 9:12 pm

You win games by getting points, regardless of how they come. It's a joke that some of you are saying we haven't improved. If you don't have anything nice to say about our victory, then don't sodding say it!

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Number8 March 22, 2010 12:01 am

@Steve, isnt that what Leicester and England teams used to do,grind out the wins with the boot, and they were considered good? Surely it's better to play to your strengths than try to be something your not.for the first time in a long time scotland have a pack capable of forcing the opposition into conceding penalties,and have 2 excellent kickers in parks and Paterson.sure,it's not the most attractive rugby,but wins are ultimately what keep the supporters coming back

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Number8 March 22, 2010 12:01 am

@Steve, isnt that what Leicester and England teams used to do,grind out the wins with the boot, and they were considered good? Surely it's better to play to your strengths than try to be something your not.for the first time in a long time scotland have a pack capable of forcing the opposition into conceding penalties,and have 2 excellent kickers in parks and Paterson.sure,it's not the most attractive rugby,but wins are ultimately what keep the supporters coming back

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No.7 March 22, 2010 12:44 am

Yeh sorry steve....but i think you are outvoted here...

points come as they come......

You could argue forever on what you feel counts or not, but put it this way:

Try 5 points
Conversion 2 points
Penalty try 5 points
Drop goal 3 points
Penalty kick 3 points....

thats where points come from, you get more of those than the other team then its no joke, you win!

seriously these arguments about 'the team that didnt score any tries won, its a joke' are old and weak......

why not say 'the team with who scored more tries but was indisciplined enough to hand the game to the other guys lost!...what a joke!'

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Anarchangel March 22, 2010 1:22 am

Congratulations Scotland!

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Steve March 22, 2010 2:40 am

Guys I appreciate what you are saying about Scottish improvement and penalties winning games. I'm just saying that it's early stages and ye are counting yer chickens a before they've hatched here.

Scotland have proved they can kick - no dispute there or that penalties do win games. I just don't consider a team to be very good unless they demonstrate ability in all areas and right now there is no evidence of Scottish ability to breech defenses.
I'm not oblivious to the fact that Ireland were in this same spot about 8/9 years ago. Triple Crowns are a start but it'll be a while before they are challenging for championships.
Good luck - though. If its not Ireland winning then I'm all for Scotland - Celtic cousins need to stick together.

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Kehoe March 22, 2010 4:53 am

Nice to see ROG still showing that he's worth a lot to Ireland.

I may rag on him for being a softy in defense, as do most, but there are some things he does fantastically, and kicking is one of them.

I wouldn't write Sexton off, either, as he looks to be quite a player at times (a lot of the time, actually), but I'll still be glad to see O'Gara come on as long as Kidney will still let him.

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Kehoe March 22, 2010 4:58 am

Sorry, I almost forgot to mention:

Well done Scotland, though, eh?

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Anonymous March 22, 2010 12:50 pm

forward pass on first try...

great try great tournament for Beattie...

Scotland deserves this win

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Matthew March 22, 2010 1:42 pm

Scotland are on the up, still a few players away from being consistenely strong.

The average age of the Scottish team (roughly) is 28, which is great for the game. If AR keeps this squad of players together and brings through newer talent then Scotland can be far more competitive in the seasons to come.

The Scottish backrow were the backrow of the tournament and will be more than competitive against any nation.

Scotland are years behind other nations in terms of professional setup and things are still far from perfect but we're getting there and now showing we can play some decent rugby (at times) and hopefully this is something we can build on.

Remember for those who burn the history books, Ireland were once regarded as a poor side, so were the Welsh and both nations have gone on to win the Grand Slam in recent times - Scotland deserved to be regarded as a poorer side in the past but do not write them off in the years to come.

NH vs SH - until we have a competive winner of 6 Nations vs winner of Tri-Nations or Heinekein Cup vs Super 14 we will never be able to tell who the best team is in any given year - unfortunately different seasons will always play an impact here.

South Africa to be fair have been the strongest side in world rugby, despite losing to Ireland but that doesn't mean they will always be.

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Anarchangel March 22, 2010 2:56 pm

@Matthew:
NH vs SH - until we have a competitive winner of 6 Nations vs winner of Tri-Nations or Heineken Cup vs Super 14 we will never be able to tell who the best team is in any given year - unfortunately different seasons will always play an impact here.

We get this matchup reasonably regularly in the November internationals, so we can often tell. I'm not sure how much the seasons make a difference to that. I don't know about the NH, but there's not really an off-season for SH rugby.

@The first Ireland try:
At full speed, it looked forward to me too. Did they show a replay in the full coverage?

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Huh!!! the 3rd March 22, 2010 4:30 pm

Have to say I was ashamed with the fans booing Parks at the end, but in fairness he clearly took longer than 90 seconds (wonder if the 60sec 'rule' has ever been enforced?).

Robinson is a great coach and will make Scotland even more competive. He was wrongly blamed for England's terrible state, but thats been proved not the case since.

Ire way too cocky and it showed.

Cronin is a great talent and should've been on. If they play Sexton to get him experience why not Cronin too, its mind boggling that Best can have such a shocker and stay on.

In fairness to Hayes who should've been subbed around 50, he made a great tackle on 1 of the Bs near the end that no one expected of him, but still he owes nothing to Ire and should retire. 2 best scrummagers in Ire are Court and Ross, but Ross is 3rd choice TH at Leinster and Court is too inconsistant. Buckley needs to start more games.

Never liked Parks, but have to grudgingly say he's had a great championship (besides the fact he ruined a definite try v Eng when he chipped for himself when Lamont had a straight run in). Just thinking of a possible Lions back row in 3 years of Ferris, Barclay and Heaslip. Untouchable.

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Hooker_ March 22, 2010 5:10 pm

i loved the way geordan murphy was looking to nail beattie when he scored, and he just got smashed out of the way. beattie is a major tank :)

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Anonymous March 22, 2010 5:20 pm

good try eighthman try by Beattie

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Tom March 22, 2010 7:04 pm

Congrats to the Scots, ye deserved a victory and even tho it was at our expence Im not too bothered about it. Ireland were too complacement and were trying to throw the ball about too much at times. Sexton will come good so people should go easy on him, he is great in open play and his kicking will come good. France deserved the slam so well done to them too.

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Anonymous March 22, 2010 8:08 pm

Scotland deserved the win. I don't think they exactly outclassed Ireland, but they were the better team on the day. Also BOD's try was certainly from a forward pass and I feel it would have been injustice if Ireland had won. Bowe's finish was a bit sketchy too but no need to be pedantic there.

Of course overall Ireland were the best home nation side but if Scotland had beaten England and Wales, Saturday's match could have been a real decider.

Scottish rugby has been in the dumps for many years now, and although there is still a serious lack of attacking flair - I think many positives can be taken from this year's 6 nations for them.

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 1:53 am

What a boring game though.

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Anarchangel March 23, 2010 4:41 am

@Huh!!! the 3rd:
Kickers have 2 minutes to take the kick.

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Anarchangel March 23, 2010 4:46 am

Oh, and I've seen refs warn the kicker when the time limit approaches on numerous occasions; that usually results in a smartly taken kick. In fact, over the weekend Colin Slade (Crusaders) was told he had 10 seconds left to make the kick (the ball fell off the tee twice) so he had to hurry. I've seen players fail to make the kick in those circumstances, but I've never see a player get penalised for it not kicking within the 2 minutes.

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No.7 March 23, 2010 5:41 am

' Anonymous said...

What a boring game though.'

I guess you didnt see it then.....

'I just don't consider a team to be very good unless they demonstrate ability in all areas and right now there is no evidence of Scottish ability to breech defenses.'

So what about Beatties try? and Barclay's try a few weeks ago? (sorry if im wrong and it wasnt barclay i cant remember)

Patterson breaches defences on numerous occasions.....

We arent all screaming Scotland World cup winners 2011, but it has to be noted their game is on the up......for how long, i dont know, hopefully they will get back on form again!

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 9:13 am

Yep fair play to Scotland, they were better on the day and fully deserved the win... However I don't agree that Sexton has thrown away the 10 jersey at all. I think his and O'Gara's performances just showed us the differences between the two players... Sexton is a running outhalf that creates plays for the backs outside him hence the two tries they scored when he was on. On the other hand O'Gara is a pure kicking outhalf and did well to kick his penalties but did not get the backline moving. Neither outhalf controlled the game any better than the other.You can't say that Ireland played better when O'Gara came on.

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dr March 23, 2010 11:44 am

You lot are all idiots! The facts that Scotland can even come close to competing to ANY of these teams is a remarkable achievement in itself!
Someone suggested Scotland should have a 3rd pro team! WHAT! There are so few rugby players in scotland that during the six nations the pro teams have to dip into the amateur teams to fill their squad! Like was quoted when we last played Fiji "there are more rugby players in Fiji than in Scotland" Get a grip guys, we do very well for ourself and ARE improving. Teams like Wales and England should be ashamed of themselves with the player base and resources that them have at their disposal.

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 3:17 pm

"Teams like Wales and England should be ashamed of themselves with the player base and resources that them have at their disposal."

So what player base and resources would Wales have over Scotland?

Get a grip

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Brick Shithouse March 23, 2010 6:37 pm

It's actually pretty cool that the hemisphere bashing stopped pretty quickly. Thats a first.

Anyways, Im Irish and would just like to say that as an Irish fan, this Six Nations hasnt been as bad as it seemed from my point of view as a supporter. Getting our arses handed to us by the French and getting humbled at home by the Scots is not neccessarily a bad thing, as after the grand Slam I think a harsh reality check isn't the worst thing that could have happened to us. It's not as if we've become a bad team overnight. So I think it's good that we got brought down to Earth so we dont go into the next 6 Nations right before the World Cup and get our confidence ripped to bits.

Also, I think all the people saying France are the only decent NH side, Im VERY biased but I personally think Ireland are feckin' brilliant! I think in POC and DOC we have a good established 2nd row, while in Ferris and Heaslip we have two of the best young backrowers anywhere on this planet. Front row sadly, is suspect. Then Bowe, Kearney, Earls, Murphy, Fitzgerald, Trimble, even Shane Horgan. An embarrasment of riches out wide I think. Centres top notch except no class cover on the bench, Paddy Wallace is shite.

Finally, I think Sexton is better than O'Gara and has always been a good goalkicker, 3 poor matches with the boot should be put down to form not ability, and I personally think he will help Ireland mount a strong challenge for WC2011 as our starting 10.

That is all

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Flatirons March 23, 2010 11:22 pm

"Sexton is a running outhalf that creates plays for the backs outside him hence the two tries they scored when he was on. On the other hand O'Gara is a pure kicking outhalf and did well to kick his penalties but did not get the backline moving."

Just watched the game, and I have to completely disagree.

First of all, Bowe's try was scored after the switch was made at flyhalf...

Both Sexton and O'Gara were getting the ball out wide rather quickly - especially when you consider how Ireland often bog themselves down and forget the talent they've got in their backs. But I don't think O'Gara once looked to kick the ball from hand as soon as the defensive line rushed up - something he unfortunately does all too often. He was confident enough to hold on to it and run it up himself. I think that's an improvement, and might come from the fact that he's got Sexton itching to permanently take his place.

Just after he came on, around the 53rd minute, Ireland were meters from the Scottish line, and it was because O'Gara got it to his backs and Bowe made a good break through the line; O'Gara even made a break of his own - without turning the ball over, which was somewhat surprising.

In fact, my jaw almost dropped when I saw him joining in rucks - effectively, too - one in particular that led to Bowe's try.

I think Sexton is a marvelous player, and I think Ireland should be glad they've got two world-class number 10s ready to go. All I'm trying to say is that I was actually surprised with O'Gara and impressed by the fact that I think the bit of competition is making him a bit more determined as a player. I hope Kidney just doesn't hesitate in making a switch if one of them is having an off-day, because both of them are sort of similar in that if they start playing poorly, they will probably play that way the whole game.

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Olly March 24, 2010 7:32 am

I'd agree, there is no way sexton has lost the 10 shirt...I mean you look at the england game, ashton kicked to early, but does that mean he's never going to start again?! it was a costly mistake but thats all it was.....sexton has proved he has the goods, he looked a little ropey a couple times in the last few games, but he certainly didnt break down against scotland....as for ROG, its safe to say he hasnt 'lost' the 10 shirt either.....the competition from sexton looks to have caused ROG to up his game somewhat!

Sexton is young, and inexperienced (relatively) so its only natural he wont be 100% comfortable 100% of the time!

Fair dues to scotland to pull it out the bag, shame they didnt keep hold of the win over wales (that would have been grand :) )

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MO March 28, 2010 12:12 pm

Scotland has 10,000 senior male players (74,000 total male players), Ireland 14,500 (74,500) and Wales 19,000 (69,000).

So it's fair to say that Scotland have a far smaller player pool to pick from, making any successes more remarkable. However, there is a massive drop in participation as scottish youth players grow older, compared to other countries. Maybe this will start to improve, now that the national team are putting together some decent performances. Maybe.

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Rowan DeBues August 03, 2010 4:52 am

I laugh at the 3rd comment in hindsight now. "France the only respectable NH team". barely 4 months after he says that France fall to 2 crushing defeats against South Africa and Argentina whilst Scotland triumps twice over Argentina and England beats Australia on one of their more successful SH tours in recent memory.

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