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Sunday, February 02, 2014

Ireland start campaign with comfortable win over Scotland

Ireland scored three tries as they started their 2014 Six Nations campaign with a comfortable 28-6 win over Scotland in Dublin earlier today. While Scotland showed flashes of class at times, they never really tested the Irish.

While things were fairly even in the first half, with Ireland leading just 6-3 a few minutes before the break, a try by Andrew Trimble on the stroke of half time gave them an 11-3 cushion. 

Man of the Match Jamie Heaslip came close to scoring earlier in the half after a brilliant Jonny Sexton break, but was out by inches in the corner. He crossed in the second though, and Ireland were on course to right the wrongs of last season.

Rob Kearney added a third try ten minutes from time, on the occasion of his 50th Testm while brother Dave came close minutes from the final whistle after a Paddy Jackson chip.

Scotland will need to lift themselves again when they host England in a week, while Ireland will look to upset Six Nations champions Wales, also at home in Dublin.

Full highlights will be slotted in here as soon as they're available. For now, here are quick highlights, and you can view the Sexton break and Heaslip chance on page two of this post

Page: 12View All

Posted at 5:00 pm | 21 comments

Posted in Six Nations 2014

Viewing 21 comments

DrG February 02, 2014 6:56 pm

It was never going to be easy for Scotland. They were already the underdogs before they had to hop over to the Aviva stadium. Then Ireland have come off a huge result (or very nearly huge) against NZ, so they had some belief and some fight to try and get some revenge back for that...

Scotland played well in the first half, perhaps the only thing encouraging in the second half from them was the lack of stupid penalties. As much as I like Jim Hamilton, he is a bit of a penalty machine, but even he seemed to resist the temptation to give away too many of them.

Ireland played well and its a good result for them, lots of PD and hopefully for their sake they'll take the win further into next week.

Scotland again seems to fill that age old roll of: "lots of good parts, just not quite there yet"...

I suspect they'll have a hard run this year as I believe they're away to Italy - which is perhaps their only potential win.

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Canadian content February 02, 2014 7:32 pm

That's what happens when you select 3 8's rather than a couple of tacklers.

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matt February 02, 2014 8:15 pm

The cover tackling and workrate in defence to stop Heaslip and Sexton from scoring was outstanding, I didn't see the game live so haven't seen any more analysis of that break that what is above, but Sexton's pass looks suspect to me.

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Full Back February 03, 2014 10:39 am

it was clearly backwards out of the hands, what's suspect about it? A forward pass for forward momentum is no longer given, if it's backwards out of the hands the pass is good.

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BenjaJ February 02, 2014 9:45 pm

Not a very good game, but the referee is partly responsible.
Where Nigel Owens, who officiated France England, always left the advantage and always favored the attacking team by asking the defenders to leave the rucks quickly, Craig Joubert has instead left many liberties to the defense. He allowed the defenders to challenge the rucks for a long time while ignoring the fact that they often went by the side of the ruck.
And with all these slow balls, combined with the sterility of both teams, this game was certainly the worst of this weekend.

Yet both teams had come with the intention to play, as it has been seen for the first 10 minutes, but the referee led the Irish to just defend once they were in front.

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sportsfan1 February 03, 2014 10:32 am

I have to disagree with that. Thought Nigel Owens had a poor game on Saturday as he missed numerous knock ons and a couple of offside penalties from knock ons and his communication to the players at rucks wasn't great.

On the other hand I thought Joubert had a good game. He was consistent with his calls, always clear at what he would allow and wouldn't at the rucks and explained everything he did clearly.

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ConnachtMan February 03, 2014 1:02 pm

Yes to be fair Joubert was excellent, he was consistent for both sides, let them play. Bring on the Welsh!

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BigRab February 02, 2014 9:57 pm

I thought Ireland should have awarded the Man of the Match to Ross Ford. Two roles in the game and he was unable to do both Hook or throw in.

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LJNumber8 February 02, 2014 10:05 pm

When I played that clip I though - hey, No Commentary. But 5 seconds later I thought it was much better. Got a greater sense of the crowd response, and no one waffling bullshit. So it was kind of like being at the ground with none of your mates!

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db February 02, 2014 11:24 pm

This clip just shows that there should be more non-scoring scenes in highlights reels (at the cost of a place kick or three). Great running, great cover-tackling.

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Full Back February 03, 2014 10:34 am

I agree that highlights of place kicks are a waste of time, sick of looking at them to be honest.
Not so sure if the try was avoided by great cover tackling so much as Heaslips refusal to off load on his inside where he had 3 green shirts roaring at him to pass!

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DrG February 03, 2014 2:51 am

Actually will be interesting if there are any problems occurring over this weekends games.. that step on Sexton wasn't great, French 'headbutt', some other rucking...

I say ignore that lot, but interesting to see if they do..

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sportsfan1 February 03, 2014 10:35 am

If anything happens over that rucking of Sexton rugby is becoming a joke. He was laying at the back of a ruck on the wrong side and got what he deserved. The player going over him moved his feet in a backward motion. All the commentators at the time agreed it was fine.

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Anymouse February 03, 2014 9:49 am

Time for a few changes in Scotlands selection. Of 6 scrums they lost 2 against the head - Ross Ford is one of those hookers who never learned to hook and has been severely caught out but the revised rules and needs to go. Also with a 5 of 15 lineouts lost the pack as a whole need to sort their stuff out.
Mostly good in the backs - just Sean Lamont and his absolute refusal to pass let them down.

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tphillipsstl February 03, 2014 5:34 pm

The last pass on the first try was forward (15 to 14). Forward coming out of his hands, for those who will argue the idiotically over-applied momentum interpretation.

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tphillipsstl February 03, 2014 5:38 pm

There was also a forward pass on one of Italy's tries on Saturday. Both eventually were inconsequential but the potential for a game impacting missed call is way too high to overlook them. It really is unacceptable at this level of rugby.

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Bastardo February 04, 2014 10:21 pm

Well IMO Nigel Owens refereeded exceptionally well. It was a rather enjoyable game. On the other hand Joubert butchered it with his way of refereeing. A realy dull game sco - ire

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sportsfan1 February 04, 2014 11:45 pm

While I admit letting the game flow is better you can't just allow play to carry on when there are knock ons and not give penalties when players are offside that creates a highly unfair advantage to one team or another and sets a dangerous precedent as if you just start letting these go whats next? Joubert refereed fairly and consistently and was always letting the players know what he was willing to allow. maybe does it differently that others but he was harsh on players not rolling away which in my mind promotes quick ball for attacking rugby. Sometimes the ref isn't at fault for a dull game!

I don't understand this idea that some people in rugby are never wrong. Owens had a poor game but no one will say anything. Leigh Halfpenny is the same, had a poor game on Saturday yet still gets praised beyond belief?

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matt the mauler February 06, 2014 1:13 pm

Thought Owens was good. And like always I though Joubert was poor.

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dave February 05, 2014 7:31 pm

no offense to any scots or irlanskis but I thought this game was really boring, for such a highly touted attack coach in joe schmidt I expected a lot more

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matt the mauler February 06, 2014 1:19 pm

Based on this performane, I think it might be a long campaign for us Scots this year. We've still got some time to turn things around and we've got some good players but Johnson needs to rethink some positions. We need to sort the backrow - play Brown at 6 where he's best, start with Beattie rather than the one dimensional and completely useless Dave Denton who never passes, never breaks a tackle and does little else around the pitch, and start a genuine openside at 7 (Fusaro, Barclay or Rennie). Ford needs to go at hooker and hopefully Matt Scott will be fit to play 12 as he's becoming a really good player and his distribution will work nicely alongside Weir's kicking game. Laidlaw should be dropped for Cusiter who adds more urgency and speed of distribution. Hopefully if they sort the set piece and get some of the key players motoring we'll at least be competitive and give ourselves a fighting chance of picking up a win or two.

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