Scotland bowed out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in a rather tough fashion, coming up significantly short of the mark in a 36 – 14 loss to Ireland.
The pressure was on Gregor Townsend’s men from the off as they succumbed to an opening-round loss to reigning champions South Africa.
Matching the Springboks by and large, Scotland leaked two tries in a ten-minute period to lose 18 – 3.
Two high-scoring victories over Romania and Tonga gave the Scots a pulse heading into the final round, but as has been the case against Ireland.
Unfortunately for the men in blue, it was not to be, as their losing run against Ireland extended to nine straight.
As has been well publicised, Scotland were perhaps the side most hard done by the draw, which pitted the top five teams in the World in Pools A and B.
In a world of ifs, buts and maybes, Scotland deserved better and would certainly have fancied their chances on the other side of the draw.
Words From The Camp
Alas, Townsend’s side will now pick up the pieces of a second successive Rugby World Cup pool exit.
Speaking post-match, Townsend and captain Jamie Ritchie stuck solemn figures.
Tipping his cap to Ireland, Townsend said, “They were very clinical, very accurate, and I thought they put a huge effort in defensively when we had a bit of pressure in that first 20 minutes. They are an outstanding team.
“When you play the top teams, you’ve got to take your opportunities, and we didn’t do that in the first quarter.
“I’m proud of the effort in the second half. The game had gotten away from us, so we focused on winning back respect. To get two tries against such a top team, we’ll take a little bit out of that.”
Echoing his coach’s sentiments, Ritchie was nursing a shoulder injury and said, “I’m really proud of how we’ve stuck together. We had a bit of hardship from the first game, but we are proud of how we stayed in the fight today, we showed how we can score some points at the end.”
“What we try to do is play our game – unfortunately, it wasn’t enough tonight and full credit to Ireland, that’s probably the best I’ve seen them play.”
An Outside Perspective
Whilst the duo assessed where things went wrong, one Scottish fan appeared to have all the ideas when speaking to Talk Sport.
“The thing is about tonight, and I am not mucking about here right.
“We’ve given absolutely an absolute laldy (beating) in there tonight. But we have given it our best shot, and we have come up short.
“We’ve over-committed in the midfield, too many spaces in the corners, but we over-committed. See, had we taken the points early on, we would’ve chased the scoreboard down.
“There is no way they would have run away with it.” He surmised.
Thoughts On The Opponents
Switching his focus to Ireland, the interviewer asked the fan his thoughts on Andy Farrell’s side.
“Ireland! They are a handy team, alright! They know how to flick it about!
“They can flick the pill, they can flick the pill any day of the week, and then they’ll punish you. They’ll be in your corners, and they’ll punish you.
“I love Ireland; they are great to watch; it’s a blizzard when they are out there. Give Ireland the pill, and they are in the corners. It’s a blizzard out there.
A Message For World Rugby
“I want to say to World Rugby, I have been the lash for five weeks!
“I started a wee golf tournament down in Vilamoura and that was magic right and then I jumped over to Marseille and I couldn’t believe it when I got there because they were fill us up with an old bevvie.
“We just went on the lash for four weeks! We went up to Chambly and a wine cellar and we had a brilliant time! A brilliant time!
“Win, lose or draw, I am getting pissed!” He concluded!
Next Scotland coach.
— Seamus Hamilton (@jimhamilton4) October 9, 2023