Ireland wear down Scotland

Ireland wear down Scotland

The reliable boot of Greig Laidlaw gave Scotland an early lead in blustery conditions, although the advantage was not to last long.

"But credit to them they took their opportunities".

"The fact that Italy scored three late consolation tries last week will strengthen the resolve and focus of the Scottish guys but Ireland are a totally different proposition".

"I'd like to see how they'd describe our Plan A to be honest", said head coach Schmidt, responding to accusations Ireland's gameplan is limited.

"Johnny Sexton got a bit of treatment out there and he got a stamp on the head but he is feeling better and we expect him to be back in the next couple of weeks", the 53-year-old told the BBC.

Sam Johnson cut the deficit after Finn Russell broke free and brilliantly picked out his teammate to score.

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Take two, this time a 5m scrum for the home side but Ireland withstood everything they threw at them through 25 phases with Stockdale denying Tommy Seymour out wide and Cian Healy strong a number of times before Simon Berghan spilled it and O'Brien pounced.

"In the second half the execution of our plays didn't happen.if we'd been able to replicate the first half we'd be sitting here with a win", he said.

Rob Harley's high tackle on O'Brien handed Ireland a chance to push the envelope and Carbery found Kearney wide, but the full-back's off-load to Farrell didn't stick. They will need to improve a great deal, though - especially on attack - if they are going to win their remaining fixtures and challenge the better teams at the World Cup later this year. Knowing he wouldn't make it himself, the Munster man spotted Earls and floated a attractive left-handed pass for his winger to score and then nailed the conversion.

Ireland captain Rory Best was pleased with his side's response to defeat by England on the opening weekend of the Six Nations. The substitute's pass to Earls looked as if it could have been forward, but the winger touched down, Carbery added the conversion and Ireland were back in the driving seat.

Coach Gregor Townsend blamed himself for his side's inability to convert several promising periods of attack into scores. We gave Ireland the set-piece and they were able to exit their half, and it's always hard to score from deep. That gave Scotland a glimmer of hope, but the deficit went back to nine with a dozen minutes left when Carbery knocked over another penalty, awarded after Josh Strauss did not roll away.

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