HomeSportsIreland Wins Back-to-back Six Nations After Breaking Scotland's Resistance - News18

Ireland Wins Back-to-back Six Nations After Breaking Scotland’s Resistance – News18


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Ireland won successive Six Nations by overcoming a bold Scotland, nerves and the late withdrawal of key man Hugo Keenan to prevail 1713 at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

DUBLIN: Ireland won successive Six Nations by overcoming a bold Scotland, nerves and the late withdrawal of key man Hugo Keenan to prevail 17-13 at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

The Irish appeared to break Scotland’s rugged resistance with 15 minutes to go after its second converted try for 17-6. The tension drained out of the packed stadium. But a brilliant converted try by Scotland’s Huw Jones suddenly brought them within four points with three minutes left.

But Ireland wasn’t rattled. It comfortably contained the Scots in their own half and expertly managed the last minutes even with 14 players after replacement flyhalf Harry Byrne was sin-binned.

It is Ireland’s fifth Six Nations crown in 11 years. They won in 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2023. Captain Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray and Cian Healy have been involved in all five titles.

The championship, almost inevitable for Ireland after crushing France in Marseille in the opening match, will go some way to balming the hurt from falling in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals last October in Paris.

Ireland was stung again last weekend when its hopes of first-ever back-to-back Grand Slams was ruined by England winning with a last-gasp drop goal in London. But Ireland still had pole position for the title.

Scotland also was in a mood after losing to Italy in Rome and came to Dublin with a chance, albeit slim, of winning the title.

Even though the Scots hadn’t beaten Ireland since 2017 or won at Lansdowne Road since 1998, they dominated early but without being clinical. It came back to bite them, as did having to make 238 energy-sapping tackles.

Keenan had to be replaced at the 11th hour because of a hip injury, bringing back Jordan Larmour. His brief appearance against Italy last month was his first cap in three years. Larmour was superb.

Ireland overcame its nerves to grow into the game.

James Lowe was charged down by Andy Christie then conceded a penalty that Scotland co-captain Finn Russell slotted within eight minutes.

Hooker Dan Sheehan was bundled out from an Ireland lineout in the right corner and Scotland got the throw-in, but George Turner overthrew Grant Gilchrist, and Sheehan grabbed the gift, took four steps and dived over for his co-leading fifth try of the tournament. Jack Crowley converted.

Russell got a penalty back to partially reward Scotland’s dominance of territory and possession.

Crowley missed a penalty before halftime to keep the lead to only one point, but he nailed his first penalty kick after the break, after Larmour, Bundee Aki and Lowe led an Irish charge.

Ireland started the half with venom, and should have had a couple of tries.

Aki was stopped under the posts, then prop Tadhg Furlong went over with two defenders around his legs. But as he was about to place the ball, prop Zander Fagerson knocked it from Furlong’s grasp. Moments later, wing Calvin Nash cut back and beat four Scots but not Christie, who prevented another try.

Center Robbie Henshaw was then held up over the line by Scotland’s Cam Redpath.

All of the pressure was coming from Ireland, but Scotland was desperately holding out.

The clincher was finished by prop Andrew Porter. Ireland waived off a penalty kick in front of the posts to go for the kill. Ronan Kelleher quick-tapped the penalty and reverse flicked it to Porter, who crashed over.

In a double blow for Scotland, replacement hooker Ewan Ashman was yellow-carded for repeated fouls.

The result seemed certain until Byrne was sin-binned for a head-on-head tackle in the 76th, and Scotland’s Jones slipped three tackles to score between the posts in the 77th.

But Ireland held on.


AP rugby:

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)

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