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Monday, February 28, 2011

Ireland hang on for victory over Scotland at Murrayfield

Scotland coach Andy Robinson was left fuming after Ireland clung onto a 21-18 lead to win a closely fought fixture at Murrayfield this weekend. Despite coming close, Scotland have now lost three from three in this year's Championship.

In a game littered with penalties, Robinson was left scratching his head as to why more was not done about the persistent infringing; highlighting the 13-4 penalty count against his side, and the sin-binning of prop Allan Jacobsen as key to his team's defeat.

Three tries for the Irish, coming from Jamie Heaslip, Eoin Reddan and Ronan O'Gara, who also added three conversions, was enough to grant the visitors a win, although the performance was far from convincing. Scotland responded with four Chris Paterson penalties, a Dan Parks drop goal and penalty, yet could not find the cutting edge to breach a resolute Irish defence.

Despite a strong last quarter, the Scot’s were held out at 21-18, and are yet to register a win in this year’s Six Nations. They now have to travel to Grand Slam-chasing England on March 13.

After the game, a pleased Ireland head coach Declan Kidney said: "It's encouraging when we are scoring tries - three in this game, three in the last game (against France), that is always positive.

"It is a difficult place to come and win. We got three tries and we let a couple of others slip away. But we won the match. The way the things are in the country, why not celebrate that? Hopefully people will have a good night."

Scotland coach Robinson pointed the finger at referee Nigel Owens as the reason to his side’s defeat. "There are a number of issues that I have about the game; firstly, the high Irish penalty count and no sin-bins and their ability to slow our ball down illegally.

"Secondly, I thought the scrums just after half-time - when we've got the Irish going backwards and there was a penalty against us and then from the next scrum our prop (Jacobsen) was sin-binned - was a major turning point in the game.

"We were just about to get on top of the Irish and to lose a player like that is pretty hard to come back from. I want to know why he made those calls," he added.

Time: 04:19



  • Crazy game. 13 penalties against Ireland, Scots beaten well in the scrum, O'Connell dominated in the lineout and most surprising of all, ROG, the human speedbump himself, handing off a hooker and breaking a tackle in the in-goal area to score a try.

    Seriously though, we should've put another two tries, at least, on them. No disrespect to the Scots, but without the penalty count and Paterson's trusty boot, they wouldn't, and to be frank shouldn't, have been close. Their backline was shocking, what Lamont was doing in the centre I'll never know, while Walker was non-existent, Paterson was pinned back constantly by ROG, De Luca isn't even worth mentioning and Evans, the only bright spark, was totally unsupported whenever he made one of his several, searing breaks. I won't even bother talking about the halfbacks.

    Once again, Ireland (almost) undone by persistant, silly infringements.

    By Blogger wow-jiffy-lube, at February 28, 2011 1:59 pm  

  • Jesus what a steaming pile of shite that was, Ireland should have had a yellow card and the fans should (each and everyone of them) be given a full refund. I am a passionate Irish suporter but this was pathetic dross, pis spoor Six nations this year, Kidney needs to grow some bollix and drop some of his pets,Italy are going to EAT us @ World Cup, we wont get out of our pool.. :O(

    By Anonymous ConnachtFan, at February 28, 2011 2:04 pm  

  • Great hand-off by O'gara for the try but Paterson could have saved it, a bit risky by O'gara.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 2:04 pm  

  • ConnachtFan are you on crack?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 2:08 pm  

  • I thought it was a very exciting game with a lot of positives. The Irish are harder on themselves than they are on us SH fans!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 2:14 pm  

  • Scotland seem to have gone backwards this championship.

    We always have a decent pack it seems (particularly back-row) - Heaslip really is a player.

    Scotland's perennial problem is not having a decent backline - no gas, no skills. Hard to win games without at least one of those.........

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 2:25 pm  

  • for me D'Arcy definitely needs to be dropped i actually haven't seen a good game from him since probably 2006.
    There isn't much choice but id go for Downey of Northampton a big solid centre, we all saw how O'Driscoll did with a big fella next to him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 2:35 pm  

  • arse gravy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 2:45 pm  

  • beautiful hand-off, love the confidence from o'gara - could do with that as a clip unto itself to offset the ones where o'gara comes off the worse of a stiff arm.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 2:49 pm  

  • @Connacht Fan, you just prove what they know about Rugby in Connacht. Italy going to eat us in the World Cup. Ha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 3:02 pm  

  • I have to admit, I think Robinson's got a point about the absence of and Irish yellow card in light of the sheer number of penalties given away. Although it's by no means certain Scotland would have been able to take advantage even with an extra man.

    The (only?) major positive Scotland can take away from this is their commitment and determination. Yet again I bet they give England a run for their money in the next match, despite generally looking rubbish.

    By Anonymous Von, at February 28, 2011 3:04 pm  

  • Nice handoff by O'Gara, but what on earth was that move he did to get past Paterson?? Not really a sidestep, was it. Looked more like a sort of Michael MacIntyre skip...

    By Anonymous Von, at February 28, 2011 3:06 pm  

  • To the comment at the top, I didn't really see O'Connells domination in the line out. He got one against a Scottish throw at the end, but for the majority of the match the Scottish line out dominated and stole a lot of opposition ball.

    Thought Lamont and Evans had a decent game and I'm not O'Gara's biggest fan but he added a level of control for the Irish that they haven't had with Sexton.

    I felt it was another match where the Irish gifted all the points to the scottish. They had some good moments, but there was also a 5 min period where they pinned the Scots on there 5 metre line and due to a lack of dynamism around the breakdown didn't do anything with it, which is fairly suprising considering the Munster influence. At the same time one of the Irish flankers had an awesome game, really fronting up in defence and 3/4 excellent line breaks.

    The Scots need something fresh. The forwards are pretty good, but the backline seems to play so far behind the gainline that some passes out the scrum/ruck to 10 disappeared off the screen. It's a shame Jackson didn't have the influence on the game that most people hoped for.

    By Anonymous Nick, at February 28, 2011 3:38 pm  

  • I'd say Ross Ford will get some ridicule for being sat down like that by O'Gara.

    Regarding the line-outs, I think Scotland totally dominated us in that area. There was a very good argument for bringing in Devin Toner who is taller even than the Scots locks.

    Unlucky Scotland. They really are a tough side to beat these days.

    By Anonymous Mike, at February 28, 2011 3:41 pm  

  • Kidney needs to drill it into his team that if they continue drawing penalties at ruck time, he will personally punish them,ie drop them...

    It cost us the match against France, it should of cost us the match yesterday, and against England and Wales it will cost us....And to those claiming there's not a hope of Italy beating us come world cup time? Where's your evidence for that? Is it the "hammering" we gave them a couple of weeks ago? If we play as poorly as we have been an continue gifting teams 3 points then any team in the top 10 is very capable of beating us.....

    We should have been yellow carded, probably twice for the amount of time we failed to release the player and didnt roll away...

    Hopefully we can sort it out over the gap week and start firing on all cylinders come Cardiff...

    By Blogger themull, at February 28, 2011 3:46 pm  

  • One more point - never, ever go high in the tackle against O'Gara because he will smash through you like you aren't there...

    By Anonymous Mike, at February 28, 2011 3:46 pm  

  • @nick

    Sorry that meant to read "O'Connell *was* dominated..."

    My bad, Gray was immense.

    By Blogger wow-jiffy-lube, at February 28, 2011 4:44 pm  

  • Chuck Norris crosses the road to avoid Ronan O'Gara...

    By Anonymous ConnachtFan, at February 28, 2011 4:45 pm  

  • Love the Chuck Norris line! :)

    Ireland have had more errors per game than in any 6ns over the past 5yrs I would say. I would agree that we could have been carded but I think what slowed the ball down more than anything for the Scots was their backline. Have to say that a number of times Ireland were blown against for what looked like legitimate steals to me. Some ball holding on the ground since the new ruck rules came in and it's going unpunished.
    Robinson's talking through his arse though, Scotland didn't look like getting on top of the Irish at any point. They made a few decent line breaks but didn't get anywhere near the tryline. Ireland look like a team that isn't playing to it's potential at all. Darcy needs to take a rest in my opinion, not on form at all, and at this level 3 bad games should be enough to see someone else getting a run.

    By Anonymous Jack78, at February 28, 2011 5:02 pm  

  • Thanks for mentioning O'Gara's hand off, up to this point its been about Ford's poor tackle. If Cooper, Carter et al did that we'd all be saying what great skill (remember ROG has previous, Mal O'Kelly 06 HC 1/2 anyone). The sidestep on Patterson was cocky though, including throwing the ball away, but he was clearly the most passionate out there as evidenced by his demeanour at the final whistle trying to raise the Irish players.

    Serial offenders who need to be named and shamed

    Healy, Best, DOC, POC (nobody's mentioned the fact that this was his 5th game under new rules and it looks like noone told him to release the attacker), Heaslip (every ruck seemingly) and Leamy (great for the turn over, but is becoming a huge liability which is a shame because he can still be a giant player).

    Whatever about Ire's illegalities, I like Robinson's amnesia towards the amount Scotland got away with. They spent the whole game offside, several lazy runners, and deliberate knock ons in their 22. Yes, Leamy should've gone, but the scrum yellow was clear and they should've had 1 more.

    Rob Kearney said last week Ire can win the WC. What a joke, I'm sure Graham Henry, de Villiers, Deans adn even Johnson agree. I'd prefer if they concentrated on beating Wales and England first.

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at February 28, 2011 5:12 pm  

  • Jack78

    I agree. There's a defensive tactic Ire do which they get punished for but I think is legitimite. They hold the ball carrier up, forcing a maul and the turnover if its unplayable, but, refs are blowing them for not releasing, yet the tackle hasn't finished if the ball carrier is still supporting their weight and the ball is off the ground. I think Kidney or BOD said this to Owens because he was more lenient than previous refs.

    Too lazy to search for IRB rules, but this is a talk back so someone could tell me I'm bullshitting or not.

    By Anonymous Huh!! the 3rd, at February 28, 2011 5:20 pm  

  • @huh
    You're right about forcing the mauls, for a tackle to be complete the ball carrier has to hit the ground.

    For a great example of this tactis (used by munster in this case) check out the link below.


    By Blogger wow-jiffy-lube, at February 28, 2011 5:31 pm  

  • *tactic

    By Blogger wow-jiffy-lube, at February 28, 2011 5:31 pm  

  • Richie Gray will become a legend.
    (you read it here first !)
    You gotta love this player...

    By Anonymous ToulouseFan, at February 28, 2011 5:35 pm  

  • I'm afraid I'm at the end of my playing days (maybe another year or 2)and so a lot of old habits die hard. I couldn't be arsed googling rules either, but as I understand it if you're on your feet you can go for the ball as long as a ruck hasn't been called, a ruck however needs to be formed by at least 2 defenders who are linked and over the ball while staying on their feet. If they're lying on the ruck it's a foul(sealing used to be legal not anymore). If you look at the kicks against Ireland in this clip alone picking the worst offenders is difficult and the kicks could have gone either way according to the rules. The onus on the ref seems to be to keep the game flowing and favour the attacking side but the risk is holding the ball on the ground will become commonplace. Too much left to the ref's discretion in any case as far as I'm concerned and at all levels the result is seemingly inconsistant reffing. Ireland were never a dirty team by any standard. Am curious to see how the reffing goes in the RWC. McCaw would have been in major trouble on the pitch yesterday.

    Oh and did I mention Robinson talking through his arse? Whingy whiny soccer attitude...

    By Anonymous Jack78, at February 28, 2011 5:36 pm  

  • I dont blame ROG throwing the ball away...he got his 10 shirt back and was showing why he deserves it (powering through ford, stepping paterson)...its kind of the drive he needed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 6:37 pm  

  • Kidney needs to drill it into his team that if they continue drawing penalties at ruck time, he will personally punish them,ie drop them...

    I definitely agree. Kidney has been a bit too soft for too long in terms of benching or dropping players who don't perform or give up stupid errors and that's also at the cost of getting in new and untested talent.

    But what I was most upset about was Ireland's ever-present inability to capitalize on opportunities. Had ROG not somehow scored, I would've thrown something at the television out of frustration for Ireland not going wide at (at least) two opportunities before that which would've been certain tries.

    Anyone else think Bowe was uncharacteristically absent this match? I imagine it's just because he's returning from injury and all, but if he can add a lot to the Irish side when he's on form...hope he gets back to it in time for England!

    I also think Robinson has some good points there (minus the card for Jacobsen because that was deserved) - Ireland could (and probably should) have been carded on more than one occasion. But he's probably also deflecting a bit because he might be feeling the heat of Scotland's string of bad performances...

    By Anonymous orange, at February 28, 2011 7:51 pm  

  • Frustrating to watch as an Ireland fan. We scored three tries but we should of had three more. SOB made atleast two clear breaks - however we commit fouls at the breakedown when it comes to recycling constantly - costing us posession at times when we don't even need to cough it up - times when were under no pressure. I have no doubt we will come good - but it feels like such as a waste to see all that effort go to waste due to simply errors.

    By Anonymous IrelandsBall, at February 28, 2011 8:29 pm  

  • the new rules have been brought in to favour attacking rugby and when ireland attacked owens blew agenst. i have to be honest most of the time the tackler stayed on his feet its just a problem of releceing and re engageing. hell if it doesent work drive over the ball to insure its yours at ruck time. its only common sense lads.

    By Anonymous ciaran, at February 28, 2011 8:50 pm  

  • I trully agree with the point raised by Von/Jack78.

    I have nothing against the Irish, it looks they are slowly getting more confidence in their game, but this habits to slow down continiously the ball in the ruck is really annoying. How is it possible not to get a yellow card in this game (still not sure whether the Scot will have done something with it). I am also very curious, if they do continue like this, how they will be dealt during the WC.

    Few other comments:
    - ROG/ O'Connell just proved old man proud never die.....
    - Richie Gray.....the revelation of the 6 nations so far....I am curious how long he will stay in Glasgow. Different position but when he does carry the ball I have some flashback watching "The Great White Shark". Just brillant, still a long way for him, just hope a bright one.

    By Anonymous Flipje, at February 28, 2011 9:02 pm  

  • Ireland are truly the most infuriating team to watch. They attack well at times but continually shoot themselves (I'm not saying "in the foot" cause its so much worse than that, they just keep pulling the trigger).
    I hope somebody went in after the match and gave all the players a good slap, cause they really need to wake up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2011 11:36 pm  

  • At 1:40 is Heaslip not the tackler, then Rory Best is the first man in, before any ruck is formed, and trys to take the ball, while staying on his feet all the time?? Why is the penalty given, he does nothing wrong in my opinion?? Im not irish by the way, so its not a biased view!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 01, 2011 12:13 am  

  • Look at the spring in the step of O'Gara and Stringer at present. They ain't gettin their game every time, so when they do, they play really well.
    While there's plenty to be said for consistency (remember the 90s irish fans!?!) some players just ain't getting a go. POC was injured for 11 months and Plug hardly got a run out. WTF?!?

    Jennings, Stringer, Boss, Cullen, Downey (?) neither Murphys (yes I know one is injured at the mo but he never got used properly anyway) Duffy...lots of good players never get to make incumbents fight for their position.

    Fionn Carr doesn't even make the Wolfhounds bench, if I'm not mistaken.

    By Anonymous mise, at March 01, 2011 1:43 am  

  • Wow, that first try from Ireland, terrible defending from Scotland, massive gap in the line.

    And the Irish should have had a guy or two sent to the bin for repeated infringments.

    It seems to be their game plan, kill the ball ilegaly at the breakdown. Not cool.

    By Anonymous Jono, at March 01, 2011 2:10 am  

  • hahaha im loving the irish blindside flanker pulling the french scrumhalf back to where hes supposed to be in the middle of the scrum, awesome.

    By Anonymous USA7, at March 01, 2011 4:01 am  

  • USA7 french? really? are you sure?

    By Anonymous Ben, at March 01, 2011 10:26 am  

  • first penalty on this clip, Darcy wasn't the tackler, he was on his feet, straight and no ruck was formed, should have been a penalty for holding the ball, 2nd penalty Best wasn't the tackler, same story and the counter ruck at the end is a part of Rugby Union play but even though there was no defending ruck formed a penalty was given to Scotland. If anyone was slowing the ball down it was the tackled Scots who wouldn't release the ball.
    Has something changed regarding the rules on how a ruck is formed? Looking at this clip it seems like you just have to be in the general area near the player on the ground.

    By Anonymous Baffled at the ref, at March 01, 2011 11:56 am  

  • @anonymous, yes Heaslip is the tackler, he releases and rolls away immediately and Best and O'Driscoll form a defensive ruck and steal the ball. The ref seems to have watched the French game and decided that the Irish weren't releasing enough, so he came in a little biased. I usually like Owens but I think his ruck interpretation for this game was questionable at best.

    Don't now what good points Robinson made, I can't find one I agree with.

    Oh, but I'm Irish so this comment is filled with bias, does that make it less credible??

    By Anonymous Erin go Breà, at March 01, 2011 12:07 pm  

  • @Baffled: Darcy had legally won the ball but the ref was playin advantage cause Healy had infringed somewhere (offside?). He clearly states "1 green" when he blows.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 01, 2011 12:41 pm  

  • @ Erin go Breà
    Haha, i was just stating i wasnt Irish in case the usual rigmarole started, u know, abusive comments towards me saying how im looking at the whole situation from a biased Irish perspective!! And btw, yes, your comment is perfectly credible!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 01, 2011 6:31 pm  

  • Healy was pinged for not retreating when the new ruck had formed. He was just up from the previous ruck and tackled straight away. D'arcy's steal would've been ligitimate otherwise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 01, 2011 7:15 pm  

  • any chance of getting a clip of sean o'brien's 2 great runs around the 50 minute mark. Would be great for anyone who didn't catch the game, he must have bumper off at least three scots on his way

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 01, 2011 7:57 pm  

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