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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 21 February, 2020


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Welcome to our live coverage of Scotland v Ireland from Murrayfield.

The game has been delayed by crowd congestion at the home of Scottish rugby, and will now begin at 2.30.

The teams, for your perusal…

Scotland: C Paterson, N Walker, J Ansbro, G Morrison, S Lamont, R Jackson, R Lawson (capt), A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Cross, J Hamilton, R Gray, A Strokosch, R Rennie, J Beattie. Replacements: D Hall, A Dickinson, A Kellock, D Denton, G Laidlaw, N De Luca, J Cuthbert.

Ireland: R Kearney, A Trimble, F McFadden, P Wallace, L Fitzgerald, J Sexton, T O’Leary, T Court, S Cronin, T Buckley, D Ryan, L Cullen (capt), M McCarthy, N Ronan, D Leamy. Replacements: J Flannery, M Horan, J Hayes, M O’Driscoll, K McLaughlin, I Boss, F Jones.

The reason for the congestion? Tickets for the game were reduced to a bargainous £10.00.

The game has started – that was a long fifteen minutes!

A line-out for Ireland results from some good pressure play – the ball falls to Trimble but it’s stolen by Jim Hamilton. To and fro. The counter-attacking instinct of Chris Paterson comes to the fore as the ball finds touch…

Nicky Walker excites the crowd as he brings the ball inside the Irish 22. Lawson moves the ball to Paterson to Hamilton to some desperate defending by Ireland. Rory Jackson dummies before Ireland counter-attack. The referee ultimately blows for a penalty after Ireland fail to release the ball..

Scotland run the penalty and the ball is eventually knocked on – pressure from Luke Fitzgerald led to the mistake. Beattie is down injured for the Scots.

Elsewhere, New Zealand beat Australia 30-14 at Eden Park this morning to claim the Bledisloe Cup and top the Tri-Nations table… Back here, Rory Jackson pumps a penalty into touch from the halfway line.

Ireland are under massive pressure as they try to keep Scotland out. They manage it. Rob Kearney kicks to touch.

Scoreless after 11 and a half minutes at Murrayfield.

Scrum for Scotland – it’s all fairly scrappy. Now it’s a penalty for the home side on the halfway line. Rory Jackson finds a great touch.

Mike McCarthy makes great ground for Ireland. The Irish have settled into some fine defensive alignments, even if Scotland have enjoyed the majority of possession.

Nicky Walker has an opportunity to attack, offloading to Hamilton to Paterson, Scotland squirm out of the tackle but the whistle is blown for an Irish penalty.

A great counter-attack from Ireland but the ball runs out of play seven metres from the Scottish line. Scotland have a line-out. Nicky Walker has been in the wars and Alan Jacobsen is also down. Still no score.

What else is on?

Another attack for Ireland but the referee calls it back for a forward pass from Jonny Sexton. Looked ok to us.

One for the pub quiz – Leo Cullen is the 100th man to captain Ireland. We’ve played almost 28 minutes without a score on the board.

It has been a very open game, with many players playing for a World Cup place, but the quality is lacking.

Penalty for Ireland outside the Scottish 22 metre line. Sexton’s first opportunity to open the scoring. He’s drilled it straight between the posts and we have the first score of the match – Scotland 0-3 Ireland.

England are playing Wales at Twickenham – the current score is England 10-7 Wales.

Sloppy from Scotland, who spill possession only yards from the Irish line. It’s now a scrum five yards from the Irish line.

Rob Kearney has been very impressive inside his own 22 – hard to believe he hasn’t played since November. Just a minute of the half left.

The half-time whistle has been blown with leading through Jonny Sexton’s penalty. Off to the shop here – anyone want anything? No? Good.

And we’re back…

A penalty for Scotland inside their own 22… It looks like Isaac Boss is about to come in for Ireland.

Scotland ‘butcher’ a try opportunity as Strokosch knocks on, but Ireland are adjudged to have gone off-side. Scotland have an opportunity with a penalty as Paterson is treated for an injury.

With nine minutes gone in the second half, Paterson kicks Scotland’s first penalty. Scotland 3-3 Ireland. Luke Fitzgerald, who had kicked the ball straight to Johnny Beattie to create Scotland’s try opportunity, will be somewhat relieved.

56 minutes have passed. Much endeavour from both teams, but endeavour never won the race. Or something.

Ireland have a chance to clear their lines through a Sexton penalty. It goes into touch 10 metres from the Scottish line. The Scottish RFU have apologised for the delayed kick-off.

Brian O’Driscoll has just tweeted that the Irish bench has been emptied, and he isn’t wrong – the entire Irish front-row has been changed. Still 3-3.

Scotland penalised for not releasing the ball as Mick O’Driscoll – the new Irish captain – remonstrates with the referee.

Jonny Sexton takes the penalty and the touch judges raise their flags. Ireland have the lead once again. Scotland 3-6 Ireland.

Ireland are penalised for not rolling away from a ruck and Paterson steps up to take a penalty outside the 22. He kicks it wide to the right-hand side.

The 105th cap – 99 of them starts – for the 37-year-old John Hayes. Phenomenal.

Scotland get in trouble in the scrum and it’s a penalty for Ireland. It’s right on Sexton’s limit – will he go for it?

The ball drops under the posts, it’s caught by a Scottish player, who hands possession back to Ireland. Leamy carries it towards the 10 metre line before the ball falls to Fergus McFadden. McFadden is penalised and Scotland get the penalty in their own half.

Six minutes remaining..

Try for Scotland! We’ve waited 77 minutes. The Irish defence is split as Joe Ansbro goes over. Rory Jackson’s kick goes between the posts. Scotland 10-6 Ireland.

An overhead pass from Nick De Luca unlocked the Irish defence and Ansbro had a clear path after beating Andrew Trimble. Scotland have beaten Ireland by 10-6. That’s all from us for now. Join us later this evening for live coverage from Dublin v Tyrone…

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