Scotland v Ireland Match Report 2011 Six Nations



The big news for Ireland coming into Murrayfield today is the return of Tommy Bowe from injury as well as Ronan O'Gara supplanting Jonathan Sexton as the starter in the number 10 shirt.

Scotland: 15-Chris Paterson, 14-Nikki Walker, 13-Nick De Luca, 12-Sean Lamont, 11-Max Evans, 10-Ruaridh Jackson, 9-Mike Blair, 8-Johnnie Beattie, 7-John Barclay, 6-Kelly Brown, 5-Alastair Kellock, 4-Richie Gray, 3-Moray Low, 2-Ross Ford, 1-Allan Jacobsen.

Replacements: 16-Scott Lawson, 17-Geoff Cross, 18-Nathan Hines, 19-Richie Vernon, 20-Rory Lawson, 21-Dan Parks, 22-Simon Danielli.

Ireland: 15-Luke Fitzgerald, 14-Tommy Bowe, 13-Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12-Gordon D'Arcy, 11-Keith Earls, 10-Ronan O'Gara, 9-Eoin Reddan; 8-Jamie Heaslip, 7-David Wallace, 6-Sean O'Brien, 5-Paul O'Connell, 4-Donncha O'Callaghan, 3-Mike Ross, 2-Rory Best, 1-Cian Healy.

Replacements: 16-Sean Cronin, 17-Tom Court, 18-Leo Cullen, 19-Denis Leamy, 20-Peter Stringer, 21-Jonathan Sexton, 22-Paddy Wallace.

O'Gara's presence in the Irish side was a reflection of the likely game-plan that the team would carry into the game. Ireland were expected to look to take on the Scottish upfront as the home side were missing star forwards Euan Murray and Nathan Hines. Ireland were expected to play a slow field position game to pressure the Scottish pack on the boot of Ronan O'Gara.

Scotland dropped off.

Ireland continued their streak of stupid penalties early in the game when Luke Fitzgerald's knock on was picked up by Paul O'Connell which gave Scotland a chance to kick at goal from midfield. Six Nations debutant Ruaridh Jackson's strike at the posts did not have the necessary distance to put the first points on the board.

O'Gara and Bowe first impact on the game came from Ireland's first set piece. The team ran a set move from a scrum in the Scottish half. O'Gara chipped over fullback Chris Patterson for Bowe to chase which resulted in a lineout to Ireland 5 yards from the try line.

Ireland controlled the ball from the lineout but were stuffed initially from a maul. After David Wallace and Cian Healy were repelled from the line, Eoin Reddan fed Rory Best who popped the ball to Jamie Heaslip which allowed him to stroll in for the opening try. Scotland 0-7 Ireland.

Ireland looked to have their tails up as they looked to run at Scotland from their own half but once again gave away a penalty at midfield after Luke Fitzgerald was isolated in a ruck. Scotland kicked down the line but an errant throw at the lineout gave Ireland a chance to clear their lines.

O'Gara was striking the ball well from hand which was keeping Scotland out of the Irish half.

Scotland eventually penetrated into the Irish 22 after tough and persistent running from the whole team earned them a penalty from a difficult angle. Chris Patterson took over the kicking duties from Jackson as it was within his range and didn't disappoint. Scotland 3-7 Ireland.
From the resulting kickoff Ronan O'Gara gave away a penalty inside the Scottish 22 which Scotland took quickly and turned into a penalty inside the Irish half. Ireland continuing to give away stupid penalties, something that has haunted them throughout this competition. Patterson stepped up and systematically split the posts. Scotland 6-7 Ireland.

After twenty minutes the Irish pack were yet to impose themselves at the breakdown which was resulting in scrappy possession for the team. Ireland were lucky to win a penalty at the Scottish 10 meter line which gave Ronan O'Gara his first penalty attempt. O'Gara's kick fell short and wide allowing Sean LaMont to clear his lines.

The mistakes weren't waining as a quick lineout ultimately led to a poor pass from Reddan causing Jamie Heaslip to knock on in midfield under no pressure.

Predictably, Scotland turned a scrum into a penalty as Mike Ross was penalized for not binding.

Scotlands stint in the Irish half came to nothing when Eoin Reddan eventually broke away from the Irish 22 which gave Ronan O'Gara a chance to pin Scotland back close to their own line. Scotland took a risky lineout that didn't pay off which allowed Rory Best and Ronan O'Gara to tackle Sean LaMont behind his try line. Ireland had a scrum 5 meters with a substantial blindside.

Ireland looked to push Scotland over from the scrum which gave them a penalty advantage before Jamie Heaslip broke from the back to draw the defenders. Heaslip was held up but Eoin Reddan ripped the ball from his teammate and scampered through the defense to dive over the line. Scotland 6-14 Ireland.

It was definitely a case of one step forward and two steps back for Ireland as they almost instantly gave away another penalty through Rory Best. It was Ireland's 7th penalty in the game and gave Chris Patterson an easy opportunity with no angle to deter him. Scotland 9-14 Ireland.