Just when a phase of rugby looked like breaking out from the Scottish side they threw the ball straight out over the line. This game had deteriorated from a poor game to an awful affair of rugby very quickly. Ireland lost the ensuing lineout and gave away a penalty at midfield at the breakdown. Nigel Davies finally warned the Irish for their penalty count, something that probably should have happened much earlier. Dan Parks converted the penalty to bring Scotland within one score. Scotland 15-21 Ireland.
Compounding Ireland's drop in performance, Ronan O'Gara's drop off went straight out of play to give Scotland another scrum at midfield. Seeking composure, Kidney brought on Leo Cullen. It tells you how bad a performance it was for the Irish when Kidney is close to emptying his bench.
The Scottish looked dangerous before another knock on gave possession back to Ireland. Ireland decided to return the favor almost instantly after an unforced knock on from captain Paul O'Connell.
Dan Parks had given Scotland new life as they ran well at the Irish defense. Max Evans eventually made the break through midfield that brought the team close to the Irish line. Ireland rebuffed them for the try before giving away another penalty. Parks decided to take a free shot at goal with a drop kick which he converted, which was probably a good thing for Dennis Leamy who would have seen yellow had they gone back for the penalty. Scotland 18-21 Ireland.
Jonathan Sexton was introduced for Ronan O'Gara.
A series of knock ons from both sides resulted in an impressive kick from Jonathan Sexton to move Scotland out of Irish territory.
Ireland were inviting pressure onto themselves with poor decision making that resulted in them going backwards with the ball. Jonathan Sexton ran when he should have kicked the ball before Gordon D'Arcy exposed himself to tackles by running sideways. Scotland eventually took over possession around midfield after Sean Cronin ran over the sideline.
Ireland were hanging on against the Scots now who were trying to break through the Irish defense but looked incapable of doing so initially against a defense that was unorganized and tired.
Sean O Brien and Dennis Leamy finally pulled the ball from Scottish hands just when Scotland were getting close to the Irish line which gave Brian O Driscoll the chance to kick clear. O Driscoll's kick skid off the side of his boot but gave the Irish a chance to take in breath.
Ireland conceded the lineout to Scotland who moved the ball from right to left looking for a gap. Scotland looked lost and Paul O Connell eventually dived on a loose ball allowing Luke Fitzgerald to kick the ball long. Oddly Ireland didn't take control and try to grind out the clock which allowed Scotland to counter attack.
Paul O Connell was coming up big in the games' dying moments as he once again stole the ball from a Scottish lineout. Once again Ireland kicked the ball instead of shutting down the game but Scotland lacked imagination and couldn't take the ball past the halfway line. Ireland eventually turned the ball over and Jonathan Sexton kicked the ball out of touch to escape Murrayfield with a narrow victory.
In possibly one of the worst games of Rugby you will see this year, Ireland were lucky to get a victory.
Scotland 18-21 Ireland.