Monday, February 28, 2011

Ireland hang on for victory over Scotland at Murrayfield

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 Scots were held out at 21-18, and are yet to register a win in this years 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 sides 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

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