Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Kearney starts for Ireland against Scotland

Kearney starts for Ireland against Scotland

"In the second half the execution of our plays didn't happen.if we'd been able to replicate the first half we'd be sitting here with a win", he said. A minute later Scotland suffered a further setback when Stuart Hogg left the field with an injury.

Sexton endured an uncomfortable time as a muscular England forced a much-vaunted Ireland side, 2018 Grand Slam champions and November conquerors of the All Blacks on to the back foot, up against the ropes for most of a one-sided contest in Dublin last Saturday that ended with a 32-20 defeat for the Irish.

Sam Johnson scored his first global try in a breathless first half and Laidlaw kicked eight points, but Ireland showed their experience to grind Scotland down after the break.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend spoke about accuracy before the match, so he'll have been disappointed with winger Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland in the run-up to Ireland's first try.

Sexton, unfortunately, went off injured in the first half.

The Irish battled bravely during the match, and it was clear to see that Scotland were going in hard on Joe Schmidt's side, especially on fly-half Johnny Sexton, who was on the receiving end of a number of heavy tackles often following through after the ball had been released.

"There was definitely a rise in temperature, definitely a rise in energy, from last week", Schmidt said.

"Look it's massive, he's been a big part of what we've created here over the last while", said Best.

Scotland - Try: Sam Johnson. O'Mahony gave the ball to Sexton on the switch, and Stockdale timed his run to slip through a gap beside the ruck to perfection.

28 minutes - Finn Russell showed great awareness to steal an intercept from Carbery. Scotland troubled Ireland at the gainline and found space behind the defence with several well-aimed kicks, but still trailed the visitors 12-10 at half-time.

The New Zealand-born flyhalf - who moved to Munster a year ago after being an understudy to Sexton at Leinster - made a nervy start with his pass being intercepted leading to Scotland's try at the end of the first-half.

That converted try took the sting out of the Murrayfield crowd until Laidlaw's second penalty put Scotland within a score. Carbery's conversion ensured that Ireland extended their lead to nine points.

If you're looking for a moment that summed up Ireland's performance then it was their third try.

Ireland will remain in the Six Nations title race.

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