MATCH REPORT | Ireland Club XV 26 - 23 Scotland Club XV

A second-half comeback by Scotland Club XV wasn’t enough to overcome a physical Ireland side, who pipped the visitors to the post at Dubarry Park (26-23).

Scotland Club XV Head Coach, Rob Chrystie, said: “There was a lot of positives to take. Every time we got a bit of territory we looked quite dangerous.

“I think we did well in our scrum and line-outs and overall it was a really good game of rugby.

“We will definitely be looking to bounce back ahead of the next game at Netherdale.”

It was Ireland who initiated the scoring following an error from the visitors, which saw Harry Brennan canter down the left flank, before off-loading to Jack Dwan who finished the job.

The early lead by Ireland was not enough to diminish Scotland’s fighting spirit, as two successful penalties by fly-half Craig Jackson brought the team back into contention.

Following another series of sustained pressure, Ireland grabbed their second try of the night when Joe McSwiney muscled his way through the defence to score.

In the closing moments of the first half, Scotland retaliated as captain Fraser Thomson swatted off numerous defenders to clamber his way over the line.

HALF-TIME: Ireland Club XV 14 – 11 Scotland Club XV

Mistakes proved costly for the Scottish outfit at the start of the second-half, as Nick Beavon received a yellow card in the 49th minute for bringing down a maul.

Further errors continued to mar the progress of the visiting side, as Ireland were awarded a penalty try in the 69th minute, after a knock-on by Scotland.

It wasn’t long until Scotland launched their counter-attack, as great interplay between the forwards and the backs presented the opportunity for speedy full-back Thomson to sidle through the defence to score his second try of the night.

With momentum building, Scotland’s patience brought reward as they earned a penalty try on the back of a well-worked driving maul, which saw them take the lead for the first time during the evening.

However, the team had to endure a last gasp attempt by Ireland, and with the home crowd roaring it was only a matter of time until Daniel McEvoy produced a scintillating attack before scoring, which sealed victory for the home side.

FULL-TIME: Ireland Club XV 26 - 23 Scotland Club XV

Scotland Club XV will play their home fixture against Ireland Club XV at Netherdale on Friday 16 March (kick-off 7.30pm). Tickets are on sale now, available through Gala Rugby Club or online here. U18 tickets are FREE, adults £12 and concessions (seniors and students) £5.

Referee: Matthew Turvey (England)

Scotland Club XV: Fraser Thomson CAPTAIN (Melrose); Jordan Edmunds (Boroughmuir), Ross Curle (Stirling County), Robbie Nelson (Currie Chieftains), Craig Gossman (Ayr); Craig Jackson (Melrose), Charlie Shiel (Currie Chieftains); Shawn Muir (Hawick), Russell Anderson (Melrose), Steven Longwell (Ayr), Iain Moody (Melrose), Robert McAlpine (Ayr), Blair MacPherson (Ayr), Jack Turley (Heriot’s), Pete McCallum (Ayr). Replacements: Michael Liness (Heriot’s), Nick Beavon (Melrose), Struan Cessford (Heriot’s), Ruairidh Leishman (Stirling County), Rory Drummond (Watsonians), Murdo McAndrew (Melrose), Scott Lyle (Ayr), George Taylor (Melrose)

Ireland Club XV: Jake Swaine (Tenenure College); Harry Brennan (Lansdowne), Niall Kenneally (Cork Constitution), Matt D'Arcy (Clontarf), Daniel McEvoy (Lansdowne); Jamie Gavin (Garryowen), Neil Cronin CAPTAIN (Garryowen); Cronan Gleeson (Old Wesley), Paddy Finlay (Dublin University), Colm Skehan (Young Munster), Alex Thompson (Terenure College), Michael Melia (Tenenure College), Jack Dwan (Lansdowne), Joe McSwiney (Cork Constitution), Michael Noone (Clontarf). Replacements: Ed Rossiter (Old Belvedere), Tom O'Reilly (St. Mary's College), Michael Cromie (Banbridge), Ciaran Ruddock (St. Mary's College), Paulie Tolofua (Naas), Angus Lloyd (Dublin University), Mark O'Neill (Terenure College), Eamonn Mills (Lansdowne).