Ireland V Scotland

It was a disappointing start to Scotland’s 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign as they were over-powered by Ireland in tough conditions in Yokohama.

It wasn’t a day for expansive rugby and Ireland’s script was tailored accordingly with their pack the dominant personalities, ably augmented by Conor Murray at scrum-half.

Scotland just could not get a foot-hold in the game and there will be frustration aplenty that they came up so short today.

Now they have eight days to prepare to atone with the next match against Samoa a week on Monday.

Stuart Hogg kicked off for Scotland in front of 72,000 fans at the International Stadium in Yokohama and the full-back was involved frequently in a frantic opening three minutes in which Scotland dominated territory.

From Irish lineout possession, Rory Best triggered Conor Murray and it required a valiant save from Jonny Gray to deal with the scrum-half’s kick-ahead.

Ireland, however, struck first with Iain Henderson on the charge through two tackles from Stuart McInally and Grant Gilchrist; Hogg did well to claw down the lock, but Ireland retained possession and the other lock, James Ryan crashed over from close-range ruck ball. Jonny Sexton converted (7-0, 6 mins)

Penalties against Scotland, one for Hogg’s failure to release in the tackle and then the next, a technical offence against WP Nel for side entry, saw Ireland opt for a close-range lineout. Scotland appeared to have doused the drive but, even though it splintered, Best managed to crash over and though Ryan Wilson looked to have got a hand in on the touch-down, the referee (and TMO) were satisfied on the grounding. Sexton missed the conversion (12-0, 15 mins).

Scotland managed to free up Seymour on the right and Ireland were penalised at the breakdown for Greig Laidlaw to land Scotland’s first points of the night (12-3, 20 mins).

A fine touch-finder from Finn Russell enabled Wilson to catch at the lineout as Scotland looked to consolidate from that score, but Seymour’s failure to take a pass saw the ball balloon free, Garry Ringrose hacked on and though Hogg looked to be in control, the ball took a cruel deflection off the post protector and forced Hogg to carry over.

From the scrum, CJ Stander thundered forward, Ireland recycled and, ultimately, Tadhg Furlong crashed over for the try. Murray converted (19-3, 25 mins).

Scotland’s errors were defusing any prospect of an immediate fightback, and when Jacob Stockdale stepped Hogg as the winger found space, alarm bells were ringing but a superb recovery tackle from Sam Johnson, then even better work by Russell, who counter-rucked so vigorously that Scotland won a turnover, showed the character of the stand-off.

Three minutes from the break, Scotland lost Hamish Watson with a knee injury, as contact was made by Cian Healy at a breakdown. Watson was replaced by Fraser Brown

Murray miscued with a long-range penalty awarded at a scrum just before the half-time whistle sounded.

Half-time: Ireland 19 Scotland 3

In a first-half performance where the bludgeon of the Irish pack, particularly at close-range, was the major factor, Scotland had to find a way to get back into the game in the second period.

The game restarted in torrential rain and Wilson had the first catch from the Irish kick-off. An Irish counter-ruck soon had Scotland having to defend frantically but an off-the-ball push saw Scotland awarded a penalty as Andrew Conway menaced in the Scots’ in-goal.

Scotland shaped promisingly with Hogg’s boot prompting them into the Irish 22. Then a series of pick and goes, with the pack ball-carrying, took Scotland to within seven metres of the Irish line, but a knock-on from John Barclay quashed that opportunity.

Ireland crafted the opening score of the half and Murray was the architect. He hoisted a high ball and Wilson could not collect. Ireland then retained possession and attacked the narrow side for Conway to evade Russell’s tackle and scuttle in for their fourth try. Murray missed the conversion. (24-3, 57 mins).

Jack Carty, Ireland’s substitute fly-half, landed an offside penalty to extend Ireland’s lead (27-3, 67 mins).

Scotland attacked purposefully and Hogg threatened on the wide channel on the right. Tadhg Beirne slowed up ball at the breakdown and was sent to the sin-bin accordingly. However, from the line-out and interplay between Brown and McInally, Scotland sought forward momentum and the ball was carried forward by Simon Berghan only for it to bobble clear on the Irish side.

Scotland had emptied their bench in an attempt to make some impact, but it was just not happening.

Full-time: Ireland 27 Scotland 3

Ireland: Jordan Larmour; Andrew Conway, Gary Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Jonny Sexton, Connor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best CAPTAIN, Tadgh Furlong; Iain Henderson, James Ryan; Peter O'Mahony, Josh Van der Flier, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Niall Scannell for Van Der Flier (72 mins), Dave Kilcoyne for Furlong (49 mins), Andrew Porter for Healy (49 mins), Tadhg Beirne for Henderson (57 mins), Jack Conan for Van Der Flier (13-21 mins) and then for O’Mahony (26 mins), Luke McGrath for Murray (58 mins), Jack Carty for Sexton (57 mins), Chris Farrell for Aki (20 mins)

Scotland: Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs); Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Maitland (Saracens); Finn Russell (Racing 92), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne); Allan Dell (London Irish), Stuart McInally CAPTAIN, Willem Nel, Grant Gilchrist (all Edinburgh Rugby), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), John Barclay, Hamish Watson (both Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors).

Subs: Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) for Watson (37 mins), Gordon Reid (Ayrshire Bulls) for Dell (61 mins), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh Rugby) for Nel (52 mins), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) for Gray (64 mins), Blade Thomson (Scarlets) for Barclay (52 mins), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) for Laidlaw (61 mins), Chris Harris (Gloucester) for Taylor (64 mins), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) for Seymour (58 mins).

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere and Alexandre Ruiz (both France)

TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

live commentary 8:45 AM Sunday 22 Sep 2019

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Kick-off 8:45 AM



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