Sports

Scotland Lay Down Marker In Unseen Warm-Up Tactic Ahead Of Ireland Game

Scotland Lay Down Marker In Unseen Warm-Up Tactic Ahead Of Ireland Game

Ireland had moved to the brink of glory by claiming a 28-8 bonus-point win over Scotland in Dublin earlier today.

Eddie Jones insists England are negotiating an inevitable slump where the "game does not love you" after France handed Ireland the NatWest 6 Nations title by prevailing 22-16 in Paris. It was committed, focused and we took the game to the opposition right to the end.

"It was a great performance for France".

"There's so much still to play for and we know how hard it is going to be against England".

Scotland matched their hosts for much of the first half, but Ulster flyer Stockdale went over twice, the second on the stroke of halftime as Ireland went in 14-3 ahead.

Which means that the Grand Slam is within grasp, as Ireland take on England at Twickenham Stadium in London on Saturday 17 March, kicking off 2.45pm.

"It's been in the back of our minds and it's something you always dream of", Murray said.

Scotland showed glimpses of the form that saw them beat England in the previous round of matches but left too many points out on the field through bungled passing.

They were deep into Ireland territory and leading 3-0 through Greig Laidlaw's penalty when they offered the hosts the first of several gifts during the afternoon.

Peter Horne gifted Joe Schmidt's men the opener in Dublin midway through the first period when his pass was intercepted by Jacob Stockdale.

Sexton's conversion opened up a 7-3 lead after 24 minutes but Scotland should have been back in front soon after when Huw Jones fluffed his lines by misplacing a pass to Stuart Hogg with the full-back virtually guaranteed to touch down if the delivery was better.

With an terrible record away from home, the Scots' own championship bid was nearly inevitably squashed by an Irish side which owns the visitors in Dublin, where Scotland has won only once in 20 years.

Ireland made its bonus-point intentions known after only four minutes, when flyhalf maestro Jonathan Sexton waived off a penalty goalkick to set up a lineout.

Blair Kinghorn's try did narrow the lead to 21-8 with a well-worked try in the 51st minute, but Ireland were simply more clinical and there was a sense of elation when a lineout move in the corner resulted in Cronin, nearly on his knees, going over.

He's determined he doesn't squander this rare shot at a Grand Slam.

"Have they earned it?" Yet if I could I'd suggest that they need to be treat that ticket as a privilege; a chance to influence the outcome, because they...

"They are a very good team", added the backrow.

"We created a lot of opportunities and one more pass needed to go to hand", Scotland skipper John Barclay said.