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Saturday, 19 February, 2000, 21:28 GMT
Scots left battered and bruised

Scotland were literally brushed aside despite leading
Scotland were left licking mental and physical wounds after losing heavily to Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

The winners of the last Five Nations find themselves on the bottom of the Six Nations table after two matches played.

And the game also decimated their front row for the remainder of the campaign.

We have let ourselves down and also the people who came to watch us

Substitue Andy Nicol
Try-scoring prop George Graham has been ruled out of the entire campaign and hooker Gordon Bulloch set to miss the next two games.

Graham, the 34-year-old Newcastle prop, dislocated his shoulder as he grabbed the late score.

Although the joint was put back into its socket almost immediately, he will be out of action for at least three months.

Hooker Bulloch will miss the games against France and Wales.

"Gordon sprung a joint in his shoulder which could take four weeks to heal," said Scotland team manager Dougie Morgan.

"We will have to monitor the situation and take it from there."

Scotland coach Ian McGeechan faced a media grilling for the second time in as many weeks with the look of a man barely able to believe what had happened to his team.

A yellow card for Kenny Logan on a bad day all round
After losing in Roma a fortnight ago, Scotland roared into a convincing and deserved 10-0 lead in Dublin before capitulating in startling fashion.

"At 10-0 up we should have hammered home the advantage," said McGeechan.

"We were creating space and keeping Ireland on the back foot.

"Then we started to lose our own possession and give away relatively easy tries.

"They gained in confidence and the result was what happened in the second half."

McGeechan also pointed to an incident at the start of the second half as one of the crucial factors in the Irish triumph.

With Scotland deep in opposition territory, French referee Joel Dume signalled that he was waiting to see if Scotland could take advantage after an Irish infringement.

When the Scots lost possession, Dume waved play on, Rob Henderson hacked downfield, and Shane Horgan scored in the corner despite Gregor Townsend's efforts.

"It was a crucial refereeing decision and at international level little things like that can change the game," he said.

"From being deep in their half with a decent platform to attack, instead we conceded seven points - but it was going wrong before then anyway."

Not a time to panic

Substitute Andy Nicol said the dressing room was a desperate place after the game.

"It is probably the lowest I have ever known," he admitted. "We have let ourselves down and also the people who came to watch us.

"At this level you have to keep the ball otherwise you get punished.

"It was a terrible result but this is not a time to panic and we have to get ourselves right to face France in two weeks."

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