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Geordan Murphy is tackled by Simon Webster
Geordan Murphy starred for Ireland after his late call-up

Ireland (14) 34
Tries: Wallace, Kearney, Horan, Bowe 2
Cons: O'Gara 3
Pens: O'Gara

Scotland (6) 13
Try: Webster
Con: Paterson
Pens: Paterson 2

Ireland produced a fine attacking display to comfortably beat Scotland in their RBS Six Nations clash in Dublin.

The visitors dominated early on without scoring and they were dealt a sucker punch by David Wallace's try.

After Chris Paterson's penalty response, Geordan Murphy's spectacular catch helped set up a Rob Kearney try.

Ahead 14-6 at the break, Marcus Horan's try extended Ireland's lead and while Simon Webster's score gave Scotland hope, two Tommy Bowe tries sealed it.

Ireland will now try to spike Wales' guns at Croke Park in a fortnight and set themselves up for a Triple Crown clash with England in the final round of matches.

After a slightly nervous start, the hosts moved through the gears to build on the promise of their narrow defeat in Paris a fortnight ago.

Murphy made the most of his late call-up after injury to Girvan Dempsey by producing a man-of-the-match display in his favoured full-back position.

The visitors should have taken the lead in the fifth minute but Paterson opted to take a quick tap in the Irish 22 instead of kicking a straightforward penalty.

606: DEBATE
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As had been the case early on in Paris, the Irish line-out struggled in the opening minutes with two of Bernard Jackman's throws being stolen by the Scots.

The Irish finally began to show fluency in the 14th minute when Eoin Reddan's dart got the three-quarters moving only for Bowe's attempted pass to Andrew Trimble to be intercepted by Ali Hogg.

The Irish pack attempted to burrow their way over the Scottish line in a succession of drives in the 21st minute.

From the resulting scrum, Wallace was given acres of space to score under the posts after Jamie Heaslip's pick-up.

Ronan O'Gara added the extras and suddenly the Irish were 7-0 ahead despite Scotland's early territorial domination.

Paterson replied from a penalty straight after the restart after Jackman had been penalised but it proved a brief respite for the Scots as the Irish responded with a second try on 26 minutes.

Murphy was involved in nearly all Ireland's best attacks and the Leicester man's superb high catch helped set up the Irish score.

O'Gara saw the opportunity after the quick ruck, sending Brian O'Driscoll into space, and the skipper's perfect looping pass enabled Kearney to score in the left corner.

Paterson's second successful penalty reduced Ireland's lead to eight points in the 33rd minute.

The Scots were then held up inches short of the Irish line on two occasions before Nathan Hines' petulance saw a penalty being reversed to ease the pressure on the home side, who went in 14-6 ahead at half-time.

Rob Kearney scores Ireland's opening try
Rob Kearney's try helped Ireland lead 14-6 at half-time

Scotland were dealt a hammer blow after their break when O'Gara's diagonal kick was grasped with ridiculous ease by prop Horan - hovering on the right wing - who ran in unopposed for Ireland's third try.

O'Gara missed the difficult conversion but the Munster fly-half soon knocked over a penalty to extend his team's lead to 22-6.

Scotland were given a glimmer of hope when Simon Webster ended his team's try-scoring famine in the 53rd minute, after Andrew Henderson's pass and some sloppy Irish defence.

Paterson's conversion cut the deficit to 22-13.

Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan responded by introducing fit-again Paul O'Connell for Mick O'Driscoll.

Hooker Rory Best was already on for Jackman, after the Leinster man's initial cut near his left ear.

Webster's try gave Scotland renewed belief as there was a brief lull in the Irish performance.

However, another sensational Irish backs move ended the game as a contest in the 61st minute with O'Gara and Andrew Trimble involved before Bowe's wiry frame enabled the winger to score the try.

Scotland suffered a further blow when replacement Jim Hamilton was carried off with a suspected broken leg.

Right at the finish, Bowe rounded matters off with his second touchdown and Ireland's fifth try.

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    Ireland: Murphy, Bowe, B O'Driscoll, Trimble, Kearney, O'Gara, Reddan, Horan, Jackman, Hayes, O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll, Leamy, D Wallace, Heaslip.
    Replacements: Best for Jackman (44), O'Connell for M O'Driscoll (55), Horgan for B O'Driscoll (70), Easterby for Heaslip (70), Stringer for Reddan (72), P Wallace for O'Gara (77), Best for Jackman (44), Buckley for Hayes (73).

    Scotland: Southwell, Lamont, Webster, Henderson, Walker, Paterson, Blair, Jacobsen, Ford, Murray, Hines, MacLeod, Strokosch, Hogg, Brown.
    Replacements: Rennie for Brown (46), Hamilton for Hines (64), Parks for Southwell (67), De Luca for Henderson (70), Thomson for Ford (70), Cusiter for Blair (72), Kerr for Jacobsen (72).

    Att: 74,234

    Referee: Christophe Berdos (Fra)




  • see also
    Ireland v Scotland player ratings
    23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
    Six Nations as it happened
    23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
    Six Nations photos
    23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
    Scotland leave Hadden exasperated
    23 Feb 08 |  Scottish
    France 26-21 Ireland
    09 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
    Wales 30-15 Scotland
    09 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union


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