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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 September, 2003, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Ireland soundly beat Scots
Gordon Bulloch fails to escape the attentions of Brian O'Driscoll
Gordon Bulloch fails to escape the attentions of Brian O'Driscoll
Scotland 10-29 Ireland

Ian McGeechan's last game at Murrayfield ended in a disappointing defeat at the hands of Ireland.

But the game will be remembered for an horrific injury to Ireland full-back Geordan Murphy.

The Leicester star broke his left leg after a heavy tackle by Mike Blair and will now miss the Rugby World Cup.

The news is a bitter blow to Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan, who is set to name his World Cup squad on Sunday.

The first half was an evenly-matched affair, but Ireland's superiority told after the interval and they ran in four tries to Scotland's one.

On the basis of these performances, Ireland can look forward to a more successful trip to Australia than Scotland, who have a great deal of work still to do.

Both sides squandered opportunities to make an early impression on the scoreboard as first Chris Paterson and then Ronan O'Gara were off target with penalty attempts.

Scotland 10
Try: Webster
Conversion: Paterson
Penalty: Paterson
Ireland 29
Tries: Maggs, Hickie, Horgan, Wallace
Conversions: O'Gara (3)
Penalty: O'Gara.
Ireland threatened the Scottish goal-line after 10 minutes, but some determined defending kept them at bay.

Paterson missed another penalty and the general play was littered with errors on both sides, before Ireland suffered a huge blow when Geordan Murphy was stretchered off with a broken leg after a crashing Mike Blair tackle.

Paterson finally kicked Scotland into the lead after 22 minutes but O'Gara pulled Ireland level shortly after Blair had stopped Marcus Horan just short of the Scotland line with a fantastic saving tackle.

Nathan Hines was sin-binned for a deliberate infringement and Ireland began to exert more pressure as the half wore on.

Kevin Maggs was the man who eventually powered his way over the line to give the visitors the lead for the first time, with O'Gara converting after 36 minutes.

Scotland came within inches of a try themselves in first half injury time, but the referee ruled that Gordon Bulloch had lost control of the ball before touching down, although television replays showed the try should have been awarded.

Eric Miller was sin-binned shortly before half time and Scotland started the second half with a man advantage, but they were unable to benefit from that and it was Ireland who added to their lead after 55 minutes.

Denis Hickie picked up the ball in front of the posts inside the Scotland 22 and out-paced Simon Webster to score in the corner.

Webster found himself beaten again four minutes later, this time by Anthony Horgan, after a terrific take and pass from Brian O'Driscoll, and O'Gara gladly swept the conversion between the posts from a tight angle.

O'Driscoll was at the heart of Ireland's fourth try as the Scots collapsed, allowing the Irish to slice through the midfield, culminating in David Wallace stretching the Ireland lead further, with O'Gara kicking another conversion.

Webster grabbed a consolation try for the Scots in 78 minutes after a short period of pressure, with Paterson adding the two extra points.

Scotland: G Metcalfe; C Paterson, A Craig (Orrell), A Henderson, K Logan; G Ross, M Blair, A Jacobsen, G Bulloch, G McIlwham, S Grimes, N Hines, R Beattie, S Taylor; A Mower.

Replacements R Russell, J Petrie, I Fullarton, G Beveridge, J McLaren, S Webster, M Proudfoot.

Ireland: G Murphy, A Horgan, B O'Driscoll, K Maggs, D Hickie, R O'Gara, P Stringer, M Horan, K Wood, R Corrigan, M O'Kelly, P O'Connell, E Miller, D Wallace, V Costello.

Replacements: S Byrne, S Best, S Easterby, K Dawson, G Dempsey, D Humphreys, G Easterby.

Referee: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)

Ireland coach Eddie O'Sulivan
"Murphy's is a dreadful injury at the worst possible time"

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