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6 Nations

Report & Highlights: Ireland Steer Past Stubborn Scotland

Ireland saw off Scotland in an error filled match

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Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Ireland got back to winning ways following last week’s defeat to England with a scrappy 22-13 win over Scotland in Murrayfield on Saturday.

With both teams making forced changes pre-game Scotland started the better, and their early pressure paid off with Greig Laidlaw slotting over a fifth minute penalty to put them in front.

However, Ireland responded brilliantly, putting pressure on the Scots before shipping the ball out wide to Jacob Stockdale who raced away in the middle of the park.

Stockdale showed a lot of intelligence by kicking the ball ahead into the Scottish 22. Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland got their wires crossed from the kick and allowed Conor Murray to pick up a loose ball and score the opening try of the game.

Sexton missed the conversion leaving the score at 5-3 in Ireland’s favour after 10 minutes.

Scotland were dealt a huge blow in the 16th minute as star full-back Stuart Hogg was forced off, with last weekend’s hat-trick hero Blair Kinghorn coming on.

A minute later and Ireland were in for their second try.

Some incredible play near halfway allowed Peter O’Mahony to switch play with Sexton with Sexton then releasing Stockdale, who had come in from his wing, and has showed immense pace to race under the posts and touch down.

The conversion was easy for Sexton who stretched Ireland’s lead to 12-3.

Stockdale brushed aside comments from Luke Fitzgerald during the week, claiming his defending was poor by saving Ireland with a couple of covering catches and outstanding tackles over the next few minutes.

Ireland faced their own injury setback as Sexton was forced off after 23 minutes to be replaced by Joey Carbery.

It was a risky pass by Carbery that allowed Finn Russell to intercept near halfway and race toward the Irish line on 29 minutes.

Keith Earls made a great recovering tackle but Carbery lost track of Sam Johnson, who received a clever pop pass from Russell on the floor and was in for a try.

Laidlaw sent over the conversion from the right touchline to make it 10-12 and that was how it stayed until half-time.

The second-half opened with a few scrappy pieces of play from both sides.

It took until the 55th minute for another score to come. Following a line-out for the visitors near the centre of the park, a misplaced pass from Sean O’Brien was picked up by Carbery.

From there Carbery showed his class by breaking through two Scottish players before ploughing into the 22 and sending the ball out wide to Earls who was in for an easy try.

Carbery sent the conversion over to leave the score at 19-10.

Greig Laidlaw brought Scotland within six points by sending over a lovely penalty from the left touch line on 62 minutes.

Carbery returned the favour with 12 minutes later slotting over a three pointer to give the visitors with a 22-13 lead.

That was how it stayed as Ireland failed to secure the bonus-point but got their first win of the campaign and showed some guts to grind out the victory.

Speaking after the game man of the match Peter O’Mahony spoke of his delight with the win following last weekend’s defeat.

“It says a lot about our character. I’m very proud of the boys today,” he said.

While head coach Joe Schmidt was happy with the win, he admitted his Irish team was missing something.

“We were lacking a tempo in our game, not quite hitting our rhythm,” he said.

“We’ve got to be better,” he added.

Schmidt also confirmed that fly-half Sexton failed a HIA assessment, hence he didn’t return to the action, which will be a worry for Ireland as they already have a growing injury list.

Scotland head to France in two weeks’ time and will be looking to get back to winning ways, while Ireland will be hoping to build on this victory when they head to Italy.

Match Highlights:

6 Nations

Two Uncapped Players In Ireland Squad For Italy Match

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

There are two uncapped players included in the Ireland match day squad for the opening game of the Guinness Series against Italy on Saturday.

Munster’s Jean Kleyn will make his Ireland debut in the second row alongside Devin Toner in a new look Ireland side captained by Rhys Ruddock.

Ruddock is joined in the back row by Jordi Murphy and Tommy O’Donnell, who won the last of his 12 caps against Scotland in 2016.

Jack McGrath, Rob Herring and Andrew Porter are named in the front row.

Luke McGrath and Joey Carbery fill the half back positions with Chris Farrell and Garry Ringrose named in the centre.

Jordan Larmour is at fullback with Andrew Conway and David Kearney on the wings.

The uncapped Mike Haley is included in the replacements. He is joined by Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Beirne, Kieran Marmion and Jack Carty.

The match will be live on RTE and Channel 4.

Ireland Team & Replacements (v Italy, Guinness Series 2019, Saturday, August 10, Aviva Stadium, 2pm)

Player/Club/Province/Caps
15. Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 13 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 12 caps caps
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 20 caps
12. Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 5 caps
11. Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 17
10. Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Munster) 18 caps
9. Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 10 caps

1. Jack McGrath (St Marys College/Leinster) 54 caps
2. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 7 caps
3. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 14 caps
4. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 64 caps
5. Jean Kleyn (Munster) 0 caps
6. Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 21 caps Captain
7. Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster) 12 caps
8. Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Ulster) 27 caps

Replacements
16. Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 14 caps
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 88 caps
18. John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 18 caps
19. Iain Henderson (Queens University/Ulster) 44 caps
20. Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster) 5 caps
21. Kieran Marmion (Galwegians/Connacht) 25 caps
22. Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 3 caps
23. Mike Haley (Munster) 0 caps

The post Two Uncapped Players In Ireland Squad For Italy Match appeared first on Irish Rugby.

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6 Nations

Alun Wyn Jones Announces Future Plans

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has confirmed his long-awaited decision for the future

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(Photo credit PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Image)

Alun Wyn Jones has announced that he has signed a contract extension with both the Welsh Rugby Union and the Ospreys until June 2021.

The second-row, who had been rumoured to be heading overseas come the end of the season has committed his future to his hometown region and confirmed the news on social media.

“I have some news I would like to share with you. I’m happy to announce that I have signed a contract extension to June 2021 with the Welsh Rugby Union and the Ospreys and will be playing at the Liberty Stadium for the foreseeable future,” he said.

The Welsh captain who has gone on to make 134 caps at test level (125 with Wales and 9 for the British & Irish Lions), admitted he considered all options available to him but decided to stay put.

“After serious consideration and taking stock of all options, it is the right decision for my career at this point in time, along with my personal ambitions on and off the field, my welfare, and needs of my family. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to tell you directly, in particular to the Ospreys supporters and all those who have supported me during my career to date. Thanks, Alun Wyn,” he added.

Jones is set to head to Switzerland this week for Wales’ first overseas training camp ahead of the Rugby World Cup, and WRU CEO Martyn Phillips is delighted that Jones will be remaining in the country after the tournament in Japan.

“This announcement is a huge boost for Welsh rugby. Alun Wyn is hugely respected across the game and I’m delighted he has committed his future here in Wales and that he will be continuing to play for his hometown region. It is a boost for the game both on and off the field and I’m sure the news will delight both Wales and Ospreys supporters alike as he continues to inspire the next generation. The extension allows the WRU and the Ospreys to continue working together with Alun Wyn to ensure he has the very best of environments to thrive in,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke is also excited to have the clubs most capped player (238 caps) still in his squad and believes it is brilliant news for everyone in the region.

“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for us as a club and all Ospreys and Wales supporters. Alun Wyn is a man I have the upmost respect for; he is greatly admired not just because of what he has achieved and what he represents as a local boy playing for his home region and country but importantly because of the ambition and level of performance he consistently displays. He’s a tremendous individual and a winner with a deep hunger for the Ospreys to be successful on and off the field. Alun Wyn has spent his entire career with the Ospreys and I expect him to continue his legacy as a player and well beyond his playing days,” he said.

Jones’ announcement will be a massive boost for all Welsh Rugby supporters and will also be a motivation for the national team heading into the World Cup later this year as they look to add more silverware to their Six Nations Grand Slam from earlier in the year.

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6 Nations

Ireland Add Final Piece to Backroom Puzzle

Ireland have confirmed their final addition to Andy Farrell’s coaching staff

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(Photo by Ashley Western/MB Media/Getty Images)

Former England coach Mike Catt has been announced as Ireland’s new attack coach come the end of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.

Catt is currently coaching the Italian national side however; he will leave his post following the conclusion of the World Cup and take up the role of Ireland’s attack coach until 2023.

He is the last of the coaches to be named as a part of Andy Farrell’s backroom staff, with Farrell set to take over from Joe Schmidt once the tournament in Japan is completed.

Catt is delighted to be moving on to work with the Irish side but insists that he is solely focused on his current task with Italy.

“I am looking forward to the Rugby World Cup in Japan and seeing the group of players we have here in Italy fulfil their potential and achieve the objectives we have set for ourselves. Obviously, it is an honour to be given this future opportunity with Ireland, but I will focus on that challenge only after I have given my all for Italy and this group of players,” he said.

Farrell and Catt previously worked together while part of England’s coaching set-up for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and has plenty of experience which is appealing to IRFU performance director David Nucifora.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience to the coaching group and has been operating at the highest level of the international game for some time. He was a smart and innovative player, and he brings those attributes and much more besides in his approach to coaching and player development. We feel that we have secured a talented practitioner who will add significant value to the group and to the wider Irish system,” he said.

Along with Catt, Farrell has added John Fogarty as the side’s new scrum coach, while Simon Easterby and Richie Murphy will continue on as forwards specialist and kicking and skills coaches respectively.

Farrell will be hoping that he will take over the reigns following a successful World Cup campaign and will want to hit the ground running having put together a top-quality backroom set-up.

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