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Wallabies hold on for hard-fought victory over Scotland

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The Wallabies have survived a tense finish to escape Murrayfield with a 16-15 win over Scotland.

Blair Kinghorn had a 79th-minute penalty to win the game for the hosts, pushing it to the left as the visitors started their Spring Tour on a positive note.

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Ollie Smith got Scotland off to the perfect start before a pair of Bernard Foley penalties put the Wallabies in front at the break.

This was short-lived as Kinghorn won the race to a loose ball to put Scotland in front 15-6.

Glen Young’s yellow card brought Dave Rennie’s men back into the contest as James Slipper dived over, with the boot of Foley proving the difference-maker with a 70th-minute penalty.

“There’s a bit of relief especially with Blair Kinghorn lining up and a hell of a lot of noise in the
crowd so there’s either a hell of a lot of Aussies or some drunk Scotsman in the stands. We’re happy to hang on,” Rennie said after the match.

“I’m proud of the effort because at 15-6 we’d given up a soft try straight after half-time but we fought our way back in and put our nose in front.

“We can be a lot better. We had a lot of possession inside their 22 we didn’t convert and we knew Scotland were very good post-tackle and got their hand on the ball so we know we have to better against France.

“There’s been a hell of a lot of hard work from people and it’s pleasing to get a result.”

The Wallabies were dealt a late blow as Pete Samu (back) was ruled out, handing Langi Gleeson a debut.

This failed to derail their campaign as they started strong via Tate McDermott, who relished his first start of 2022, instantly breaking through the line.

Whilst the visitors had the early chances, it was Scotland that opened the scoring as Ollie Smith sliced through some weak defence to dive over.

The Scottish continued to build pressure via the breakdown as the Wallabies struggled to build consistent pressure.

Bernard Foley reduced the margin via a penalty goal as both teams traded attacking opportunities.

The Wallabies went close before the ball spurted out whilst great work from Rob Valetini held up lock Glen Young over the line after the hosts turned down multiple penalty shot opportunities.

Foley’s second penalty of the night got Dave Rennie’s men in front at the break as they struggled to make use of their dominant share of territory.

Scotland caught the Wallabies napping after the break as a loose pass from Foley hit the deck, allowing Blair Kinghorn to grubber it through and win the race to the putdown.

Some great maul defence from the visitors kept them in the contest before Kinghorn extend the lead via the boot.

As the hosts built pressure, the Wallabies were given a golden opportunity when Glen Young’s cleanout collected Tate McDermott in the head, earning a yellow card.

This allowed captain James Slipper to strike, finishing off some great interchange between the forwards and backs.

With the game in the balance, the Wallabies earned a penalty with ten to go, with Foley continuing his perfect night to put the visitors in front.

After a strong injection, Taniela Tupou provided Scotland with one last chance to win the game after a breakdown infringement.

Up stepped Kinghorn, who pushed the penalty to the left to stun a packed Murrayfield crowd as the siren sounded.

Needing to close out the game, Nic White’s experience shone through as he delivered a bullet restart to find the touchline on the bounce, getting the Wallabies home

SCOTLAND 15

TRIES: Smith, Kinghorn

CONS: Kinghorn 1/2

PENS: Kinghorn 1/2

WALLABIES 16

TRIES: Slipper

CONS: Foley 1/1

PENS: Foley 3/3

Scotland: 15 Ollie Smith, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Blair Kinghorn, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie (captain), 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Dave Cherry, 1 Pierre Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 WP Nel, 19 Glen Young, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 George Horne, 22 Ross Thompson, 23 Damien Hoyland.

Australia: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Nick Frost, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 David Porecki, 1 James Slipper (captain).

Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Ned Hanigan, 20 Langi Gleeson, 21 Nic White, 22 Noah Lolesio, 23 Jock Campbell.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)

Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England), Christophe Ridley (England)

TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

Content & Images from – Australia Rugby


6 Nations

‘It’s A Great Appointment’ – Farrell On Murphy’s Move To Ulster

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With Dan McFarland stepping down as Ulster head coach this week, it has been confirmed that Murphy will take over the role on an interim basis following the conclusion of the Under-20 Six Nations Championship.

The Ireland Under-20s are in title contention again thanks to two opening wins, with Murphy having overseen back-to-back U-20 Grand Slam successes and a World Rugby U-20 Championship final appearance in the last two seasons.

Farrell first worked alongside Murphy when they were defence coach and skills and kicking coach respectively, during Joe Schmidt’s coaching reign with Ireland.

The pair have kept up a strong connection with Murphy continuing for a short while as a specialist kicking resource for the senior squad, and the Under-20s often training with Farrell’s men during the Six Nations window.

“I think it’s a great appointment. I think Richie will do a fantastic job (at Ulster), his rugby knowledge is second to none,” commented Farrell.

“He is a very experienced guy that has been an assistant for quite some time and I know that he worked with us for a short period before we went to the Under-20s, but that was his next step to take that type of mantle on and do it his way.

He has certainly done a fantastic job. I mean, coaching the Under-20s is coaching in its purest form, it’s bloody difficult because of the swapping and changing the whole time each year.

“It shows exactly the quality that he’s got and his knowledge of the whole game. I think the players up at Ulster there will love him.

“His attitude is great but first and foremost I think they will respect his knowledge, definitely.”

McFarland was in charge of Ulster since 2018 and guided them to the PRO14 final two years later. They looked to be finding form again with a trio of wins over Racing 92, Connacht, and Leinster, coming into the New Year.

However, last Sunday’s poor 19-17 defeat at the Ospreys was their third loss in a row, leaving them eighth in the BKT United Rugby Championship, and came just a few weeks after failing to reach the last 16 of the Investec Champions Cup.

Assistant coach Dan Soper will take the reins for their next URC fixture at home to the Dragons on Saturday week, before Murphy comes on board for their two-match tour to South Africa where they will play the Hollywoodbets Sharks and the DHL Stormers.

The Bray man will have to quickly get up to the speed as the Ulstermen then travel to Montpellier in the EPCR Challenge Cup’s round of 16, just after Easter. Given the people involved, Farrell is confident they can turn things around at Kingspan Stadium.

“Look, it’s obvious that we want all the provinces playing at the top of their game. If that happens, it’s a special place to be but it doesn’t tend to happen that often, does it?

“One thing I know for sure is that Ulster have got a fantastic squad and good people up there. The lads that we have within our squad are exemplary to the province, as far as their attitudes are concerned whether they’re playing or not.”

A dislocated toe, suffered during that loss to the Ospreys, means Iain Henderson is unavailable for Ireland’s clash with Wales on Saturday. His Ulster colleague, Stuart McCloskey, is one of only two backs on the hosts’ bench as they opt to return to a six-two split.

New-look Wales, who lost their first two games to Scotland and England by a combined three points, come to Dublin with a squad that has accumulated 662 caps, compared to Ireland’s 1012.

119 of those caps are provided by George North alone, while 21-year-old Exeter Chiefs lock Dafydd Jenkins continues as captain, and Cardiff back rower Mackenzie Martin could make his debut off the bench.

Asked what he is expecting from Wales this weekend, Farrell replied: “Playing against Wales, you know it’s always going to be a scrap.

“You know that every single time Wales play against Ireland, it means probably a little bit more to them, I’ve been told (that) over the years.

“So we’re aware of that, and we also know as well that Wales historically have got better throughout the competition.

“We’re five weeks into it come the weekend, from when we first started training. We know that they’ll be better and hopefully we’ve used our time wisely as well.”

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

Wales team to face Ireland in Dublin named

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Senior men’s head coach Warren Gatland has named the Wales side to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in the third round of the 2024 Guinness Six Nations on Saturday 24 February (KO 2.15pm live on ITV and S4C).

There is one change to the starting XV that played England at Twickenham on 10 February, with Sam Costelow returning for Wales at fly half.

Among the replacements back-row Mackenzie Martin is in line to win his first senior cap this weekend and would become the 1,200th Wales men’s international.

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Tight-head prop Dillon Lewis would be making his first appearance of this Championship if called on from the bench.

Gatland said: “We are excited to go out to Dublin and test ourselves against one of the leading sides in world rugby. It’s a challenge we are relishing.

“We’ve made steps in the last couple of games and now it’s about building on that, learning from those experiences and taking that into this weekend.

“It’s about continuing to work hard, looking for accuracy in our performance across 80 minutes and also keeping our discipline.”

Wales senior men’s team to play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in the Guinness Six Nations, Saturday 24 February KO 2.15pm GMT. Live on ITV and S4C.
15. Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 56 caps)
13. George North (Ospreys – 119 caps)
12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 34 caps)
11. Rio Dyer (Dragons – 16 caps)
10. Sam Costelow (Scarlets – 9 caps)
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 55 caps)
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 27 caps)
2. Elliot Dee (Dragons – 48 caps)
3. Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby – 4 caps)
4. Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 14 caps) Captain / Capten
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 53 caps)
6. Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)
7. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 15 caps)
8. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 45 caps)

Replacements

16. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 40 caps)
17. Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby – 8 caps)
18. Dillon Lewis (Harlequins – 54 caps)
19. Will Rowlands (Racing 92 – 30 caps)
20. Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped)
21. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 19 caps)
22. Ioan Lloyd (Scarlets – 4 caps)
23. Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 8 caps)

Images & Content – Wales Rugby


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6 Nations

Jager and Ahern Join Ireland Squad Ahead Of Wales

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The Ireland squad re-assembled in Dublin on Sunday evening ahead of this weekend’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations Round 3 clash against Wales at Aviva Stadium (Kick-off 2.15pm).

Prop Oli Jager has joined the squad and Thomas Ahern has also linked up with Andy Farrell‘s side at the IRFU High Performance Centre this week.

Iain Henderson picked up a foot injury during Ulster’s URC game away to Ospreys on Sunday and there will be a further update later in the week.

The Ireland Match Day Squad to face Wales at Aviva Stadium will be named on Thursday at 2pm.

Ireland Squad – Wales Week: 

Backs (15):

Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht)
Harry Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster)
Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Ciaran Frawley (UCD/Leinster)
Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
James Lowe (Leinster)
Stuart McCloskey (Bangor/Ulster)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster)
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster)
Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster)

Forwards (21):

Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster)*
Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster)
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster)
Oli Jager (Munster)*
Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jeremy Loughman (Garryowen/Munster)
Joe McCarthy (Dublin University/Leinster)
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)(captain)
Tom O’Toole (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster)
Dan Sheehan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Tom Stewart (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Nick Timoney (Banbridge/Ulster)
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)

*Denotes uncapped player

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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