Six Nations: Ireland relaunch with win over Scotland

Aubrey Yates
February 11, 2019

Ireland's hard-fought 22-13 win over Scotland in the Six Nations on Saturday lent weight to the suggestion that Japan should target the Scots when the three sides battle to progress from Pool A at the Rugby World Cup later this year.

Scotland's next game is against France at the Stade de France on February 23. 'That was a really tough game.

"We just didn't kick on in the second half, it was pretty flat for both teams, the energy dropped, we were disappointed with the execution, that's on my head as a coach".

"Frustration is the right word after our defeat against Ireland".

The Guinness Six Nations produces reams of statistics but it doesn't think to add errors into the mix, which may spare a few Scottish blushes this morning. We weren't accurate enough.

Scotland finally forced some possession in the Irish 22 but Ireland willingly surrendered a soft penalty, and Laidlaw brought Scotland back to six points behind. We'll see what will happen over the next couple of days. "If we're going to progress we need to start winning these games".

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"We'd ideally like to play better and with more fluidity than we did against Scotland, probably get on the front foot more than we did. But you have to give credit to them, they took their opportunities". Three slip-ups cost us. We launched off a line-out in the second half and Sean O'Brien reached the ball, ' explained Laidlaw. Whenever we got into their half we struggled to keep hold of the ball.

The young stand-off didn't have the pace to go all the way but slung a long pass - which looked suspiciously forward - to the unmarked Earls, who scored the decisive try, converted by Carbery. Once you make one mistake you make another and it's a snowball effect.

"We were really confident at half-time".

"What was important was to get the win, and while we have to rely on other teams, we are back in there".

While most of his team-mates will remain in the capital to prepare to face Jacques Brunel's side, Russell is heading back across the Channel with the possibility of being involved for Racing against Toulouse next weekend.

Retaining freshness and building continuity is a fine balancing act, and Wales will be hoping that juggling their playing resources mid Championship will have the desired effect of building depth rather create confusion ahead of their England showdown in two weeks' time. I'm mentally prepared to go maybe seven or eight games on the bounce.

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