Scotland upset Irish with Six Nations win at Murrayfield

Alyssa BaileyFeb 05, 2017

They got it back to 14-15 then after Dunbar scored Ireland got 17 points without reply.

But Greig Laidlaw slotted over two late penalties to secure victory, leaving Cotter satisfied with his team's resilience and composure.

Alex Dunbar sends Rob Kearney crashing to the deck during Scotland's win over Ireland.

But it was also the overdue signature win of the Vern Cotter era - and just before he exits.

Cotter has done some effective work in gradually turning things around from when he took over in summer 2014.

Barring a sudden collapse in form, by that we mean a Six Nations wooden spoon, England are guaranteed a place among the four first seeds alongside New Zealand.

Having beaten the only team to topple the All Blacks a year ago, the Scots must believe they can finish in the top half, at least.

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Strangely, it started ominously for Scotland. Scotland would ultimately be warned by referee Romain Poite that another collapse would lead to somebody being sin-binned.

"The Championship now looks like a very tough Championship to win, but we know we're not out of it, we did pick up that bonus point, and we've just got to try to go to Italy and make sure we have five or six points from the first two games and try to get some momentum into the back half of the Championship".

Laidlaw converted that and Hogg's next try, at the end of the quarter.

The relentless pressure continued and Jamie Heaslip was uncharacteristically wasteful with a stray pass when heading towards the line, while Sean Maitland made a superb saving tackle on Kearney who had played Earls over.

Ireland's reply at the end of 19 phases was lucky.

Ireland appeared bereft of ideas, but somehow conjured a try for Earls after Tommy Seymour failed to intercept Simon Zebo's floated scoring pass. Ireland fell for it.

However, Scotland had a third try from a clever close-range line-out.

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The Irish took a deep breath and started the new half energized.

Scotland spoiled Ireland's St Patrick's Day weekend party planning in spectacular fashion though, blowing the competition wide open in the process.

Scotland know they must throw Ireland off balance and use Laidlaw and Russell to control the game.

Lock Iain Henderson dived over from a ruck, and flyhalf Paddy Jackson cut against the flow to stretch out and score.

Ireland were ahead after the hour, though, as Jackson broke the line to score to the left of the post before converting his own try. And having held only scraps of possession, Scotland turned the heat back on the visitors.

Jackson was pinged for refusing to roll away at ruck however, allowing Laidlaw to slot the penalty and push Scotland back into a 24-22 lead.

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