Friday 18 August 2017

The six statistics that sum up what happened in Murrayfield today as Scotland stunned Ireland

Dejected Ireland players, from left, Cian Healy, captain Rory Best and Jamie Heaslip leave the pitch after the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Dejected Ireland players, from left, Cian Healy, captain Rory Best and Jamie Heaslip leave the pitch after the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

Ireland's pourous first half defence, penalty concessions at the wrong times, statistical dominance but failure to turn it into points. Here are the stats that explain why Ireland were beaten 27-22 by Scotland today.

1. Scotland win their first opening round game in the Six Nations since 2006

It's been 11 years since the Scots tasted victory on the opening weekend of this competition and they deserved it for being more clinical than their visitors.

 

2. Scotland make 213 tackles to Ireland's 115

Ireland dominated territory and possession but most of the Scottish defending was one-off tackles with very little off-loading from Ireland.

 

3. Two; The number of penalties conceded by Tommy Bowe 13 minutes

The Monaghan winger came on in the 67th minute and his lack of form was evident. He looked tentative and conceded two crucial penalties. His high tackle could have resulted in a yellow card.

 

4. Ireland dominated in carries, metres made, clean breaks and defenders beaten

Ireland made 183 carries to 129, made 485 metres to Scotland's 291, had 12 clean breaks to the host's four and beat 32 defenders to Scotland's eight. How did we lose the game with those stats? A lack of guile in attack and poor finishing.

 

5. We only missed eight tackles and conceded seven penalties but still lost

The discipline which has become a hallmark of this Ireland team was evident today. Paddy Jackson will kick himself for being over-zealous in his attempts to steal the ball, which allowed Laidlaw to boot the Scots in front.

 

6. Five rucks lost by Ireland

The Scottish pack was dominated at scrum time but they disrupted the Irish lineout incredibly effectively and were tenacious at the breakdown.

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