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Slam still alive after Scots rout

The Ireland U20s will have to improve out of all recognition to wrest the Grand Slam from England at Adams Park next Friday evening.

The English will have to beat France away from home tonight to set up a situation in which both nations would play for the Slam.

The Irish made very heavy weather out of putting a sub-standard Scotland away 26-0 to make it four wins from four in a match full of mistakes and mediocre rugby at Dubarry Park last night.

Full-back Shane Layden countered to chip, gather and accelerate into the left corner for the opening try in the fourth minute.

From there, the Irish scrum dominated without reward as fly-half Paddy Jackson kicked erratically before three penalties pushed them out to a 14-0 advantage.

A simple eight-nine combination between Jack Conan and Luke McGrath (inset) from the back of a scrum enabled scrum-half McGrath to fly to the line. Jackson's conversion made it a 21-point game.

Then, the Irish won a strike against the head for Conan to power off the back on a diagonal run to the whitewash for the third try in the 74th minute.