Sunday 25 March 2018

Yellow cards prove costly as Cunningham's men fall short

Scotland Club XV 23 Ireland Club XV 15

Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ireland relinquished their one-year grip on the Dalriada Cup after suffering defeat to Scotland in the Club International at Galashiels last night despite playing the better rugby for much of the game and establishing a lead at half-time.

Arguably, Ireland should have won the game but their momentum was undoubtedly checked by yellow cards shown to flanker Paul Pritchard and replacement back-row Kieran O'Gorman, albeit Scotland also had a tenant in the sin-bin.

Ireland had a number of opportunities to score more tries but were foiled both by their failure to finish and by an eager Scottish scramble defence. "We didn't take our chances and they did," said Ireland coach Paul Cunningham. "I was pleased that we had a positive attitude."

Ireland were the better side in the first half and fully deserved their 15-10 interval advantage from tries by No 8 Jon Slattery after a quick tap-and-go free-kick and centre Mark Roche after the impressive Pritchard had broken the Scots' defence, the other points coming from a conversion and penalty by outside-half Darragh Lyons.

Scotland who scored a first half through Ross Weston, a conversion and a penalty by Graham Wilson, looked more purposeful in the second half, earning two Wilson penalties.

A penalty by Lyons restored the lead for Ireland only for Scotland to produce a spectacular winning score, flanker Jason Hill, collecting the ball deep in the Scotland half before running through Ireland allowing Wilson a simple conversion.

Scotland - F Thomson; C Gossman, L Steele, R Curle, S McLeod; S Edwards, G Wilson; N Beavon, R Anderson, S Cessford, R Nimmo, I Moody, J Hill, W Bordill, R Weston. Subs: F Scott Anderson 56, E McQuillin for Fagerson 50, P Eccles for Hill 75, T Spinks for Weston 64, G Graham for Wilson79.

Ireland - D Riordan; S O'Neill, M Roche, M D'Arcy, E O'Keefe; D Lyons, N Cronin ; I Prendiville, A O'Driscoll, D Lavery, S Gardner, F Walsh, S Mulholland, P Pritchard, J Slattery. Subs: E Rossiter for O'Driscoll 59, G Sweeney for Lavery 15, P O'Shea for Prediville 68, S Walsh for Gardner 75, K O'Gorman for Mulholland 71, A Lloyd for Cronin 64, S Murphy, for Roche 74, K McGrath for O'Keefe 64.

Ref - R Thomas (Wales)

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