Tuesday 24 October 2017

Gregor Townsend has cheeky dig at Ronan O'Gara following pre-match comments about Scots

Gregor Townsend has hit back at Ronan O'Gara
Gregor Townsend has hit back at Ronan O'Gara

The bad blood between Scotland and Ireland spilled beyond Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash as Gregor Townsend took a Twitter dig at Ronan O'Gara.

Scotland toppled Ireland 27-22 at Murrayfield to make good on entering the tournament with high hopes, then Glasgow boss Townsend stoked the fires with former Munster fly-half O'Gara.

Former Ireland star O'Gara told RTE before kick-off in Edinburgh: "I hope Ireland hammer Scotland today for the way they behaved in the week.

"Too mouthy, they can't back it up. I was brought up with a mentality that you work hard and talk about it afterwards."

But after Scotland's impressive victory Townsend retweeted a video of O'Gara's comments in a clear riposte at the implied criticism of Vern Cotter's side talking up their Six Nations chances.

Munster were incensed by Townsend's Glasgow side's tactics in targeting scrum-half Conor Murray when the Thomond Park province won 14-12 in Scotland in Champions Cup action last month.

Murray even admitted he was "properly p***** off" with the treatment he felt was a series of cheap shots targeting his standing leg when he went to kick the ball.

Scotland explicitly vowed to repeat the same treatment for Murray when Ireland pitched up in Edinburgh.

While Murray endured a frustrating afternoon in Ireland's defeat he did not suffer any particular roughhousing this time around.

But that did not stop Townsend adding another layer of niggle to the frosty relations between provinces and now national sides.

Stuart Hogg's first-half two-try salvo sunk a disappointing Ireland, with Alex Dunbar also crossing.

Keith Earls, Iain Henderson and Paddy Jackson all claimed scores for Ireland but Greig Laidlaw decided the contest with two late penalties.

Scotland hope to build their best Test team in a generation, and this fine victory could now act as the first step on that path.

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