Sport Six Nations

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Scotland v Ireland Analysis

Ireland's Keith Earls reacts at the final whistle against Scotland
Ireland's Keith Earls reacts at the final whistle against Scotland

Duncan Bech

SCOTLAND recorded consecutive victories in the RBS 6 Nations for the first time since 2001 with today's 12-8 victory over Ireland at Murrayfield. This is where the game was won and lost.

TACTICS: Ireland varied their tactics to good effect in the first half, mixing up their approach through forwards and backs. What let them down was their poor decision making at crucial moments. Once Scotland had slipped 8-3 behind, they chipped away and took the points when they could.

CREATIVITY: Only one side displayed any real creativity at Murrayfield and that was Ireland. Some of what they tried failed to come off, but much of it did - at least until the second half arrived. Scotland failed to trouble the whitewash at any point, but showed grit and staying power.

DEFENCE: Scotland made 128 tackles to Ireland's 44 and it was their defence, combined with their opponents' lack of accuracy at key moments, that kept them in the chase. It was backs-to-the-wall stuff in the last five minutes and the Scots offered stubborn resistance.

LEADERSHIP: Kelly Brown, his nose bloodied, cut an impressive figure as he led the fightback and there was a calmness to Scotland as they set about reducing the deficit. In contrast, it is just not happening for Ireland skipper Jamie Heaslip and his confidence is ebbing away.

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