Ireland grind down Scotland to win at Murrayfield

Quinn Roux

Quinn Roux

Aki handed Laidlaw the chance to make it a six-point game by playing the ball after he'd been warned by Poite not to, but Ireland finally got their possession game going with a long series on the edge of the Scottish '22 that resulted in a penalty when Josh Strauss went off his feet.

"We have a lot of belief in what we're doing and how good a team we are", Best told the BBC.

"Robbie has a dead leg and just hasn't recovered in time", said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

Greig Laidlaw will not be happy if Romain Poite takes charge of the World Cup match against Ireland in Yokohama in September after the Scotland captain said the referee "does not seem to like us" minutes after the defeat by Ireland at Murrayfield.

"He got into a few contact situations and that position for Jacob Stockdale's pass was an example".

Their scrum was excellent, while their lineout functioned brilliantly despite the loss of Devin Toner and, while their attack was stodgy, it functioned just enough for them to get the three tries they needed.

Scotland felt aggrieved at Peter O'Mahony's first half hit that ended Stuart Hogg's involvement. So sometimes that works to our advantage.

"We put a lot of time into our scrum and lineout, we want to be able to play off our set-piece to get some ball to very unsafe backs", Ireland captain Rory Best said.

The home side fought back to within two points through Sam Johnson's score after Finn Russell intercepted a Joey Carbery pass but Scotland failed to profit from a sustained spell of pressure at the end of the opening half when the Irish defence repelled 25 phases before a knock-on allowed them to lift the siege.

"Mostly we would strike on the other side of the ruck, so we thought it might be an opportunity".

Conor Murray, Stockdale and Earls all crossed for Ireland, with Carbery shrugging off an intercept pass that led to Sam Johnson's try to set up his Munster team-mate Earls for the victor.

"There was definitely a rise in temperature, definitely a rise in energy, from last week", said Schmidt. It's one of those things that does happen if you take the ball to the line and if you are a hub of a player for us. he's going to get that attention.

"Now we've got to make sure we kick on from here".

The 33-year-old fly-half's enforced substitution - after taking several hefty tackles early on - dealt a huge blow to the defending champions hopes of bouncing back following their 32-20 defeat by England last Saturday in Dublin.

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