Scotland v Ireland: The key moments

Posted February 06, 2017

Scotland's tackling stats were off the charts as Vern Cotter's men pulled off a heroic 27-22 victory over Ireland at Murrayfield.

The Irish pack laid down an early marker with not even a minute registered on the clock when referee Romain Poite awarded a penalty to Ireland at the scrum. Probably disappointing to get three tries as well, because we're only one away from getting one more - and we did look like getting very close at times.

Time and time again the precision was lacking from the men in green.

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Ireland winger Keith Earls crossed for Ireland in the opening period while lock Iain Henderson and flyhalf Paddy Jackson, a late replacement for Johnny Sexton, bagged tries in Ireland's second-half fightback which earned them a losing bonus point.

The Scots could have had more than the three first half tries, the first two from the brilliant Hogg who Ireland simply could not cope with when he got up to pace.

The second was a completely different affair as Ireland up their game in a determined fashion to turn the game around, and they were rewarded in 42nd minute when Henderson managed to reach the line after a grueling attack on the Scottish defence.

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Centre Alex Dunbar got Scotland's third try on 29 minutes. The TMO correctly ruled the try out, but it was a huge let-off for the home side when they were seriously under the cosh. You start the Six Nations with a win and everybody speaks about it. "Not a single person in a Scotland jersey thought that was going to be lost".

Similar to the Welsh approach in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final, the Scots had incredible line speed and smothered the carrier as soon as he had the ball.

"Because that was slow, they got off the line well and Paddy was crowded in the first-half".

"We talk a lot about not making the same mistakes".

Ireland lacked the precision and aggression they had shown during their November Tests, and an under-fire lineout was a real area of concern.

Joe Schmidt's side had 70% of the ball after the break.

Asked if Scotland's target for the championship had been changed by the victory, Laidlaw (who returned a flawless place-kicking record, with three conversions and two penalties) replied: "We want to win the next game".

Scotland who have been much improved since past year got off to the ideal start when the ever reliant Stuart Hogg scored the opening try in the 8th minute.

Much to ponder for the Irish management team.