Ireland v Scotland – Story of the match
Jacob Stockdale became the first Irishman to score six tries in Five or Six Nations history.
Record-breaking Ireland set up an all-out assault on the NatWest 6 Nations Grand Slam by claiming a 28-8 bonus-point win over Scotland in Dublin.
Jacob Stockdale bagged a brace to become the first Irishman to score six tries in a single campaign in Five and Six Nations history, as Ireland moved within one win of just a third-ever clean sweep.
Conor Murray and Sean Cronin also crossed to secure the bonus-point victory that could even see Joe Schmidt’s men claim the Six Nations title with a week to spare.
Unless England could claim a bonus-point win over France in Paris, Ireland would be crowned champions on Saturday night.
Tweet of the match
Former Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip hails Joe Schmidt’s men.
Championship potentially by the end of the day...Grandslam in touching distance! pic.twitter.com/aPf6T0O9Qy— jamie heaslip (@jamieheaslip) March 10, 2018
Star man – Peter O’Mahony
The TV commentators gave the man-of-the-match prize to Rob Kearney, while Stockdale would be an obvious recipient too after his try double but Ireland would not have won without O’Mahony. His contribution was the most crucial element of Ireland’s win. Forget the fact he was replaced before the hour. His breakdown mastery snuffed out Scotland’s top threat.
Moment of the match
Ireland had found Scotland a tough nut to crack in the early stages. But once again the visitors frailty on the road came back to haunt them as Peter Horne’s intercepted pass handed Stockdale the opening score. Like Ali Price’s similar
mistake in Cardiff, it was a needless mistake which left Gregor Townsend’s team scrambling to recover. Huw Jones, Stuart Hogg and Peter Horne all had chances to put Scotland into scoring territory but compounded that initial mistake with costly misplaced passes.
More away day blues for Scots
In the 18 years during which the Championship has been contested by six teams, Scotland had managed just six away wins – four in Rome and once each against Wales (2002) and the Irish (2010). Curing that travel sickness against a side that has never lost a home game in the tournament under Joe Schmidt was always likely to be a tough ask. Now it comes down to whether the Irish can overcome England in London for the first time in eight years to decide their bid for the clean sweep.
Ireland take the high road to victory
Joe Schmidt’s men gave their opponents all manner of trouble as Johnny Sexton rained bombs down from the sky. Scotland’s attempts to build momentum early on faltered as Finn Russell and Ryan Wilson both let high balls spill from their grasp, while Sean Maitland found himself muscled out by Rob Kearney as they tussled for another aerial challenge in the build up to Murray’s score.
Who’s up next?
England v Ireland, NatWest 6 Nations – March 17
Italy v Scotland, NatWest 6 Nations – March 17