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Scotland 27-22 Ireland: Second half fightback falls short for Joe Schmidt's side

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By Jonathan Bradley

Ireland have to make do with the first ever bonus point in the history of the Six Nations after losing 27-22 in Murrayfield.

Full match report to follow...

Match preview

Ulster hero Rory Best will be playing for loved ones near and far when he leads out Ireland for their Six Nations opener with Scotland today (2.25pm kick-off).

Skirting the loaded issue of anthems and "Ireland's Call", the skipper revealed his own motivations in the moments before representing Ireland in such a huge contest.

"I think everyone plays rugby for very different reasons," the 34-year-old said.

"Everyone has their own reasons, why they do it, why they go through the stuff that you have to go through to get to the Test arena.

"Like this weekend, for me as captain, it's important to draw on that. It might be memories of being a kid and going down to the old Lansdowne Road and hearing the anthems, it could be a loved one at home, a loved one in the crowd, it can be anything.

"I think you draw on that and bring that.

"When it gets darkest in rugby, that's what you draw on, it makes you go that extra yard further than you think you can and that's what we're going to need against Scotland."

Best is one of four Ulstermen in the match-day 23 and praised the character shown by his provincial team-mates Tommy Bowe and Paddy Jackson to force their way into Joe Schmidt's thinking.

Jackson makes a first Six Nations start in four years while Bowe is back in the international fold after long-term injury.


SCOTLAND - Stuart Hogg; Sean Maitland, Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar, Tommy Seymour; Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (capt); Allan Dell, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson; Richie Gray, Jonny Gray; Ryan Wilson, Hamish Watson, Josh Strauss. Replacements: Ross Ford, Gordon Reid, Simon Berghan, Tim Swinson, John Barclay, Ali Price, Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett.

IRELAND - Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo; Paddy Jackson, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong; Iain Henderson, Devin Toner; CJ Stander, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements: Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Ultan Dillane, Josh van der Flier, Kieran Marmion, Ian Keatley, Tommy Bowe.

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