Ireland are chasing the Grand Slam as they take on Scotland at Murrayfield in the Six Nations today.
Ireland top the table after bonus-point wins over Wales, France and Italy as they head into a crucial double-header against Scotland and England looking to make it a tournament clean sweep. Johnny Sexton returns to Ireland’s team after missing the bonus-point victory over Italy last time out, with the 37-year-old hoping to sign off his illustrious Six Nations career in style.
Scotland have never beaten the team ranked No 1 in the world but victory over Ireland would put them in contention to end their long title drought ahead of Super Saturday next weekend. Gregor Townsend’s team were beaten by France last time out but their comeback at the Stade de France showed that they can trouble the best in the world.
Follow the score and latest updates from the Six Nations below.
Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie is also grabbed by the BBC for a post-match debrief
“I think that first half we lacked a bit of a clinical edge, created opportunities we didn’t put away. Credit to Ireland in the second half. They put pressure on our breakdown and we didn’t get as many chances.
“They are a very good side. They are number one in the world for a reason. There were a couple of moments in that second half where we let them get momentum and we were on the wrong side of the scoreline.”
Harry Latham-Coyle12 March 2023 17:02
Ireland beat Scotland to continue Six Nations grand slam chase
Those injuries will be the worry for Andy Farrell, but the Ireland head coach must be incredibly pleased by how his side managed that second half.
Harry Latham-Coyle12 March 2023 17:01
The impressive Mack Hansen speaks to the BBC
“We knew this was going to be probably near our toughest game of the year. The Scottish lads showed up, they really did, it was a proper test match – that’s what we came here for and they delivered.
“We lost some really key players, hopefully they are alright for next week. It just shows how much depth we have. I don’t know if Cian Healy has ever gone in at hooker before in 200 caps, but it shows how versatile we are.”
Harry Latham-Coyle12 March 2023 17:00
F/T: Scotland 7-22 Ireland
So the first point of the tournament slips by for Ireland with the failure to find that bonus point score, but that is another mightily impressive win from the grand slam chasers. They had to deal with plenty of issues today, losing three forwards inside the first half-hour and then a second hooker soon after half-time. They march on into that encounter with England next weekend.
Harry Latham-Coyle12 March 2023 16:58
FULL TIME! SCOTLAND 7-22 IRELAND
Harry Latham-Coyle12 March 2023 16:56
Scotland 7-22 Ireland, 80 minutes
Lineout overthrown! Ireland go off in search of a bonus point. Up the right they canter, Mack Hansen kicking ahead…fumbled by Harris, and back in Irish hands!
Through come the forwards, but a knock on means a final score won’t be theirs. The handling error sends us to a close.
Harry Latham-Coyle12 March 2023 16:56
Scotland 7-22 Ireland, 79 minutes
The victory will be Ireland’s, and time appears to have run out on Scottish hopes of a losing bonus point. They’d like to finish with a flourish, though, and a penalty won on halfway allows them to advance up towards the Ireland 22.
That will be a sight to concern Gregor Townsend, though: Finn Russell limps away, his afternoon over prematurely. Chris Harris comes on.
Harry Latham-Coyle12 March 2023 16:55
Scotland 7-22 Ireland, 78 minutes
Cian Healy might just have a third life in an Ireland shirt as a specialist scrummaging hooker – Ireland have won virtually every engagement since his introduction in the centre of the front row.
Ireland fail to correctly tap the penalty they earn from Healy and co’s latest shoving, though, and Scotland do finally get some set piece joy with the visitors deemed to have caused the next scrum collapse.
Harry Latham-Coyle12 March 2023 16:53
Scotland 7-22 Ireland, 76 minutes
So nearly a scorching Irish score! This would have been a gem, James Lowe haring out of his own 22 and lasering a flat pass to Jamison Gibson-Park filling in on the leftward extreme.
Gibson-Park puts his foot down, accelerating away from the Scottish chasers. He has Lowe as an option inside but goes beyond him to James Ryan, lumbering up in support.
The lock is felled by Kyle Steyn’s lumberjack chop at the knees, and as Ryan falls he misdirects his offload with Lowe hopeful of taking a scoring pass. It harmlessly hits the deck having been thrown forward.
Harry Latham-Coyle12 March 2023 16:52
Scotland 7-22 Ireland, 75 minutes
And some of the accuracy has gone out of Scotland’s game. Ireland spread nicely defensively, forcing Sione Tuipulotu to try a little lofted cross-kick. A club or three too many – out on the full by quite a distance, prompting a raised hand of apology from the centre.
Harry Latham-Coyle12 March 2023 16:49