An impressive performance by Ronan O’Gara helped Ireland scrape past a resilient Scotland side 21-18 at Murrayfield.
O’Gara, recalled to the side at the expense of Jonathan Sexton having missed out on a starting place for the opening two games of the tournament, converted all three of Ireland’s tries to end the game with 11 points. Bigfreebet would likely have seen Sunday’s contest as too close to call as it proved to be.
Scotland head coach Andy Robinson entered the tournament looking to leave a mark, having secured a remarkable victory over South Africa during the autumn internationals, but are without a single win after three games. They now go into their next game against big free bet championship favourites England with the real prospect of facing Italy in their final game in a battle for the wooden spoon.
Scottish errors were the overriding feature of a lacklustre first half as both Jamie Heaslip and Eoin Reddan crossed the line off the back of Scottish errors. The newly recalled Chris Patterson picked up where he left off as he hauled Scotland to within 5 points as indiscipline got the better of Ireland, but Robinson’s mood will have noticeably darkened when loose-head prop Allan Jacobsen was sent to the sin bin by referee Nigel Owens for not hitting square in the scrum.
The game picked up in the second half as O’Gara’s influence began to be felt, and before long he had touched down to put the game beyond Scotland. Flanker Sean O’Brien did most of the damage, charging through limp Scottish tackles before off-loading to O’Gara, who side-stepped Ross Ford’s tackle to run in under the posts.
Scotland tried to pull themselves back into the game once more, and looked to be in with a shout as Dan Parks added a penalty and a drop-goal to move within three points but Ireland managed to hold on for a much needed victory.