Ireland overpower Scotland, move top of Six Nations table

first_imgBy Ed OsmondIreland ruthlessly wore down Scotland in a commanding 40-10 victory at Murrayfield on Saturday that lifted them above Wales at the top of the Six Nations standings on points difference.Ireland will win the title for the second year in a row unless England beat France by 26 points in the final match of the tournament at Twickenham later on Saturday.“It just feels really awkward, you win in Murrayfield with a 30-point differential and nobody is celebrating,” Ireland coach Joe Schmidt told Irish television.“We’ve got the dinner now and I’m going to try to switch away from it and not watch it, and someone will let me know and I’ll be either delighted or broken.“It’s a bizarre feeling. To go back to back would be incredible but I think it would be merited by this group. Right here right now, we’d be desperate to get the right result coming up this evening.“We just wanted to keep building, we wanted to stay dynamic and hopefully the points will look after themselves. I think the players did incredibly well.“Some of the frustrations from last week came out today in the energy that was displayed and in some of the accuracy that was demonstrated as well.”Ireland captain Paul O’Connell crashed over from close range to score an early try and flanker Sean O’Brien surged across the line to put the visitors 17-3 ahead.But Scotland regrouped and flyhalf Finn Russell scampered over in the left corner to reduce the deficit to 20-10 at halftime.Ireland dominated possession and were rewarded when centre Jared Payne scythed through the Scottish defence to touch down with Scotland in chaos.Scottish hopes took another hit when prop Geoff Cross was sent to the sin-bin but Ireland flyhalf Jonny Sexton missed two straightforward penalties.Sexton re-adjusted his radar, however, to extend the Irish lead to 33-10 and man-of-the-match O’Brien burrowed over from close range seven minutes from time.Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg failed to ground the ball over the line under heavy pressure from Jamie Heaslip and although Ian Madigan missed a late penalty to extend the lead, Ireland were left to celebrate their record victory at Murrayfield.Scotland’s fifth successive defeat in the tournament left them bottom of the Six Nations standings after another depressing campaign.last_img

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