Lineout ploy was down to Jonny Gray says Scotland coach

Alex Dunbar  scores Scotland's third try against Ireland.
Alex Dunbar scores Scotland's third try against Ireland.
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Forwards coach Jonathan
Humphreys gave the credit
for Saturday’s audacious lineout play which saw 
centre Alex Dunbar score Scotland’s third try and leave Ireland dumbfounded to lock forward Jonny Gray.

The Scots put three backs into the front of the first-half lineout close to the 
visiting line, with skipper Greig Laidlaw and wing Tommy Seymour in front of Dunbar in the third position. The Irish were clearly expecting the trio to be employed as extra bulk for the drive, with the forwards who had dropped back coming in at pace from behind.

Ireland didn’t properly mark the front of the line, with Rory Best and Tadhg Furlong left red-faced.

However, hooker Ross Ford simply popped the ball to the Glasgow Warriors midfielder and he was over in a flash as the Scots roared into a 21-5 lead en route to a famous 27-22 win.

Head coach Vern Cotter stated after the match that the clever ploy was the brainchild of Humphreys and that he’d been itching to use it but the Welshman revealed yesterday that he had second thoughts ahead of the match.

“We identified the possibility that it could work. We came to the team run on Friday and Jonny said, ‘shall we got through that move?’ and I said, ‘Nah’.

“So, in reality, it should be Jonny taking the credit for persevering and saying, ‘I want to do that move’. I hand it to him.

“It’s one of those things that can either make you look great or not. We actually tried it against Tonga a couple of years ago and Alex dropped the ball on that occasion.”

Ford added that it was pleasing to see the move come off so smoothly and spare the forwards a more punishing assault on the Irish line.

“Yeah it was good,” said Ford. “As Humph said, we’ve had it there for quite some time. Jonny just decided to throw it in there and it came off well.

“They are the kind of things where you don’t have to work too hard for a try.

“We didn’t have to go through many phases. It’s always nice to score off first-phase ball.”