Scotland Club XV 17 - 39 Ireland Club XV: Bickerstaff brothers impress despite defeat

Scotland have a big gap to make up in next week’s second
leg of the 2020 Dalriada Cup series in Dublin after losing by a large margin to an Ireland team that scored 17 points in the final 12 minutes of play.

The Scots, unable to use their Super6 players, struggled in the opening quarter, allowing Ireland to score two converted tries and a penalty for a 17-0 lead. Scotland hit back in the third quarter when they reduced Ireland’s lead to five points, only for the visitors to capitalise towards the end.

Scotland had a number of impressive performers, notably the Bickerstaff brothers among the backs and Gregor Law, Mike Vernel, Fergus Scott and Shawn Muir in the forward pack.

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Tries for Ireland by Brian Fitzgerald and Aran Hehir, both from clean breaks and both converted by stand-off James Taylor who also kicked a penalty, gave the visitors a 17-point lead in as many minutes.

The Scots scored a gem of a try as Grant Mollison delivered the pass that allowed Scott Bickerstaff to scorch over. But just before the break prop Conor Maguire barrelled over to give Ireland a 22-5 interval lead

A Colin Sturgeon try after the break from an Aaron McColm pass sparked a Scottish fightback and when McColm put Scott Bickerstaff in for his second try then added the conversion it was game on. But Ireland added a penalty by Gerry Hurley and he also converted tries by Jamie Heuston and Matthew Byrne.