Six Nations: Scotland 12-8 Ireland: Scots hold on
Scotland produced an incredible defensive display to repel Ireland and break their Irish Murrayfield hoodoo.
Scotland. Pens: Laidlaw 4.
Ireland. Tries: Gilroy. Pens: Jackson.
Declan Kidney’s men had not lost in Edinburgh since 2001 and looked set to extend that record as they dominated the first half, with possession statistics nearing 80%.
But after 55 minutes they had just a Paddy Jackson penalty and Craig Gilroy’s unconverted penalty to show for their dominance.
That allowed Edinburgh scrum-half Greig Laidlaw to kick his side back into contention and ultimately onto success with four perfect penalties.
The result ends the Scots’ 12-year wait for successive RBS 6 Nations wins and will increase calls for interim head coach Scott Johnson to be handed the job on a permanent basis.
Having been so under the cosh for the opening 50 minutes, the Scots were resurgent and stormed in front.
First Laidlaw produced an old fashioned up and under into the Irish score zone which skipper Kelly Brown only just failed to score from.
Among the melee chasing the ball, English referee Wayne Barnes spotted an infringement from the home side and Laidlaw happily stuck over his third penalty to put Scotland head 9-8.
With the match closer than they would have hoped for, Ireland sent for the experience of O’Gara, knowing his kicking capabilities could be crucial in the closing stages.
But the fly-half’s bizarre cross-field kick soon after succeeded only in putting team-mates Marshall and O’Driscoll under pressure, leading to a fourth penalty opportunity of the half for Scotland, which Laidlaw again made no mistake from to extend the advantage to four points.
Ireland themselves had the chance to go for the posts next but went for touch in search of a match-winning score. But, despite several surges from a desperate Irish pack, Scotland resisted to snatch an unlikely victory.