Nd with­out trace

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Rugby -

had a tough day. So much had been made of Ireland’s new-look back three and whether, with Rob Kear­ney and Keith Earls miss­ing, Rus­sell and Laid­law might be able to tar­get Lar­mour, Con­way and Ja­cob Stock­dale. Not a bit of it. Lar­mour had an ex­cel­lent first half, even jack­alling for a turnover at one point; Stock­dale looked back to his 2018 vin­tage; Con­way scored his sec­ond-half try and gen­er­ally buzzed about.

Laid­law man­aged a penalty to pull Scot­land back to 12-3, but Ireland were soon pil­ing on more mis­ery. Again it came from a Scot­land er­ror, Tommy Sey­mour spilling the ball, which was hacked all the way to the line. Ireland got a bit lucky with the ball re­bound­ing off the foot of a post, forc­ing Stu­art Hogg to carry it over his own try-line. From the en­su­ing scrum, Stander launched him­self from the base and in quick or­der Fur­long was over.

“We didn’t start with the en­ergy, ac­cu­racy and ag­gres­sion re­quired to beat a team like Ireland,” Scot­land head coach Gre­gor Townsend ad­mit­ted af­ter­wards.

Ireland rolled back the years – or year. Rolling mauls, strike moves. Any hopes Scot­land had of a Twick­en­ham-style Six Na­tions sec­ond­half turn­around were ex­tin­guished af­ter 56 min­utes when Ryan Wil­son spilt an­other kick from Mur­ray, who sent Con­way over in the cor­ner. The game pe­tered out as a con­test. South Africa – Ireland’s likely quar­ter-fi­nal op­po­nents – will not be quak­ing in their boots. But this was clin­i­cal from Ireland. As for Scot­land, the less said the bet­ter. Scores

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