This defeat takes away from Scotland, already beaten by Wales, any chance of winning the Tournament, despite their late match against France, postponed due to cases of Covid among the Blues, while Ireland was already out of the game.
In a match much less exciting than England-France on Saturday which ended with the same gap (23-20), it was long believed that Ireland, realistic and domineering on the fundamentals, would win without too much hardly.
Scotland will have led only 7 short minutes, after a spectacular try of Finn Russell, author of a sort of “sombrero kick” by passing the ball to the foot above the Irish winger James Lowe, before flatten (10-8, 27th).
This test had responded to the first Irish banderilla, on a pass at the foot of Johnny Sexton in the in-goal that Stuart Hogg and Chris Harris failed to capture, in favor of Robbie Henshaw in ambush (5-0, 7th).
Sexton’s boot, taking advantage of faulty discipline from the premises, had allowed the Greens to finish the first act in the lead (14-10) and the start of the second period was also to their advantage.
– The Scottish eclairs weren’t enough –
With in particular an outrageous domination on the sidelines, Ireland broke away with a test of strength from Tadghe Beirne – confirmed by the French referee Romain Poite who literally plunged into the heart of the fray -, and transformed by Sexton, who added three more points five minutes later to give the visitors 14 lengths (24-10, 54th).
But the brilliance of the Scots ended up rebounding by flashes, with a superb try from Huw Jones, 5 minutes after his entry, who escaped four opponents to give hope to the XV of the thistle on the hour mark (24-17) .
Visibly marked physically, the Irish gave in again on a long phase of shelling the opposing line, Hamish Watson thinking to give at least a draw to his team (24-24, 73rd).
But on the next offense, Scottish scrum half Ali Price was slow to release a ball and on the penalty, very close to the sideline, Sexton gave a narrow but deserved victory to Ireland who had so far beaten than Italy, losing against Wales and France.
It is also Italy that Scotland will face for the honor next week, but after this defeat, which is added to that suffered in Wales, this Tournament started in the intoxication of a historic success in Twickenham, got a little bland.