Ireland 20-23 Scotland, Six Nations, March 20
Parks: We deserved win
March 20, 2010
Dan Parks sends over a drop-goal © Getty Images
Scottish hero Dan Parks said his side's shock victory over Ireland was just reward for their Six Nations campaign.
The Scots came to Croke Park on the back of three defeats and a draw against England, but they clearly felt their performances had deserved better. And they certainly made their point with a combative performance that set Parks up to score the winning penalty with a minute remaining.
The Australian born fly-half said he and his teammates were only too delighted to spoil the Irish party at the last international at Croke Park.
"It's nice," he told RTÉ. "It's been disappointing because we've been really close and I really think we deserved this. I really enjoyed the lap of honour at the end there to thank the Scottish fans for being so behind us.
"The pressure for the kick is the reason you play the game, because of moments like that They make you feel great, when they work out you're either a hero or a zero and thankfully today I'm a hero. In general we've had a really good tournament, we've just been very unlucky at times. You can look at it and say we could have won four or five, but we only got the one win. But what a day to win and spoil the party."
His coach, Andy Robinson was understandably delighted with his side's effort.
"The guys have worked hard all year."We got a bit of luck at the end of the game," he told the BBC. "We got a penalty near their line and Dan made a great kick, but I think for the endeavour and the way we've tried to play this season, the guys should take some real credit. They're hurting, they're tired, and they deserve the plaudits for this win. I'm impressed with the way they have approached this game and approached every game.
"Like all things we kept the composure right to the end. Ireland played really, really well at the start and I thought at one stage it was going to be a 30-pointer. But we held on, we got to the pace of the game, and performed really well."
Ireland coach Declan Kidney was left searching for positives after an error strewn performance from the holders.
"We said all along that any team in this competition can beat another and that's what happened," he said. "We're bitterly disappointed to lose our last game in Croke Park, but what can you do?
"Scotland had a good game, we didn't. Parts of the performance weren't great, the drop goal before half time gave us seven points to try and come back at. We made a bit of a mountain, we did damage to ourselves in the first half.
"Errors happen when you're not in the game and it happened in Paris when we tried to force things. I think people expected Scotland to roll over, we didn't. The Scottish lineout's been the best all season and they put pressure on us there. We turned over a lot of ball. They got turnovers and crucial decisions that made it difficult."
"If you listen carefully you should be able to hear them mining the granite for the statue of a certain Jonny Wilkinson" Graham Jenkins reports from the Heineken Cup Final
Quade Cooper's defence is better than it was 12 months ago and Robbie Deans has erred in omitting him from the core Wallabies squad to play the Lions, Greg Growden writes
"People on the outside think unfounded thoughts on Toulon." Tom Hamilton talks to RCT lock Nick Kennedy ahead of Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Clermont
Will Genia should lead the Wallabies against the Lions, Joe Tomane to win the final wing spot and Israel Folau at fullback, writes Greg Growden