Ireland thrash Scots at Murrayfield
February 12, 2005
Denis Hickie dives past Dan Parks to score for Ireland
© Getty Images
Six Nations title favourites Ireland left Scotland all at sea at Murrayfield this evening, as octopus-armed locks Malcolm O'Kelly and Paul O'Connell were amongst the scorers in their five-try 40-13 triumph.
O'Kelly's 24th-minute effort - marking his record-breaking 70th Test appearance in style - was the catalyst for Eddie O'Sullivan's side, who played in fits-and-starts, after converted centre Hugo Southwell's early breakaway try had promised so much for the Scots.
In the opening 20 minutes, the home side seized control of possession and territory in a performance similar to last weekend's heroics in Paris - however this time they looked to have the points to pick off coach Matt Williams' first Championship success.
O'Kelly ensured his former Leinster boss was soon in arrears, and after O'Connell's barge over effort before the break, and further touch downs from Denis Hickie, John Hayes and Gavin Duffy - earning his second Test cap - the sizeable traveling support were left wondering 'Brian and Gordon who?'
Still it was Scotland who looked liked the Grand Slam challengers in the opening quarter. A Jason White incision set up full back Chris Paterson for the first points - a 20-metre penalty on 9 minutes.
Edinburgh kicker Paterson then set up the Scots' first try - arguably the best one of the match. His searing midfield break past Reggie Corrigan and Peter Stringer gave Andy Craig the chance to send Southwell scuttling in at the right corner, evading the grasp of Shane Horgan in tow.
It went sour thereafter for Williams' men as Paterson fluffed the conversion and Dan Parks sailed a drop goal attempt wide. O'Gara's first kick at the sticks produced a penalty in reply and O'Kelly handed the visitors a lead they failed to relinquish.
The 30-year-old burrowed his 6ft 8in frame over in a close-range ruck and with Ireland 10-8 to the good, on the footing of O'Gara's pinpoint conversion, skipper-for-the-day O'Connell plunged through the weak tackles of Parks and Gavin Kerr to gift the Irish a ten-point buffer at the break.
Without ever hitting top gear, O'Sullivan's men seemed to ease away, and with Scottish scrum half Chris Cusiter getting no change from his own forwards, Hickie was allotted the chance to draw within one of Ireland's record try scorer Brian O'Driscoll three minutes after the restart.
A quick snaffle of the ball from flanker Johnny O'Connor was shipped onto O'Gara and he fed the Leinster winger, who made the left corner with ease.
Exhibiting much more control, especially in the loose, O'Gara hammered through the conversion. Scotland showed signs of a revival just before the hour as 26-year-old Paterson was again the gain-line breaker.
His effort won a lineout and with Stuart Grimes pocketing the throw, openside Jon Petrie was rumbled over at the side of the ruck.
Two more tries from the Irish in the final eight minutes saw off that dawn as first, tighthead prop Hayes was the unlikely recipient of a right wing ball from O'Kelly, and he had enough power to beat substitute Mike Blair for the touchdown.
Duffy's injury time skip over - profiting from turnover ball - handed O'Sullivan a fifth straight win over Scotland in his fortieth game in charge - and a positive outlook heading into the Lansdowne Road cruncher with England in two weeks' time.
Scotland: 13 Try: Southwell, Petrie Pen: Paterson
Ireland: 40 Try: O´Kelly, O´Connell, Hickie, Hayes, Duffy Con: O´Gara (2), Humphreys Pen: O´Gara (3)
SCOTLAND: Chris Paterson; Simon Danielli, Andy Craig, Hugo Southwell, Sean Lamont; Dan Parks, Chris Cusiter, Tom Smith, Gordon Bulloch (Capt), Gavin Kerr, Stuart Grimes, Scott Murray, Jason White, Jon Petrie, Allister Hogg.
Replacements: Robbie Russell, Bruce Douglas, Nathan Hines, Jon Dunbar, Mike Blair, Gordon Ross, Ben Hinshelwood.
Subs used: Mike Blair for Cusiter (6-16 mins), Bruce Douglas for Kerr, Nathan Hines for Murray, Blair for Cusiter (all 70)
IRELAND: Geordan Murphy; Girvan Dempsey, Shane Horgan, Kevin Maggs, Denis Hickie; Ronan O´Gara, Peter Stringer; Reggie Corrigan, Shane Byrne, John Hayes, Malcolm O´Kelly, Paul O´Connell (Capt), Simon Easterby, Johnny O´Connor, Anthony Foley.
Replacements: Frankie Sheahan, Marcus Horan, Donncha O´Callaghan, Eric Miller, Guy Easterby, David Humphreys, Gavin Duffy.
Subs used: Eric Miller for O´Connor (66 mins), Frankie Sheahan for Byrne, Marcus Horan for Corrigan (both 71), Guy Easterby for Stringer, Donncha O´Callaghan for O´Kelly, David Humphreys for O´Gara, Gavin Duffy for Hickie (all 75)
HT: Scotland 8 Ireland 18; Attendance: 67,800 Referee: Joel Jutge (France)