By Conor Kelly, Date: 15/10/12
Ireland picked up their first win since 2009 when they saw off a valiant Scotland in a rain soaked Edinburgh to kick off the 2012 Alitalia European Cup.
It took just fifteen minutes for Ireland to open the scoring when they made the most of some sustained pressure to set Gregg McNally free. The full back then fed Tim Bergin who slid in at the corner. Liam Finn added the conversion to make it 6-0 to Ireland.
After more pressure Scotland then found their way into Ireland territory and went very close to levelling the tie but the kick was just inches too long.
From this Ireland forced their way back into the Scottish twenty metre area. Another attack to the right led to Stuart Littler who smashed his way over to make it 10-0 with Finnâ€™s conversion Ireland led 12-0.
From the restart Brett Carter made a clean break and Scotland were on Irelandâ€™s line when Ben Fisher spilled the ball to relieve the pressure.
With seven minutes to go in the half Ireland again exploited Scotlandâ€™s left side defence when Bergin grabbed his second to make the score 16-0 after Finn missed the conversion.
Ireland continued to pile on the pressure and again it was the right hand attack that got the upper hand when Littler again powered over to make it 22-0 after Finn added the conversion.
The second half started with an error from Scotland and Ireland punished it when James Mendeika split the Scottish defence and put Elliot Cosgrove in to make it 28-0 after Finnâ€™s conversion.
The hosts began to get back into the game after this but Lee Paterson dropped the ball over the line after working hard to get there.
Ireland looked to have put the game totally out of Scotlandâ€™s reach when Gregg McNally touched down but referee Ben Thaler deemed him offside.
From the penalty the hosts drove down field and after a couple of offloads Ben Fisherâ€™s chip through bounced back to him and he touched down to make the score 28-6.
Scotland then quickly grabbed a second try when Mitch Stringer found himself in space and touched down to make it 28-12.
Ireland were given a break shortly after when Tyrone McCarthy blocked down a kick and Carl Sice gathered to make some good yardage.
Scotland then made an error when they ripped the ball in the tackle to hand Liam Finn a penalty in front of the posts which he slotted over to make the score 30-12 with fifteen minutes to go.
With five minutes left the Scots got two within two converted tries after Callum Cockburn touched down Fisherâ€™s kick.
Ireland were under real pressure but managed to hold on in defence to seal Mark Astonâ€™s first win as head coach and to put Ireland top of the table in the Alitalia European Cup.
Scotland: Brett Carter, Alex Hurst, Shae Lyon-Fraser, Josh Barlow, Dave Scott, Lee Paterson, Liam Hood, Paul Jackson, Andrew Henderson, Mitch Stringer, Sam Barlow, Dale Ferguson, Alex Szostak Interchange: Ben Fisher, Adam Walker, Jonathan Walker, Callum Cockburn
Ireland: Gregg McNally, Tim Bergin, Stuart Littler, Joshua Toole, John Oâ€™Donnell, James Mendeika, Liam Finn, Sean Hesketh, Carl Sice, Luke Ambler, Elliot Cosgrove, Callum Casey, Tyrone McCarthy Interchange: Colton Roche, Sam Wellens, Matty Hadden, Tom McKeown
Referee: Ben Thaler
Half Time: Scotland 0-22 Ireland
Full Time: Scotland 18-30 Ireland