Six Nations 2021: Scotland 24-27 Ireland

By Sports Desk March 14, 2021

Johnny Sexton kicked a late penalty to make sure Ireland once again got the better of Scotland in the Six Nations, the visitors running out 27-24 winners at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Scotland went into the fixture still in with a shot of claiming the title but a 17th loss in the last 20 meetings between the two nations in the competition means Wales and France will fight it out to be crowned champions in 2021.

Hamish Watson's converted try in the 74th minute completed an impressive comeback from Scotland, who had trailed 24-10 at one stage in the second half.

However, having worked so hard to get back level in the contest, Scotland conceded a penalty from the kick-off, allowing Sexton to settle a see-saw contest in favour of Ireland.

The hosts had not played for a month – their round three fixture against France was called off due to a coronavirus outbreak within Les Bleus' squad – and were caught cold in the opening minutes of both halves.

Sexton slotted over an early penalty to start the scoring before putting his right boot to good use in open play, a cross-field kick meant for Keith Earls ending up breaking kindly for the late-arriving Robbie Henshaw to ground.

Finn Russell replied with a penalty and then cashed in on a fortunate break to get Scotland's first try.

Stuart Hogg charged down a clearing kick and twice hacked on before Russell did the same, James Lowe’s attempt to deal with the situation only knocking the ball up in the air to set up an easy finish for the fly-half.

The conversion made it 10-8 to Scotland, but a pair of Sexton penalties before the break was followed up by Tadhg Beirne plunging over in the 49th minute, his try by the posts leaving an easy kick to make it 21-10.

A further Sexton penalty built the lead out to 14, yet substitute Huw Jones gave Scotland hope, bursting through some weak tackling to make an instant impact following his introduction.

Hogg landed the extras having taken over kicking duties, the full-back also on target to bring his team level after Watson's strength close to the line allowed the flanker to force the ball down.

Yet Sexton scuppered Scotland's hopes as he had the last word, drilling over the match-winning kick from close to the touchline.

Related items

  • Wallabies to face France in three-Test series in Australia Wallabies to face France in three-Test series in Australia

    Australia will host France in a three-Test series in July, Rugby Australia (RA) announced on Friday.

    The Wallabies will welcome fifth-ranked nation France to Australia, with games staged in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

    Midweek Test rugby will return for the first time since 2012 when the Wallabies face France at the SCG on July 7 before games at AAMI Park in Melbourne (July 13) and Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium (July 17).

    Dave Rennie's Australia – who last met France in 2016 – will play a match at the SCG for the first time since 1986.

    "France are one of the most exciting teams in World Rugby; they play with passion, flair and unpredictability and have proven time and time again they are one of the global forces of our game," said RA chief executive Andy Marinos.

    "They have been quietly building their team as evidenced in their Junior World Cup performances over the past three seasons, and we are now starting to see this translate into their senior side as they look ahead to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France."

    "We have also seen the emergence of our own new next generation of Wallaby players throughout the 2020 International season, where I have no doubt, they will continue to build positive momentum into this exciting eToro France Test Series to be held in in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane," he added. 

    "The return of midweek Test matches presents a unique opportunity for fans at home and at the venue, with each stadium in a central location for those attending after work.

    "As we navigate our way through the ever-changing sporting landscape that we now operate within, we do so with the continued safety of all those involved in these Test matches, along with the communities in which we play, remaining our number one priority.

    "We have enjoyed constructive and engaged discussions with [Rugby Union Players Association] RUPA on the international calendar, ensuring that player welfare and high-performance outcomes can be optimised. We will continue to work with our players to ensure our collective goal of being successful in all we do is realised."

    France suffered a 3-0 whitewash during their last tour of Australia in 2014, and French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Bernard Laporte said: "It is a great opportunity for our French team to confront an emblematic nation of the southern hemisphere that has marked the history of world rugby such as Australia.

    "We are convinced that our bleus, who feel a growing popular wave of the French at each match, will be keen to continue to perform on the international stage and demonstrate that France is among the great nations of world rugby!"

  • Sexton Lions omission a tough call, says Gatland Sexton Lions omission a tough call, says Gatland

    Johnny Sexton's omission from the British and Irish Lions squad was one of Warren Gatland's "toughest decisions", the coach has admitted.

    Ireland legend Sexton, the 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year, was one of the surprise exclusions from Gatland's 37-man selection for the upcoming tour of South Africa.

    Sexton misses out despite the fly-half playing a key role on the 2017 trip to New Zealand, with Gatland expressing some concerns over the 35-year-old's "durability" and instead calling up Dan Biggar, Owen Farrell and Finn Russell.

    "There's no doubt that that was one of the toughest decisions that we had to make," said Gatland at a news conference on Thursday.

    "I've got a huge amount of respect for Johnny and his quality, but it's such a pivotal position for us and it's about sending a message to the 10s that we have selected that we have the confidence and belief in them to do a job.

    "When we looked at where we were going in South Africa probably the thing that kept coming back to us was Johnny's durability, being able to put a string of matches together consecutively, and big matches.

    "He has been rested on a number of occasions and unfortunately that's possibly what swayed it for us in terms of us not having the confidence that he can get through what's going to be a tough, physical tour."

    Billy Vunipola was also a notable absentee from the list, while other big calls saw Wales centre Jonathan Davies, England prop Kyle Sinckler and Ireland second row James Ryan left out.

    However, Gatland did find room for Exeter Chiefs number eight Sam Simmonds, who has not played a Test for England since March 2018.

    The Lions will face the Springboks in Tests on July 24, July 31 and August 7.

  • Alun Wyn Jones to captain Lions in South Africa Alun Wyn Jones to captain Lions in South Africa

    Alun Wyn Jones has been named captain of the British and Irish Lions for their tour of South Africa, leading a 37-man squad.

    Warren Gatland announced his selection on Thursday ahead of the trip in July, which follows a warm-up against Japan next month.

    Wales great Jones has been chosen for the leadership role having featured in the past nine Lions Tests going back to 2009, the longest run in the professional era.

    Jones has already skippered the side once previously in the absence of the injured Sam Warburton in Australia eight years ago, clinching a first series win since 1997.

    Elsewhere in Gatland's squad, Ireland's former World Rugby Player of the Year Johnny Sexton misses out despite playing a key role on the 2017 trip to New Zealand.

    Billy Vunipola was also a notable absentee from the list, while other big calls saw Wales centre Jonathan Davies, England prop Kyle Sinckler and Ireland second row James Ryan excluded.

    However, Gatland did find room for Exeter Chiefs number eight Sam Simmonds, who has not played a Test for England since March 2018.

    "We believe we've picked a squad capable of winning a Test series in South Africa," Gatland - who opted for 11 Englishmen, 10 Welshmen and eight apiece from Ireland and Scotland - said following the squad announcement.

    "Selecting a Lions squad is never easy and, in many ways, this has been the most challenging selection I have been involved in.

    "Over the course of the last three weeks the coaches and I have rigorously debated each position.

    "We saw some outstanding performances in the recent Six Nations, so competition for places has been tough with some incredibly tight calls to make. 

    "However, we are very happy with the squad we have assembled and look forward to meeting up in Jersey in just over a month's time to start our preparation to take on the world champions.

    "We've left out some very talented players which gives an indication to the strength of this squad and we know how important that stand-by list will be.

    "Being selected for a Lions tour is the greatest honour for a British and Irish player and I congratulate everyone named today."

    The Lions will face the Springboks in Tests on July 24, July 31 and August 7.


    British and Irish Lions squad in full:

    Josh Adams (Cardiff, Wales), Bundee Aki (Connacht, Ireland), Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales), Elliot Daly (Saracens, England), Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales), Owen Farrell (Saracens, England), Chris Harris (Gloucester, Scotland), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster, Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland), Conor Murray (Munster, Ireland), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester, Wales), Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh, Scotland), Anthony Watson (Bath, England), Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales); Tadhg Beirne (Munster, Ireland), Jack Conan (Leinster, Ireland), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland), Taulupe Faletau (Bath, Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster, Ireland), Jamie George (Saracens, England), Iain Henderson (Ulster, Ireland), Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England), Maro Itoje (Saracens, England), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales), Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England), Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales), Andrew Porter (Leinster, Ireland), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England), Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh, Scotland), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales), Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh, Scotland).

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.