Ireland v Scotland: Six Nations 2024 – live | Six Nations 2024

Key events

31 mins. Furlong gets a big shove on Schoeman at the scrum and the Scottish prop can do nothing but pop up and give away a penalty. From the lineout Ireland are on the ball around the Scot 22 but a disrupting tackle from Christie and Dempsey dislodges the ball from Van Der Flier. Excellent defence.

28 mins. McDowall introduces himself to the game by romping through a gap on first phase from the scrum with subtle step and go. He’s caught eventually by a combo of Crowley and Larmour. The position looks promising in the Ireland half, but it fizzles out a bit so White angles a kick to touch.

25 mins. The last few minutes has seen Scotland have some joy counter-rucking, with Andy Christie prominent in the effort. That latest drive sends Ireland off the ball enough for them to fumble it forward to give the visitors a scrum just in their own half.

22 mins. Some Scottish possession looks busy but it is ultimately not productive so van der Merwe takes it on himself to have a run. Not a bad idea in itself, but he runs laterally, largely away from his support and when he’s scragged Van Der Flier clamps on the ball.

That’s two turnover penalties against the big winger for much the same thing. Have Ireland worked him out?

20 mins. A 10% increase in the pace of the movement of the ball by Ireland is enough to for them to manoeuvre the ball via a lovely Nash offload to Aki who has a twenty metre carry on the left. Scotland scramble well and as the ball the is worked back inside possession is fumbled by Ireland.

PENALTY! Ireland 7 – 6 Scotland (Finn Russell)

17 mins. Scotland don’t let that shambles of a try deter them and they are back on the Irish 22 on a penalty advantage after Beirne drifts offside. The phases move left, but there’s very little doing so the ref calls them back.

It’s bang in front and Russell doesn’t waste the chance for more points.

TRY! Ireland 7 – 3 Scotland (Dan Sheehan)

13 mins. This time Scotland catch and drive the lineout before releasing the ball to be cleared, but the kick doesn’t go as far and Henshaw capitalises with a big carry that catches van der Merwe offside in defence.

Crowley puts it in the corner and Scotland do a great job of driving the Irish forwards intro touch; but they do a far worse job with their own lineout, George Turner flinging the ball over Cummins and directly to Sheehan who strolls over from five metres!

Oh dear…

Conversion is added.

Dan Sheehan bursts through to score the opening try of the contest. Photograph: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile/Getty Images

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10 mins. A potentially tricky defensive lineout for Scotland is completed with under 2% nonsense present; quickly off the top for Russell to punt clear. Ireland have a few bumps up on the counter before Lowe boots the ball roughly back to where Scotland started.

PENALTY! Ireland 0 – 3 Scotland (Finn Russell)

7 mins. James Lowe claims a high ball before being penalised for crawling on the floor after the tackle was completed on him.

Russell calls for the tee and slots the first points of the match.


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6 mins. The position gained from the charge-down is lost due to some imprecise work in contact allowing McCarthy to rip the ball away. The ball is cleared for a Scotland lineout on halfway.


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4 mins. An organised start from both sides, each taking a couple of carries up before dispatching the ball with the boot of their scrum-halves. Rinse, repeat.

There’s a slight variation when Ireland spin to Lowe and his kick is charged down by Christie rampaging out of the line with a block.

2 mins. Gibson-Park box kicks the ball away, but can only find Russell rather than touch. The Scots captain wastes no time in moving the ball to van der Merwe who has a run before Sheehan is over the ball strongly to win a penalty to Ireland.

Duhan van der Merwe on the move. Photograph: Peter Morrison/AP

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Finn Russell kicks the ball deep into Ireland territory to start us off

Peter O’Mahony is very tearful during “Ireland’s Call”. Could a retirement announcement be coming?

Tadhg Beirne is first out of the tunnel to take an ovation on the occasion of his 50th cap for Ireland. Soon after the two teams emerge into a mizzling early evening in Dublin, with more rain predicted as the the game progresses.


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Late team change for Ireland

Hugo Keenan has a late injury and is replaced at fullback by Jordan Larmour.

That could be significant as Keenan is often the glue that holds all the best Irish performances together. Larmour is nippy, but he’s a long way short of the class of his Leinster team mate.

There’s much chatter this week about the possibility that Ireland could win the tournament via bonus points with less wins than England. Read more about it here.

There are potentially a number of permutations here depending on the result. How do you see it going? Let me know to with an email or a post @bloodandmud


Andy Farrell can name an unchanged starting XV after Calvin Nash recovered sufficiently from his head injury departure last week v England. However, he the coach is not keen to repeat the issues presented by only having two back among the subs last week, and so the 5-3 split returns along with Harry Byrne and Garry Ringrose.

Scotland boss Townsend brings Stafford McDowall in to inside-centre, while Ben White returns at scrum-half.

IRELAND Hugo Keenan; Calvin Nash, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Jack Crowley, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Joe McCarthy, Tadhg Beirne, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Harry Byrne, Garry Ringrose

SCOTLAND Blair Kinghorn; Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Stafford McDowall, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ben White; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Scott Cummings, Andy Christie, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey.

Replacements:Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland, Elliot Millar-Mills, Sam Skinner, Matt Fagerson, George Horne, Cameron Redpath, Kyle Rowe.


It wasn’t meant to be this way for Ireland. This second installment of Super Saturday 2024 was due to be the final waypoint to a Grand Slam delivered on the weekend of their national patron saint’s day. Instead, they have the disappointment of needing just a bonus point to win the Championship; which is quite the clanging sentence isn’t it?

Similar to the barnstorming England teams of 2000 and 2001, “just” winning the Championship does feel like below par for Andy Farrell’s men given they were so clearly the best side in Europe coming in. They will desperately want to demonstrably reassert that status today in front of the home crowd.

While the mood music since the World Cup has not been as bright for Scotland, this is not how they saw the tournament panning out either. They can technically still win the thing with a victory and a favourable result in Paris later, but Gregor Townsend and his team will know that they should be playing for a Slam as well. Winning positions left to float away against Italy and France must shroud this squad like a stinking miasma of regret. The challenge will be dispersing enough of it to sniff out a win in Dublin.

I’m sure they’ll both be up for it when the whistle blows, mind you.

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