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Ireland: (7) 17
Tries: Sheehan, Porter Pen: Crowley Cons: Crowley 2
Scotland: (6) 13
Try: Jones Pens: Russell 2 Cons: Russell

Ireland retained the Six Nations title as they overcame a heroic defensive effort by Scotland in Dublin.

On a nervy evening, Dan Sheehan’s try either side of two Finn Russell penalties gave Ireland a one-point lead at the end of a cagey first half.

Scotland defended bravely after the break as Tadhg Furlong and Robbie Henshaw both had Irish tries ruled out.

Andrew Porter crossed to provide Ireland with clear daylight before Huw Jones gave Scotland late hope.

Ireland, however, steadied themselves in the closing moments to defend their crown in a remarkably tense conclusion to their campaign.

The result also ends England’s hopes of snatching the title from Ireland before they face France in Lyon in the tournament’s final match at 20:00 GMT.

England ended Ireland’s bid to become the first Six Nations team to win back-to-back Grand Slams at Twickenham last week, but by retaining the championship Andy Farrell’s side reaffirm their status as the northern hemisphere’s leading team.

Nervy first half

Having been humbled by England last week, Ireland came into Saturday’s match in Dublin under increased pressure as they looked to clinch their sixth Six Nations title knowing a win or draw would be enough to finish the job.

But the pressure showed. While Sheehan was gifted a try from a Scotland line-out, Ireland lacked intensity and struggled to build momentum against a stubborn, well-drilled visiting defence and resultingly went in at the break ahead by the slimmest of margins.

While Scotland were not able to put enough pressure on the Irish tryline in the opening 40 minutes, the away side’s defence looked comfortable dealing with Ireland’s attacks, gradually sucking the atmosphere out of Aviva Stadium during a flat, cagey first half.

Scotland came to Dublin hoping to win the Triple Crown for the first time since 1990. With Sheehan’s try sandwiched between two Russell penalties, those hopes remained intact with the game on a knife-edge at the break.

More to follow.


Ireland: Larmour; Nash, Henshaw, Aki, Lowe; Crowley, Gibson-Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong; McCarthy, Beirne, O’Mahony (capt), Van der Flier, Doris.

Replacements: Kelleher, Healy, Bealham, Baird, Conan, Murray, H Byrne, Ringrose.

Sin-bin: H Byrne

Scotland: Kinghorn, Steyn, Jones, McDowall, Van Der Merwe, Russell, White; Schoeman, Turner, Z Fagerson, Gilchrist, Cummings, Christie, Darge, Dempsey.

Replacements: Ashman, Sutherland, Sebastian, Skinner, M Fagerson, Horne, Redpath, Rowe.

Sin-bin: Ashman (65)

Match officials

Referee: Matthew Carley (Eng)

Touch judges: Karl Dickson (Eng) & Christophe Ridley (Eng)

TMO: Marius Jonker (SA)

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