Six Nations: Ireland vs Scotland Preview
This Celtic clash comes hot on the heels of a sobering draw in Paris for the Irish and a series of valiant, if not brainless, losses for Scotland.
The Scots, under Andy Robinson, are bad at passing the ball. Or, to be more specific, they had one particularly pass pass, which happened to be the last one.
North of Hadrian’s Wall the English managed to win, though they were not quite sure how. Neither were their hosts and after dominating all the statistics, that ultimately did not matter. They once again returned drawing board.
The Irish, on the other hand, look like they might have to get an entirely new drawing board. They are all huff and puff, yet have nothing to show for it with an opening loss against Wales, a routine win against Italy and, in terms of injury, a costly draw in Paris.
The in-form Conor Murray will be missed but it is the absence of talismanic captain Paul O’Connell that may be too much to overcome in a tournament where there is little left to play for.
This match has all the hallmarks of an away win. Ireland will have one eye on the England encounter at Twickenham – on Saint Patrick’s Day no less – and have no chance of a wooden spoon, a fate which Scotland avoided in 2010 with a last minute, albeit deserved, win in Dublin.
Scotland will see this as a match they can win. They have shown they can play rugby, and pride alone should drive them to convert their attacking statistics into scores on the board. If Scottish stupidity wears green on Saturday it might be Ireland, for once, celebrating a missing opportunity.
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