6N: Scots fall to Ireland again to drop out of title race

Published 5:31 pm Sunday, March 14, 2021

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scotland fell to its bogey team Ireland again 27-24 on Sunday in an empty Murrayfield and left Wales and France to play for the Six Nations title.

The Scots needed to beat the Irish for the first time in four years to stay in the title hunt but couldn’t live with Ireland’s power and nous, exacerbated by too many errors. Scotland left itself too much to overcome even though it came back from 24-10 down after an hour to 24-24 with four minutes to go.

But Ireland restarted play with a deep kickoff, and Scotland scrumhalf Ali Price was charged down by replacement lock Ryan Baird who also covered him up to earn a penalty. Captain Jonathan Sexton lined up the 39-meter kick from the left touchline and brilliantly slotted it for another match-winner.

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Sexton yet again was a difference maker as Ireland scored two tries to three but the captain nailed six of his seven goalkicks with the seventh hitting a post.

The win was Ireland’s 18th in 22 matchups with Scotland in the Six Nations era and gives it a chance to finish the tournament with top-half respectability after its worst start since 1998.

Scotland, for all of its impressive improvement, will rue a continued lack of smarts. After an historic win over England at Twickenham on the opening weekend, the Scots have lost both of their home games. To come, they have Italy and the postponed match against France, which could yet be a title decider. But it will all become moot if Wales at least draws with France in Paris next weekend and claims the trophy.


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