VI Nations tournament: Ireland beats Scotland and retains its title

Ireland defeated Scotland 17-13 to retain their title in the Six Nations Tournament and further overcome the failure of the last World Cup on Saturday in front of their supporters in Dublin. The Clover XV celebrated St. Patrick’s Day a day early, driven by the incredible energy coming from its forwards and spans, overheated by the prospect of the double, last achieved in 2017 by England, the only team to have beaten him this year.

The Irish put their house in order, a week after a 23-22 defeat at Twickenham which, by preventing a historic double Grand Slam in the VI Nations, could have derailed the beautiful mechanism put in place by Andy Farrell. The coach was able to remobilize his troops a second time, five months after the elimination in the quarter-final of the World Cup against the New Zealand All Blacks, with a slightly reworked squad.

Peter O’Mahony took up the torch left by the emblematic and historic captain Johnny Sexton, surrounded by other strong men: the ball scratcher Joe McCarthy, the bulldozer Aki, the scrum half Jamison Gibson-Park, the flamboyant wingers Calvin Nash and James Lowe, or even scorer hooker Dan Sheehan.

A heroic Scottish defense

On Saturday, the final battle against Scotland delivered all its promises, with a tight scenario (7-6 at half-time), tense and tight until the end. The visitors tried to slow down the Irish surges as best as possible and they did so with a remarkable defense, vigilant and resistant without often being found wanting. His only mistake before the break, however, was fatal: too long a touch recovered at the end of the lineout by Dan Sheehan, left too alone when scoring his fifth try in five matches (13th, 5-0).

The Chardon XV subsequently contained the green waves, tirelessly, as in this Nash offensive pushed aside by Andy Christie (53rd), but it ended up cracking under the successive blows. Pounded, his defense made a mistake. The hooker Ewan Ashman left his partners at fourteen, the Irish played the penalty with their hands and the pillar Andrew Porter flattened, before the transformation of Jack Crowley (65th, 17-6).

The scenario repeated itself, but on the other side: Harry Byrne received a yellow card (76th) and Scotland took advantage of it to return to 17-13 after a try from Huw Jones converted by Russell against the poles (78th). The scoreboard did not move in the final, breathless minutes, and Dublin exploded with joy at the final whistle. Scotland, third last year, finishes the 2024 Tournament a notch below, with the same number of points as Italy, fifth. Finn Russell’s partners performed well during this edition, notably against England (30-21), but they ended the campaign with the regrets of the 20-16 defeat against France, conceded with a try refused in a manner controversial in the final moments.

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