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Six Nations | Group Stage
Mar 16, 2024 at 4.45pm UK
Sheehan (13'), Porter (65')
Jones (77')

Ireland retain Six Nations title with victory over Scotland

Ireland retain Six Nations title with victory over Scotland
© Reuters
Ireland successfully retain their Six Nations title with a 17-13 victory over Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Ireland successfully retained their Six Nations title with a 17-13 victory over Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Andy Farrell's side were denied an early coronation and Grand Slam thanks to Marcus Smith's dramatic drop goal for England last weekend, but they simply needed to avoid defeat against Scotland to ensure a first-placed finish.

Ireland got off to a dream start in the 12th minute, when a Scotland line-out inside their own 22 sailed over blue heads and into the arms of Dan Sheehan, who accepted that gift as he burst through for the hosts' first try.

Sheehan's effort and Jack Crowley's conversion came in between two Finn Russell penalties, though, and apart from that line-out blunder, Gregor Townsend's defence were standing firm and restricted the champions to a four-point lead at the break.

Crowley's 42nd-minute penalty extended the hosts' lead, but frustration began to build up for the home crowd, who then saw Tadhg Furlong and Robbie Henshaw have tries disallowed.

However, with 64 minutes on the clock, Andrew Porter forced his way over to virtually erase any lingering doubt, and even though Huw Jones's fine solo effort reduced the arrears for Scotland, his try four minutes from the end came too late to delay Ireland's crowning any further.

As well as claiming back-to-back Six Nations crowns for the first time since the 2014 and 2015 editions, the holders have now won their seventh Centenary Quaich, awarded to the victor of Ireland and Scotland's showdown.

Meanwhile, Townsend's side close their campaign with three losses and two wins from their five contests and could drop below France into fourth place if Les Bleus avoid losing against England this evening.

Alternatively, a defeat by fewer than four would also propel France into third due to their +4 points difference over Scotland and bonus point system, which sees losing teams pick up a point if they avoid losing by more than seven.

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