A 31-16 scoreline sees Ireland triumph in Dublin

A dominant second-half display saw Ireland finish third in the Autumn Nations Cup after a 31-16 win over Scotland.

There were three tries for the hosts, with Keith Earls scoring on either side of the half for Ireland and Cian Healy also helping himself to a close-range five-pointer. Scotland got one of their own, through an opportunist Duhan van der Merwe, but their ill-discipline was a real issue.

Scotland gave away 13 penalties and there was a yellow card for Duncan Taylor on 31 minutes as he was adjudged to deliberately knock on while trying to shut the door on Bundee Aki who attempted to capitalise on a big Irish overlap.

Ireland got a stranglehold on the game in the second, based on forwards power and making the most of their advantages.

Caelan Doris was named player of the match after a surging display from No 8, carrying hard into the Scots in the second half, and warhorse Peter O’Mahony almost squeezed in with a try in the corner, though his boot just grazed the whitewash before he dotted down.

Scotland did give a good account of themselves in the first half hour, with captain Stuart Hogg and debutant fly-half Jaco van der Walt working in tandem at first receiver and working the ball wide when they could.

However, all they could show for their efforts was a try from van der Merwe who picked and ran through the vacant ruck cover to streak in.

The result means Ireland end the autumn campaign on a high, and have something to build on ahead of the Six Nations 2021 campaign.

As for Scotland, they will regret the yellow card and their lack of discipline. As coach Gregor Townsend said after the game,“We have to be better, we have to learn from today.”

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