Granted, we lived dangerously at times and we certainly rode our luck at times defensively.
A five-metre scrum, the last play of the half and Ireland itching for any kind of control and Ringrose not only set the platform, but also looped around Aki on the next phase, before sending Stockdale in for his and Ireland’s second score.
“We need to go to Twickenham and try to test that record out, I guess”.
Ireland top the table with 19 points from four games after securing a 28-8 bonus-point victory over Scotland earlier on Saturday, meaning they can not be caught by England when the two teams meet at Twickenham next weekend.
“I don’t think we should get too carried away or too melodramatic about where we are”, he said. The wing took the gift 55 meters untouched to the posts with the usual Sexton conversion.
Schmidt pointed out this week that his team weren’t just a blunt instrument, pounding the ball up the middle, box-kicking ad nauseum and occasionally trying a wraparound play from Jonny Sexton.
“He gives me opinions of things we want to try, he’s somebody to bounce ideas off, he’s somebody who approaches me with ideas”.
In the lead up to the match on Saturday, there was a lot of nay-sayers saying nay, that Scotland definitely had a chance to come out on top.
Scotland continued to compete, the lineout descended into a bit of a lottery but the developing stats were telling the story that Ireland had slowly established a stranglehold.
The Scots will look back with frustration at a number of opportunities squandered, with poor passing in two-on-ones contributing heavily to a failure to cash in on what was, in many areas, a competitive display from the visitors.
Two wayward Peter Horne passes cost Scotland dear, the first forcing Blair Kinghorn to dive to retrieve, when if accurate could have let the full debutant fly into the corner.
Only Rory Best and Rob Kearney remain from the last Ireland squad to win the Grand Slam, in 2009.
Only the French could organise their signing of their 2023 Rugby World Cup contract with much ballyhoo at the Stade de France during the game between Ireland and Scotland which most people in the room would have preferred to be watching on television rather than sit around waiting for the French Prime Minister to turn up. But look, it’s very muted upstairs, it’s a very unusual feeling to win the championship with a game to go and so much still to play for, and we know how hard it’s going to be with England. I thought he was super. We’re not sure [how bad it is].
While we’ll have to wait another week to see if they can deliver the Grand Slam, it still feels good to say they are champions.
“It’s just a tough period for us at the moment”.
The only weakness that we have shown has been some defensive frailities in the wider channels and England are not the team to exploit that. There are some pretty exhausted bodies there, I think Scotland made 190 tackles and we made 135 – that suggests that there was a fair bit of collision stuff out there, and it was very hard work post-tackle as well.