Sports

Ireland take chances to beat Scots 31-16

Ireland began the Andy Farrell era with a scrappy home win over Scotland in February and the coach ended an inconsistent first year in charge with a somewhat improved 31-16 victory over the same opponents in the Autumn Nations Cup.

Ireland’s recent set-piece and breakdown struggles persisted early on as Jaco van der Walt kicked Scotland into a deserved 9-3 lead in an assured debut but a Duncan Taylor yellow card on the half-hour changed the game as the hosts took control.

Two tries from wing Keith Earls and one for prop Cian Healy in a 10-minute spell either side of halftime put Ireland into a commanding 25-9 lead but they almost immediately switched off and were punished by a converted Duhan van der Merwe try.

That was as close as Scotland came despite Johnny Sexton hobbling off with a dead leg as his replacement Ross Byrne kicked two more penalties to ensure Ireland claimed third spot in the Nations Cup and extend the Scots losing streak in Dublin to 10 years.

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