Ireland beaten by Scotland at Murrayfield

Scotland struck late through Joe Ansbro to launch their build-up to the World Cup with an uninspiring win over Ireland at Murrayfield.

Victory seemed to be within Ireland's grasp after Jonathan Sexton had slotted two penalties in a largely dismal contest, only for Ansbro to run in his first Test try with four minutes remaining.

The London Irish centre was put into space by substitute Nick De Luca and seized his opportunity magnificently, showing pace and a neat sidestep from 30 yards out to cross for the decisive score.

It was the only moment of brilliance in a match that had pre-season stamped all over it with two rusty teams producing plenty of toil but little to warm the 28,288 crowd on a surprisingly cold afternoon in Edinburgh.

Ireland will be satisfied that Rob Kearney, Tomas O'Leary and Jerry Flannery gained match time after returning from lengthy injury lay-offs. Otherwise coach Declan Kidney will have gleaned little new information, although the lively Andrew Trimble will have done his World Cup hopes some good.

Ireland have arranged four internationals to prepare for the tournament in New Zealand, but for Scotland time is more precious with Italy in a fortnight their only other warm-up match.

Their possession was occasionally ragged but coach Andy Robinson will have wanted to see more from centres Graeme Morrison and Ansbro, though the latter redeemed himself with his superb try.

The experimental back row of Alasdair Strokosch, Johnnie Beattie and Ross Rennie had their moments, but failed to provide any go-forward.

The biggest worry for Robinson, however, will be his team's lack of potency, an age-old failing for the Scots whose hesitancy and error-strewn play close to the line let them down time and again until Ansbro struck.

Scotland controlled territory and possession for long spells of a messy encounter, but they were at their best in the first half.

Twice they had early sights of the line, but their ball was slow and they forced their attack in the face of some resolute defending.

It was a nervy start from Ireland, who endured more worrying moments when Morrison was stopped inches short of the whitewash. Another half-chance was blown as Nikki Walker failed to gather a potentially scoring pass just five metres out.

The Irish were relieved when they finally escaped their 22 with quick hands releasing Trimble, only for Sean Cronin to then knock on.

A collapsed scrum gave Scotland their third penalty in 15 minutes and they also won a free-kick at a set-piece shortly after.

Using short inside passes to good effect, the Scots continued to make inroads before an offside saw another promising attack falter.

Sexton went close to producing a moment of brilliance but his lofted ball to Kearney was marginally forward.

The moment sparked a spell of dominance from Ireland and while they looked more decisive on the ball, their lack of dynamism made the defenders' task easy.

The scoreboard finally moved after Sexton landed a penalty but when Scotland were given the same chance within kicking range, they instead opted for a line-out.

The move looked promising until scrum-half Rory Lawson fumbled the ball and although a scrum quickly followed, the Scots' inaccuracy let them down.

Trimble, Ireland's most impressive player, nearly threaded his way though a gap early in the second half.

Scotland squandered a glorious chance to snatch the lead when Beattie intercepted a chip from Luke Fitzgerald.

Instead of taking his time on the ball, he panicked and fed prop Geoff Cross when unmarked openside Rennie was available on his right shoulder.

Paterson slotted a penalty to ensure the move was rewarded, the cue for the match to deteriorate as a spectacle as possession repeatedly changed hands.

Light rain made the conditions slippery and any momentum was not helped by Scotland and Ireland emptying their benches.

Sexton booted a penalty and watched as Paterson missed a very kickable opportunity to level the score, before fluffing a long-range effort himself.

The match finally came alive in its final throes when Ansbro turned on the afterburners with Ruaridh Jackson converting to seal the victory.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Sudan, the last male northern white rhino
environmentThe death of a white northern rhino in Kenya has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth