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.



Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing