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Four Times Scotland Really Fecked Us Over

Four Times Scotland Really Fecked Us Over
By Michael McCarthy
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There's a long history of Scotland beating Ireland in Five Nations rugby. But since Five became Six in 2000, Ireland have had the upper hand, winning the majority of games between the two countries and enjoying far more success in general.

That's not to say it's always been the case though. There have been a number of slip ups against the Scots in that time and nearly all of them have been really costly. They've a habit of wrecking the party, and that's where the nerves are coming from this weekend.

There's been a lot of Grand Slam talk in the last two weeks. We're even hearing about bonus points against Scotland so we can go to Twickenham with the Six Nations title in hand.

Maybe that's the way we should be talking. Ireland have won their last ten test matches, and have not been beaten at home since New Zealand got revenge for Chicago in 2016. But, behind it all, there's that nagging voice in your ear. "Don't overlook Scotland!", it says.

They've done it before. Those who don't learn from history and doomed to repeat it, and all that.


2017: Scotland 27-22 Ireland


Last year, Ireland were coming off an autumn which included wins over Australia and New Zealand. Munster and Leinster had found their European form, finally. Joe Schmidt was on the hunt for a third Championship in four years. We even heard whispers of Grand Slams.

Scotland, as usual, were a coming team, but we didn't really take it too seriously. We've heard it before with the Scots.

Then the game kicked off in Murrayfield, and 20 minutes later, Stuart Hogg had absolutely destroyed Ireland out wide with two tries, and they even scored a bizarre try with centre Alex Dunbar scoring at a lineout.



In the second half, Ireland fought back, and even took the lead late in the game, before two Scotland penalties wrapped it up for Scotland.

Ireland's championship was as good as over before it started.


Of course, Scotland did nothing for the rest of the tournament.


2010: Ireland 20-23 Scotland


Feckin' Dan Parks.


Ireland played four seasons in Croke Park, with some incredible success. The England game in 2007 will always be the legacy, but that was also one leg of a Triple Crown. The Grand Slam came in 2009, and, in 2010, only Scotland stood in the way of another Triple Crown and Ireland bidding farewell to Croke Park with another piece of silverware.


Again, Scotland ruined the party.


It was a weird game, in which Ireland seemed to constantly play from behind despite, on the surface, being the far better team. They went in 17-7 down at halftime, and spent the second half chipping away at the lead. An amazing Tommy Bowe try finally did that, but Ireland couldn't get ahead. Scotland would get another penalty from an awesome Dan Parks, who was having the game of his life. Ronan O'Gara responded, and Ireland were still alive. They had five minutes to rescue the Triple Crown.

Instead, Ireland gave away another penalty and Dan Parks ruined Ireland's last memory of playing in Croker.


It was an eerie, weird atmosphere in Croke Park. Nobody had seen this coming.

Bloody Scotland.


2007: France 46-19 Scotland


A match in which Ireland weren't even part of, but a game in which Scotland robbed them of a Six Nations title.

On St. Patrick's Day, Ireland went to Rome and scored 50 points, before France hosted Scotland in Paris. The results up to that point meant France needed to beat Scotland by 24 points to deny Ireland a first championship in over 20 years.

In the end, the referee screwed Ireland by awarding a late try to France. The TMO generally gets the flak for that decision, but as Eddie O'Sullivan recently pointed out to us, the referee asked the wrong question, and the TMO had no option.

In the end though, wasn't it truly Scotland's fault? The even scored the first try of the game, and still were beaten by 27 points. This wasn't a vintage Scottish team by any means, but they were better than this. There was a lot of blame to go around that day and they certainly shared in it.


2001 Scotland 32-10 Ireland

This is the one that most eerily similar to the situation that awaits us this week.

The 2001 Six Nations was delayed because of the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease which meant Ireland's final three fixtures were delayed until September and October that year.

When the original schedule ended in the spring, England were four from four and had to wait six months for their Grand Slam showdown in Dublin. Meanwhile, Ireland were in great shape having taken care of a trip to Rome and beaten France in Lansdowne Road, while Scotland had a mediocre tournament at best, beaten by 40 points at Twickenham, and just scraping past an Italy team in just their second Six Nations tournament.

Six months later, Ireland would face trips to Murrayfield and Cardiff before the highly anticipated visit of England.

Many Irish players have talked over the years of sleepwalking through the first leg of that quest in Edinburgh. Scotland had Ireland targeted while Warren Gatland's players had possibly looked past their opponents, having put 44 points on them in Dublin the year before, their first win over the Scots since 1988.

Watch this bit of magic from current Scottish coach Gregor Townsend, the final nail in the coffin that day.


Of course, Ireland hammered Wales and famously beat England the following week. A Grand Slam gone because of overlooking and underestimating Scotland.

17 years later, it still stands out as a lesson before tomorrow's game.

SEE ALSO: 8 Figures You Might Recall From The Glorious Era Of Scottish Rugby

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