Rugby

The British Media Reaction To Ireland's Underwhelming Win Over Scotland

The British Media Reaction To Ireland's Underwhelming Win Over Scotland

Andy Farrell's time as Ireland head coach got off to a winning start in Dublin on Saturday as his side edged a tight encounter against Scotland.

Performances were error-strewn by both sides. The Scots could have won it had they taken their chances - Stuart Hogg in particular - but the Irish defence held firm in the dying moments.

"Save for their defence, which was extraordinary, they were a major disappointment," writes Tom English, an Irishman, for the BBC regarding Ireland.

"They came up with a handy play that got them an early try but much of the stuff they put out there was drearily familiar. If their supporters were looking for something more adventurous in the post-Joe Schmidt era then all they got was more Joe. And bad Joe at that."

The Scotsman's Duncan Smith also believes little has changed with Ireland.

"This game served to prove widely-held suspicions – Ireland are plainly not the force they have been, and Scotland are a side who promise much, but deliver too little."

BBC's Michael Morrow highlighted a "torrid" afternoon for Conor Murray.

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For years Murray, and indeed Ireland, have relied on the relentless consistency and accuracy of the scrum-half's box kicking.

On Saturday however, his kicking provided Ireland with more problems than solutions as he either kicked too long to allow Scotland to run the ball back to a broken field, or too high and short leaving Ireland scrambling to recover the situation.

In the Mail on Sunday, Clive Woodward sees positives in Ireland's performance.

"Scotland also gave a way a few too many sill penalties but Im not going to be overly critical. They really turned up, gave as good as they got and will give England a mighty match at Murrayfield next week.

"Ireland were good as well and I'm delighted for Andy Farrell getting his 'reign' off to a winning start. Ireland looked lively and although everything didn't instantly click they will go into the match against Wales with the some confidence."

Finally, former international referee Jonathan Kaplan, writing for The Telegraph, uses the example of a first half incident which saw a penalty awarded to Scotland when it should have been given to Ireland to explain why a 'captain's challenge' should be introduced to rugby.

"I would like each captain to be given one challenge per half to contest on-field decisions made by the referee. It would work similarly to cricket’s challenge system, which I feel has worked well for a long time.

"If your challenge is not upheld then you lose it, but if the decision is overturned then you retain it so you can use it again later in the game. As with cricket, if the error isn’t clear and obvious then we would stay with the on-field call, meaning the challenging captain would lose their review."

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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