x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Ireland are not quick to celebrate rugby win over Scotland in Six Nations

Ireland were comfortable 28-6 victors over Scotland in Dublin, with Rob Kearney among the try scorers as the hosts overpowered their lacklustre visitors but a meeting with two-time champions Wales awaits.

Jonathan Sexton, centre, was a force for Ireland in their opening Six Nations victory over Scotland on Sunday. David Rogers / Getty Images
Jonathan Sexton, centre, was a force for Ireland in their opening Six Nations victory over Scotland on Sunday. David Rogers / Getty Images

Ireland 28 Scotland 6

Ireland Tries: Trimble, Heaslip, R Kearney Cons: Sexton 2 Pens: Sexton 3

Scotland Pens: Laidlaw 2

Man of the match Rob Kearney (Ireland)

DUBLIN // Ireland fullback Rob Kearney was delighted to make a winning start to this season’s Six Nations but warned sterner challenges lie ahead.

The Irish were comfortable 28-6 victors over Scotland in Dublin, with Kearney among the try scorers as the hosts overpowered their lacklustre visitors.

Stand-in captain Jamie Heaslip and Andrew Trimble also crossed the try-line as Ireland coach Joe Schmidt enjoyed a win in his first Six Nations outing, but with two-time defending champions Wales to come in less than a week, no one in the Ireland camp will be getting carried away.

“To get off to a winning start is something that every team wants to do, so we’re really happy with that,” Kearney told BBC Sport.

The hosts’ lead stood at 11-3 at half time but it was a much-improved Ireland that came out in the second period and that fact was soon reflected on the scoreboard.

“We said we needed to go after them. We got a good try just before the half which gave us a little bit of breathing space,” Kearney said. “We just felt that if we kept keeping phases and attacking them, we could keep building on it.”

Looking ahead to next Saturday’s clash with Wales, who opened their defence with an unconvincing 23-15 win over Italy on Saturday, Kearney said: “It’s a massive challenge for us. We are under no illusions.

“We have to recover really well now. There’s only six days, they’ve had an extra day to recover, so we certainly know it’s a massive, massive challenge coming.”

Scotland interim coach Scott Johnson said: “We let ourselves down in certain areas of the game against Ireland. We could not convert when we got into their red zone.

“When they got their chances, they converted. We had more opportunities, but they converted theirs. We could not keep the pressure on. We show good patches of rugby, but we are not doing it often enough.

“It was disappointing. We had good intent, but we got caught playing when we should not have.

“I think there is a growth in this team that will come with a bit of maturity. We have to stick with the young group, and weather the storm; with more time in the saddle, they will get better.

“It does not look good for Sean Maitland [who injured his ankle], but we have confidence in some of the young ones.

“We go home against the enemy [when they play England] next weekend, both sides will be edgy.”

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