Ireland were guilty of squandering great chances on a day when a vital bonus point looked on the cards when they surged 15-0 in front after 32 minutes.
But the net result is that Nigel Carolan’s men did enough to notch a second win and set up an eagerly anticipated winner-take-all clash with the Baby Blacks on Wednesday night in Viadana.
“It is going to be a massive challenge. New Zealand are a great side but we have got fantastic players, we have players for the future. Hopefully we can bring the momentum from the two wins into the game, but let’s just go for it.”
His men survived an early Scottish onslaught and with Garry Ringrose again superb in the centre, along with Sam Arnold, they got control and opened up a 15-0 lead after 32 minutes.
Ringrose created the opening for the first try after 12 minutes from Billy Dardis and was also involved when flanker Conor Oliver dived over. Joey Carbery, who had earlier landed a penalty, converted to make it 15-3 at the break in a game with regular water breaks in an effort to combat the scorching 31 degrees heat and heavy humidity. Scotland’s resilience was rewarded with a Lewis Carmichael try which cut the gap to five in the final quarter. But Ireland settled and Carbery put two scores between them before Tomas Quinlan, the hero of the win over Argentina, made it safe with a penalty which left Ruaridh Knott’s late effort purely of the consolation variety.
B Dardis, C Oliver tries; J Carbery 3 pens, T Quinlan 1 pen; J Carbery con.
L Carmichael, R Knott tries; G Horne 2 pens; B Kinghorn 2 cons
B Dardis (UCD); C Gaffney (Galwegians), G Ringrose (UCD), S Arnold (Ballynahinch), S Fitzgerald (Shannon); J Carbery (UCD), N McCarthy, (UCD) (Capt); A Porter (UCD), S McNulty (UCD), O Heffernan (Terenure College); D O’Connor (St Mary’s College), A Thompson (Queen’s University Belfast); J Murphy (UCD), C Oliver (St Mary’s), L Dow (Queen’s University Belfast).
Z McCall (Queen’s University Belfast) for McNulty (52 mins), C O’Donnell (Sligo/NUIG) for Heffernan (52), N Timoney (St Mary’s College) for Dow (52), J Stockdale (Queen’s University Belfast) for Arnold (61), J Dwan (UCD) for Thompson (63), L O’Connor (Cork Constitution) for Porter (63) T Quinlan (Cork Constitution) for Carbery (67), C Rock (Old Belvedere) for McCarthy (67).
R Howarth; R Nairn, T Galbraith, P Kelly, A Coombes; B Kinghorn, G Horne; M McCallum, S James, Z Fagerson; S Cummings, L Carmichael; N Irvine-Hess, J Ritchie (Capt), M Bradbury.
R Knott for Ritchie (28 – 37, 40 mins), R Hutchinson for Bradbury (32), D Elkington for McCallum (46), R Graham for James (49), A Davidson for Horne (57), B Vellacott for Cummings (57), R Galloway for Galbraith (61), J Owlett for Fagerson (78).
Will Houston (Australia)