The game in 60 seconds: A tale of two captains as Ireland edge Scotland

Stuart Hogg’s cock-up at a crucial moment was in stark contrast to Ireland’s new skipper Johnny Sexton, writes Simon Lewis.

The game in 60 seconds: A tale of two captains as Ireland edge Scotland

Key Moment: Several in this game of nip and tuck as Ireland did their best to hang onto a narrow lead but Stuart Hogg’s botched grounding of a certain try in the corner after 50 minutes denied the Scots a valuable way back into this contest when they trailed 13-6 after the break. Hogg confessed it had been a "schoolboy error" and it was certainly not a good way to start your Test captaincy.

Talking Point: It was a tale of two captains as the aforementioned Hogg’s cock-up at a crucial moment was in stark contrast to Ireland’s new skipper Johnny Sexton who scored all his side’s points with the only try of the game, a conversion, and four penalties as he guided his side to victory.

Jonathan Sexton goes over to Ireland's opening try at the Aviva Stadium. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Jonathan Sexton goes over to Ireland's opening try at the Aviva Stadium. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Key Man: While Sexton led by example, back-rower CJ Stander carried the fight to Scotland, leading the tackle count with 17, carrying for all he was worth, and securing a pivotal turnover at the death as Ireland clung onto their narrow lead. And all after being switched from No.8 to blindside flanker.

Ireland's CJ Stander with his six-month-old daughter Everli. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Ireland's CJ Stander with his six-month-old daughter Everli. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ref Watch: Mathieu Raynal enraged home supporters midway through the opening half when he missed an off-the-ball tackle on Jordan Larmour and in the same sequence of play, awarded Scotland a scrum for a dubious-looking Sexton knock-on. It was a fair reflection of his overall handling of this contest.

Penalties Conceded: Ireland 9 Scotland 14 (5-7 at half-time)

Injuries: Ireland debutant Caelan Doris managed just eight minutes before he was forced off after being knocked out cold in contact. He managed to walk off unassisted and was later seen watching from the players’ tunnel. Centre Garry Ringrose was replaced at half-time with a hand injury and Ireland also lost replacement prop Dave Kilcoyne two minutes after his introduction on 49 minutes as he left on a stretcher bound for a Head Injury Assessment. There was further front-row concern when Tadhg Furlong was helped off the pitch in the dying minutes.

Tadhg Furlong of Ireland is tackled by Jamie Ritchie, left, and Hamish Watson of Scotland. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Tadhg Furlong of Ireland is tackled by Jamie Ritchie, left, and Hamish Watson of Scotland. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Next Up: It’s back to the Aviva next Saturday for round two when defending champions Wales and their new head coach Wayne Pivac pose the next challenge for Andy Farrell’s Ireland, fresh off a 42-0 victory over Italy in Cardiff.

IRELAND: J Larmour; A Conway, G Ringrose (R Henshaw, h-t), B Aki, J Stockdale; J Sexton- captain (R Byrne, 72), C Murray (J Cooney, 60); C Healy (D Kilcoyne, 49-51; A Porter, 65), R Herring (R Kelleher, 72), T Furlong (Healy 78); I Henderson (D Toner, 67), J Ryan; CJ Stander, J van der Flier, C Doris (P O’Mahony, 8).

SCOTLAND: S Hogg - captain; S Maitland, H Jones (C Harris, 65), S Johnson (R Hutchinson, 72), B Kinghorn; A Hastings, A Price (G Horne, 65); R Sutherland (A Dell, 65), F Brown (S McInally, 46-51 & 56), Z Fagerson (W Nel, 72); S Cummings, J Gray (B Toolis, 72); J Ritchie, H Watson, N Haining (C Du Preez, 72).

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

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