Ireland beat Scotland to top Rugby World Cup Pool B - as it happened

Andy Farrell’s men set up quarter-final match against the All Blacks


Ireland 36 Scotland 14 FT


Check out Ireland’s player ratings, compiled by John O’Sullivan:

A talking point from the game - how Ireland’s lineout was flawless against Scotland after criticism for how it performed against South Africa.

Gerry Thornley’s report to come... that’s all from me for tonight! What a win, and what a tantalising prospect the All Blacks next weekend in the quarter-finals is.


Andy Farrell: “To get bonus points by half time was a dream for us. It’s what has been building and what has to keep happening if we progress in this competition. It’s incredibly satisfying to get a few people off, but at the same time, that’s what top-level Test rugby is about, you have to be clinicial. That was a proper Test match for us, we have earned the right to play a great team in New Zealand.

“It means a lot to us, the fans. We got a bit of stick for celebrating with the fans last time, when our fans come over it’s the least we can do. We don’t actually don’t know what our potential is. I don’t we’ve seen the best of our game. If you can’t be excited about that, you might as well not turn up.”


Johnny Sexton: “I thought it wouldn’t get any better after South Africa, but it did. The fans give us the best days of our lives and we give them something similar. The way the draw was made, three years ago, it was a bit unfair, but it was the hand we were dealt and we are set for New Zealand next week.

“Sometimes we live on the edge, I think we got criticised for some of our celebrations after the South Africa game, but the fans trust us and we were able to perform again.”

Here is the table after the game today:


Jamison Gibson-Park wins player of the match: “I am thankfully to behind such a great pack, and a great backline. We do a fair bit of work on covering positions [about playing wing for the second half]. We would like to thank the fans for coming out.”


FULL-TIME: Ireland 36 Scotland 14

Ireland are through to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals as Pool B group winners. They will face the All Blacks next weekend.


78 mins: Really dead time in this game now, counting down until Ireland are confirmed in the quarter-finals. Ireland look to finish with a flourish as Crowley kicks to the corner from a penalty. Ireland win the lineout and then another penalty. Tap and go by Kelleher as they push for one more and they do. It seemed like try for Ireland... but there was a knock-on in the build-up so that won’t count. Frustrating for Finlay Bealham but ultimately does not matter.


72 mins: Ireland have taken their foot off the pedal a bit, understandably and the game has lost some structure. Some kick tennis from both teams and it ends with Ireland winning a contest on the deck.


66 mins: Try for Scotland! Hmm, right now. Another try for Scotland, Ireland have taken their eye off the ball here. Scotland break through, Huw Jones with a great run and Ali Price finishes it off in front of the posts, converted by Russell.


64 mins: Try for Scotland! Ewan Ashman with the try off the bench. Consolation try for Scotland. Tuipulotu breaks past Henderson and lays off to Ashman to score. Russell scores the conversion from a tough angle.


Maybe not as bad as feared. We will find out later.


58 mins: TRY FOR IRELAND! Bit of magic from Jack Crowley! Crossfield pass under pressure and straight into the hands of the excellent Garry Ringrose. As good as it gets. Scotland’s heads down and well and truly beaten. Crowley’s conversion hits the post.



56 mins: Mexican waves goes through the crowd. The downside from this match for Ireland could be potential injuries as James Lowe has apparently gone to hospital over his eye injury. Concerns over Hansen, Lowe and Furlong with the great test of the All Blacks to come.


53 mins: Some better play by Russell breaks through and Scotland are almost over the line, as close as they’ve got all night. Again they lose the ball, Jack Dempsey is turned over, more great Ireland defending by McCloskey. This has been a surprising mismatch so far.


50 mins: Scotland are almost through but van der Merwe drops the ball. Russell has a penalty but doesn’t make the corner, which sums up their night. Ireland subs come on now. Some concern over Furlong. O’Mahony and Sheehan also off and rested. What a benefit to be able to rest those players with 30 minutes still to play. Jack Conan among those on the pitch, his first appearance of the tournament.


45 mins: TRY FOR IRELAND! Gibson-Park’s new role on the wing gets an early chance as Ireland have a few crisp passes to his wing. They recycle and go the other way and Gibson-Park is back up with the assist to Sheehan to score! Sexton misses the conversion. He comes up the pitch to rest him to big applause. Great game he had. Crowley on.


42 mins: Jamison Gibson-Park is now on the wing, with Conor Murray at scrumhalf as James Lowe comes off due to the eye injury in the first half. Scotland lose their temper and there is a scuffle. Schoeman knocks Sheehan over an advertising baoard. Van der Merwe has his hands on Peter O’Mahony as Martin Solveig’s “Hello” bizarrely blasts out from the speakers. It goes to video assistant referee. Schoeman looked very aggressive. The initial incident was Ollie Smith tripping up Sexton. Yellow card for Scotland for Smith! Schoeman lucky to get away with it.


A report from John O’Sullivan from the Stade de France:

“Ireland are 26-0 up and coasting. Scotland took a chance by going with a six/two split on the bench only to lose their fullback Blair Kinghorn early on. They turned down three kickable penalties, instead going for the corner and on each occasion; Ireland sent them homeward to think again without any return. Ireland in contrast were ruthless, scoring four tries, Lowe, Iain Henderson and Hugo Keenan (2) to wrap up the bonus point by half-time. Stick a fork in it, this game is done and Ireland will face New Zealand next weekend.”


HALF-TIME: Ireland 26 Scotland 0

Well that was a lot more comfortable than what was expected. This Ireland team continue to impress again and again. Four tries in the first half, two for Hugo Keenan. Some big performances by the likes of Ringrose and Doris. Ireland are heading to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals. Scotland with a massive uphill, almost impossible task to qualify now.


38 mins: Scotland look to be losing a bit of heart and concede another penalty. It’s been a great half by Ireland although Hansen can’t continue so that is a concern. A maul for Ireland as they head for the line. They don’t quite get there but it’s a penalty to Ireland. Tap penalty and Porter hits the referee with his pass unfortunately so the game stops for a scrum. Sheehan goes again with the tap penalty.

Sexton with a high pass over the defence to Keenan, great catch and they’re over again! TRY FOR IRELAND! Sexton converts.


32 mins: Nine phases for Scotland but they’re going nowhere and Ireland turn it over and Porter steals the ball, he’s delighted. Scotland penalised and Sexton into touch. All going to plan so far. Ireland on the attack again. Doris edges Ireland closer to the line. Gibson-Park goes for the line and doesn’t quite get there but penalty advantage. Henderson goes for the line and it’s a TRY FOR IRELAND! Sexton scores the conversion. A big lead.


28 mins: TRY FOR IRELAND! Hugo Keenan. Out of nowhere after a lull in the game, Ireland win a lineout and the backs get going. Sexton, Aki and Ringrose with a superb pass and brave before the tackle to Keenan and he scores from the wing. Sexton nails the conversion.


23 mins: Blood injury for Mack Hansen who is replaced by McCloskey as Ringrose moves to the wing temporarily. A high ball tests Graham and he misses the catch. It goes out of play for a lineout for Ireland. Ireland win the ball from the lineout but once more Scotland turn it over, Darge in the breakdown. It’s a tough contest this one, back and forth.


20 mins: Ireland get away with one as it looked like Keenan could have been in touch. Lowe kicks it long, well into Scottish territory. Then Ireland turnover the ball about 22 metres out. A super short pass by Sexton to O’Mahony who breaks through! He lays off to Mack Hansen but he knocks the ball on near the line under pressure from Russell. Close.


17 mins: Ireland with the scrum from the knock-on and they win a penalty. Sexton kicks to touch. Great lineout, no problems yet this week as Sheehan is back as hooker, and Ireland move quickly but Scotland turn the ball over with aggressive defending by Grant Gilchrist. Scrum to Scotland.


13 mins: Scotland win the lineout and go at pace at the Irish defence. They play it out to the wing and Darcy Graham has a chance but is well defended. Ireland concede another lineout and Scotland go again. Russell passes it quickly and well taken by Smith with one hand. Another few phases and Ireland flood the breakdown and almost turn it over but Scotland keep the ball. Darge carries the ball well for Scotland as they head into their 17th phase but getting no farther up the pitch. And finally, Scotland are penalised! Big tackling by Ireland.


9 mins: Ireland lose the ball, for passing the ball forward. A scrum to Scotland, Ireland penalised in it and Furlong has some bother with his arm, which is worrying. Peter O’Mahony almost steals the lineout but goes back out of play and another chance for Scotland closer to the try line.


5 mins: Good attack by Scotland in response after the early setback, they find pockets in Ireland’s defence. Doris penalised for a high tackle. Scotland kick to the corner in an early signal of intent. Clean lineout by Scotland and they’re within five metres of the try line. Price to Russell to van der Merwe but Ireland turn it over! Doris makes up for being penalised.


2 mins: TRY FOR IRELAND! Already, what a start, James Lowe with the try. They just run through the middle of Scotland, cut them to shreds, great dummy by Ringrose, runs through and gives to Hansen, then Lowe over near the corner. Sexton misses the conversion from a tough angle.


The teams come out on the pitch, great atmosphere in the Stade de France. A reminder of the starting XVs again.

Ireland: Hugo Keenan; Mack Hansen, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Jonathan Sexton (capt), Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Scotland: Blair Kinghorn; Darcy Graham, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ali Price; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson; Richie Gray, Grant Gilchrist; Jamie Ritchie, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey.


One last bit of reading before the match. Matt Williams writes about what Ireland must focus on to overcome Scotland. With the mental pressure dial being turned up, Andy Farrell’s men must unleash their ‘Whosh-ka-bomy` and play with the required freedom and conviction, he writes.

“In reality “Whosh-ka-bomy” is a term far more suited to the highly complex nuances of rugby than that dry, clinical term of “flow”. At its essence, Whosh-ka-bomy is a rugby mindset. A determination to adopt an attacking, ball-in-hand, aggressive game plan while under great pressure. To find the courage and resolve to play to the philosophy in which the team has been coached.”


Ireland must deal with the pressure of being favourites and the number one side in the world. With that territory comes expectation to perform at the highest level consistency, off-days are not an option. To keep up that standard, mental skills coach Gary Keegan is helping Ireland tackle the elephant in the room, Ireland’s underperformance in Rugby World Cups, writes Denis Walsh.

“In Keegan’s last year with Dublin they were chasing five-in-a-row, a new frontier in Gaelic games. With Keegan, they were never going to just sneak up on it and hope to take it by surprise. “You can’t be tippy-toeing around stuff,” he said. “You’ve got to drive the elephant into the room. So we don’t walk on eggshells, we crash in and find out, ‘What’s this about?’””


Ali Price is right for Scotland at scrumhalf due to his excellent form, writes Johnny Watterson. The Scotland player has been out of favour since the Six Nations but coach Gregor Townsend has made a bold decision to pick him ahead of incumbent Ben White.

“He was excellent over in St Etienne. He was very good off the bench against South Africa and we saw what he’d been doing in training during that Romanian game,” says Scotland boss Gregor Townsend. “The accuracy in his pass, the confidence in where he is in terms of taking on defenders, making passes which lead to tries and that is great as he’s been a key player for us over the last six or seven years.”

His partnership with Finn Russell will be key to the outcome of the game.


Nic Berry will take charge of Saturday’s crucial Rugby World Cup showdown between Ireland and Scotland. He will forever be the subject of the Rassie Erasmus 62-minute video that highlighted a plethora of alleged transgressions against the Springboks following the first Test against the Lions in 2021, a production that earned South Africa’s director of rugby a suspension issued by World Rugby. John O’Sullivan reviews Ireland’s record with officials before tonight’s game.


Result from a game in Pool D: England 18 Samoa 17. Heartbreak for the Samoans as they led the game with seven minutes to go. A late try for Danny Care England somehow survived in a game Samoa could have won. England top that pool, and will likely play Fiji in the quarter-finals.


It is a big night for Peter O’Mahony, the Irish forward will become just the 10th Irish rugby player to play 100 times for his country. Gerry Thornley writes he still a fearsome competitor who refuses to take a backwards step.

“He’s fit, he understands the game more than ever and that allows him to play really well and be aligned with what the coaches want and what’s best for the team.

“He communicates really well with the group. He sets a lovely tone. We’ve guys that communicate and speak in different ways. He has a certain way of setting the tone and there’s never any BS about it. It’s always straight and to the point and, from that point of view, he’s been great for us.”


Form and history point to Andy Farrell’s side but Scots won’t roll over, writes Gerry Thornley in his preview of today’s game. He writes, it is a harsh reality is that one of these teams will almost certainly be going home on Saturday night.

“It seems almost unthinkable, unfathomable even, that the best Irish side at a World Cup, who retained their world number one ranking by recording a 16th successive win in a titanic tussle against the reigning champions, could be knocked out by Scotland.

“Yet Gregor Townsend’s side are dangerous and, lest we forget, are ranked fifth in the world.

“By contrast, the Pool D shoot-out between Argentina and Japan is ninth versus 12th. In Saint Etienne against a full-strength France, Les Bleus struggled to contain the Scots for half an hour in the second half.

“With their abrasive, competitive pack, the inventiveness of Finn Russell, their most potent midfield combination in a long time and a dangerous back three going forward, they deserve respect.”


The permutations in Pool B:

What happens if Ireland take zero points from next Saturday’s game?

If Ireland take nothing from next Saturday’s game, they will go out of the World Cup despite their epic win over the reigning world champions. A defeat without a bonus point would leave them on 14 points, meaning Scotland would join South Africa in the quarter-finals by dint of their head-to-head record against Ireland. So Scotland know that their minimum requirement is a win over Ireland by more than seven points.

What happens if Ireland take one point from next Saturday’s game?

A solitary bonus point would secure Ireland a place in the quarter-finals provided they prevented Scotland from securing a try scoring bonus point, as this would leave them and South Africa on 15 points, with Scotland third in the final standings on 14 points. Ireland would also top Pool B ahead of South Africa by dint of their win over the Springboks.

However, one bonus point could suffice if Scotland won and scored four tries or more. In that scenario, all three sides would finish on 15 points, and curiously the tournament rules decree that first place would be decided by overall points difference in the group, while second and third would be decided by the head-to-head result.

So if Ireland lost against Scotland by five points or less, they would top the pool on points difference, and South Africa would qualify ahead of Scotland by dint of their head-to-head result. A defeat by six or seven points would see Ireland miss out.

What happens if Ireland take two points or more from next Saturday’s game?

Two match points or more – ie a draw, two bonus points or a win of any hue next Saturday – would guarantee that Ireland advance to the knock-out stages as Pool B winners.


Hello and welcome to live coverage of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup Pool B game against Scotland in Paris. It has been plain-sailing for Ireland in the World Cup so far, highlighted by a big victory over South Africa two weeks ago, and they are on the verge of qualifying for the knock-out stage. However, they will be taking nothing for granted as a defeat to Scotland by a significant margin could end their World Cup before that fateful quarter-final stage. Scotland will be well up for the game with nothing to lose and as the fifth-ranked side in the world have plenty of tools to threaten Ireland. It should be an intriguing contest.

The teams for today’s game:

Ireland: Hugo Keenan (Leinster); Mack Hansen (Connacht), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Bundee Aki (Connacht), James Lowe (Leinster); Jonathan Sexton (Leinster)(capt), Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster); Andrew Porter (Leinster), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster); Tadhg Beirne (Munster), Iain Henderson (Ulster); Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster), Caelan Doris (Leinster).

Replacements: Ronan Kelleher (Leinster), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), James Ryan (Leinster), Jack Conan (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Jack Crowley (Munster), Stuart McCloskey (Ulster).

Scotland: Blair Kinghorn; Darcy Graham, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ali Price; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson; Richie Gray, Grant Gilchrist; Jamie Ritchie, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey.

Replacements: Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland, WP Nel, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Luke Crosbie, George Horne, Ollie Smith.

Kick-off is at 8pm in the Stade de France.