Kearney named at fullback as Ireland make five changes for Scotland

Kearney named at fullback as Ireland make five changes for Scotland

Javier Howell
February 12, 2019

Ireland, meanwhile, felt their fly-half Johnny Sexton, who failed a head injury assessment, was singled out for treatment.

Conor Murray, Stockdale and Earls all crossed for Ireland, with Carbery shrugging off an intercept pass that led to Sam Johnson's try to set up his Munster team-mate Earls for the victor. Keith Earls chased down the flyhalf, but couldn't stop Russell from finding Sam Johnson with an inspired offload. The 26-year-old makes the magic happen with ball in hand and it will be hoped his shoulder injury won't rule him out for round three.

Loss of key men: For Scotland and Ireland to lose Stuart Hogg and Johnny Sexton in the opening 30 minutes was a significant blow, not just for the game itself but for their prospects of the remainder of the tournament.

The onus will be on Joe Schmidt's defending champions to roar back in Round Two of the 2019 Guinness Six Nations following their 32-20 defeat to England last time out. Jonathan Sexton, 9. Conor Murray; 1.

Ireland captain Rory Best will win his 115th cap at Murrayfield despite concerns over the veteran hooker's line-out throwing against England.

Scotland will meet Ireland in their opening Rugby World Cup Pool A game in Yokohama, Japan on September 22, with the victor in that fixture likely to top the group and avoid a possible quarter-final with defending champions New Zealand. Tommy Seymour, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Joey Carbery be a class act in his own right, but Sexton's distribution and kicking game is a difference level compared to his younger team-mate.

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Just when Ireland looked to kick on though, further errors invited Scotland back into the contest. In fact, after sustaining several big hits, the veteran flyhalf was forced to leave the field with an injury in the 23rd minute.

Carbery had an immediate impact, being read brilliantly by Scotland counterpart Finn Russell for an intercept catch 55 meters out.

The replacement flyhalf spun a long pass to Earls, who finished the movement.

Scotland is next at France in two weeks.

The Scots, however, produced their own attacking efforts and twice threatened the Ireland line only for hooker Ewan Ashman to lose possession from a driving maul and for wing Jack Blain to be denied a touchdown after a courageous tackle from Jonathan Wren.

"It probably took us until today to really get a spring back in our step and really get hungry because we can't pass up a second opportunity".