Match Centre: Scotland 24-27 Ireland

Johnny Sexton contributed 17 points
Johnny Sexton contributed 17 points
©Steve Haag

Scotland 24-27 Ireland, Murrayfield

Johnny Sexton kicked the decisive penalty goal in the 77th minute as Ireland edged out Scotland with a thrilling 27-24 win in the fourth round of Six Nations at Murrayfield Stadium on Sunday.

Ireland had the lead for the most part of the game including a scoreline of 10-24 by the 55th minute but Scotland fought back through tries from Huw Jones and Hamish Watson that gave them hope of registering their second win of the competition only to be disrupted by Sexton's late kick.

Scotland had four changes heading into the game with WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie, Sean Maitland and Chris Harris drafted in while Ireland had three change ups with Keith Earls, Cian Healy and Rob Herring coming in.

An early infringement from Finn Russell led to Sexton kicking the opening points with a fourth minute penalty goal and three minutes later the Irish skipper sent a crossfield kick that Keith Earls managed to get past Stuart Hogg and Chris Harris to set up Robbie Henshaw for the opening try. Sexton missed the conversion narrowly as Ireland took a 0-8 lead.

Scotland got their first opportunity when Tadhg Furlong was penalised for laying on the ball and Finn Russell slotted the three pointer in the 12th minute to get them on board.

The Dark Blues gathered momentum and went on to claim the lead around the half hour mark when Stuart Hogg charged down Garry Ringrose’s kick and kicked it nearly on to the posts just getting past James Lowe to set up Russell, who dotted down. There was a TMO consultation to check whether the Scotland captain had a knock on in the build up but the decision went in favour of the home side. Russell also kicked the conversion right to take them to a 10-8 lead.

With the half-time approaching, Sexton slotted a couple more penalty kicks with the second coming after Ali Price was penalised for an offside as the visitors went into the break with a 10-14 lead.

Andy Farrell's men showed better intent after the restart and were rewarded in the 46th minute when Ireland kicked a couple of penalties to the corner and from the resulting line out, Tadhg Beirne muscled his way over the line and Sexton who kicked the conversion also followed with a penalty in the 50th minute after Ritchie was penalised for not rolling away at a ruck to take the scoreline 10-24.

However, the celebrations were far from over for Ireland as Scotland clawed their way back into the game when Jones breached the Irish defence after being found by Hogg to dot down in the 60th minute and conversion from the Scottish captain, who took the kick the responsibility after losing Russell to a head knock brought the arrears down to seven points.

The scores were levelled by the 74th minute as Scotland struck once again when Hamish Watson went over and Hogg improved it setting up for a thrilling finish. However, immediately after the restart, Scotland conceded a penalty after Ali's price kick was charged down by Ryan Baird and Sexton kicked the decisive three-pointer to take Ireland to their second win.

Team line-up:

Scotland: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Sean Maitland, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Duhan van der Merwe, 10. Finn Russell, 9. Ali Price, 1. Rory Sutherland, 2. George Turner, 3. WP Nel, 4. Scott Cummings, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. Jamie Ritchie, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Matt Fagerson

Reserves: 16. David Cherry, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Simon Berghan, 19. Grant Gilchrist, 20. Nick Haining, 21. Scott Steele, 22. Huw Jones, 23. Darcy Graham

Ireland: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Keith Earls, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Robbie Henshaw, 11. James Lowe, 10. Johnny Sexton, 9. Jamison Gibson-Park, 1. Cian Healy, 2. Rob Herring, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Iain Henderson, 5. James Ryan, 6. Tadhg Beirne, 7. Will Connors, 8. CJ Stander

Reserves: 16. Ronan Kelleher, 17. Dave Kilcoyne, 18. Andrew Porter, 19. Ryan Baird, 20. Jack Conan, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Billy Burns, 23. Jordan Larmour