Ireland hope to claim Guinness Six Nations glory as they complete their home campaign against Scotland.
Overtaking the Scots would send Andy Farrell’s men to the top of the championship standings, but their title hopes will still rest on England being able to beat Grand Slam pursuit France in a warm-up match tomorrow. evening in Paris.
Here, the PA news agency picks up some key talking points ahead of Saturday’s finale in Dublin.
Silverware is under threat
Defeating Scotland at Aviva Stadium and Ireland would claim the sixth Triple Crown of the Continental era – and the first defended at home since 2004.
However, the Farrell side has much larger award-winning designs. They go into the weekend two points behind leaders France and with an almost tantalizing title.
Another French victory would shatter that dream, but a big favor from Eddie Jones’ side at the Stade de France could help Ireland claim the championship crown.
Since they have a superior point difference over Les Bleus, there are also scenarios where a draw – or even a loss with two bonus points – would be enough for Ireland to put their opponents in place. headboard.
Shades of 2015
Seven years ago, Ireland advanced to the fifth round of the tournament under similar circumstances. Back then they beat the Scots 40-10 at Murrayfield before being forced to nervously await the outcome of the Anglo-French clash.
The British claimed a 26-point victory margin to claim the title but fell flatly at Twickenham, prompting the Irish to celebrate wild in Edinburgh.
Irish lockout Iain Henderson, who is set to start his first tournament this weekend, played on that occasion and recalls a day of “anxious excitement”.
Wales also took part in the hot 2015 title race, which ultimately saw the top three teams separated by just a point difference. The permutations seem a bit simpler this time around, but ‘Super Saturday’ is once again likely to be an unlikely occurrence.
Scotland out to spoil the party
Scotland have been seen as outside title challengers after winning back the Calcutta Cup by beating England in the opening weekend.
But Gregor Townsend’s side have faded quickly from a promising start and remain an unstable force. Now they are fighting to avoid second place at the bottom of the table above the perennial wooden spoon winners in Italy.
And their Dublin record makes for horrible reading. Scotland have won just once in their last 13 visits to the Irish capital, succeeding 23-20 at Croke Park in 2010.
That string of bad results aside, Scotland are likely to mix it with the best of their day – as evidenced by last year’s wins in London and Paris – and still be the spoilers.
Russell was demoted to Finn-isher
Scottish amulet Finn Russell was selected ahead of Ireland captain Johnny Sexton for the Lions tour of England and Ireland last summer.
But an intriguing battle between world-class flies will have to wait as the nimble Russell has been dropped on the visitors’ bench and replaced by Blair Kinghorn.
The 29-year-old Racing 92 star’s performance throughout the championship has been the subject of scrutiny from some critics. And his lack of raised eyebrows is particularly notable as Townsend made just two changes to the team that started last week’s victory in Italy.
Confused about the surprise selection, the Scotland head coach prioritized focusing on the achievements of Edinburgh starter Kinghorn, who has excelled recently at club level.
The Struggle in Scrum
All eyes will be on Ireland’s irritation after last weekend’s stuttering win over 14-man England at Twickenham.
The England forward took six penalties in London, prompting head coach Eddie Jones to question why referee Mathieu Raynal did not penalize the visitors for more gross fouls by showing a yellow card.
Ireland manager Farrell promised to reconsider what went wrong after conceding his side’s already excellent second.
However, he also defended his side’s malfunctioning division, describing it as “world-class” and choosing against changes to the all-Leinster front row by Cian Healy, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/six-nations-silverware-at-stake-in-dublin-ireland-v-scotland-talking-points-41460700.html The Threatened Silver Continent in Dublin – Ireland and Scotland talk