Rugby World Cup France 2007

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Scotland boost their morale for the Rugby World Cup with a victory over Ireland

Scotland defeated Ireland 31-21 on Saturday in a friendly game, as part of their Rugby World Cup preparation, between two teams still trying out players ahead of the tournament.

Indeed, Scotland, which finished last in this year's Six Nations, outscored Ireland by five tries to two at Murrayfield. In a very good night, Center Andrew Henderson touched down three times, completing his hat trick with six minutes to go.

"I must confess that I've not scored a hat trick since I was at school," Henderson said.

Scotland manager Frank Hadden named Chris Paterson at flyhalf for his 75th international appearance and Paterson, who usually plays at fullback or wing, helped orchestrate a 19-6 halftime lead.

It's also imnportant to say that Allister Hogg, Henderson and Euan Murray touched down in the first period, with Paterson converting twice.

And Ireland's only first-half points came through penalties from Paddy Wallace and Geordan Murphy, but the visitors improved in the second half and fought back to 24-21. Henderson touched down again for the Scotish team, but Isaac Boss and Andrew Trimble did likewise for Ireland.

Then, Henderson scored his third try, reaching for the line under the posts, and Paterson converted to complete Scotland's first victory over Ireland since 2001.

"We've a bit of momentum going into the World Cup, which is absolutely great," Henderson said.

We must say that Scotland's good day was spoilt when scrumhalf Chris Cusiter was helped off with what looked like a leg injury that could keep him out of the Sept. 7-Oct. 20 World Cup.

Scotland: Rory Lamont (Sale Sharks); Sean Lamont (Northampton Saints), Rob Dewey (Ulster Rugby), Andrew Henderson (Glasgow Warriors), Simon Webster (Edinburgh Rugby); Chris Paterson (Gloucester), Mike Blair (Edinburgh Rugby); Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh Rugby), Ross Ford (Glasgow Warriors), Euan Murray (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hines (Perpignan), Jim Hamilton (Leicester Tigers), Jason White (Sale Sharks) CAPTAIN, Simon Taylor (Stade Francais), Allister Hogg (Edinburgh Rugby). Substitutes – Kelly Brown (Glasgow Warriors) for Taylor (38 minutes), Fergus Thomson (Glasgow Warriors) for Ford (38-43 and 68), Craig Smith (Edinburgh Rugby) for Murray (56), Scott MacLeod (Llanelli Scarlets) for White (56), Nikki Walker (Ospreys) for Dewey (60), Chris Cusiter (Perpignan) for Blair (61), Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors) for Paterson (61), Ford for Hamilton (76).
Tries, Henderson (3), Murray, Hogg; conversions, Paterson (2), Parks.

Ireland: Geordan Murphy; Brian Carney, Brian O'Driscoll CAPTAIN, Gavin Duffy, Tommy Bowe; Paddy Wallace, Isaac Boss; Bryan Young, Jerry Flannery, Simon Best, Malcolm O'Kelly, Paul O'Connell, Neil Best, Jamie Heaslip, Stephen Ferris. Substitutes – Alan Quinlan for O’Kelly (4-11, 24-33, half-time-59), Andrew Trimble for Duffy (25), Keith Gleeson for Neil Best (64), Ronan O’Gara for Wallace (68), John Hayes for Young (70), Rory Best for Flannery (74), Eoin Reddan for Boss (74).
Tries, Boss, Trimble; conversion, Wallace; penalty goals, Wallace (2), Murphy.

Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England).

Man of the game: Andrew Henderson.