Scotland upset England in Six Nations - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Scotland upset England in Six Nations

By Stuart Condie 09/03/2008 06:05:52 AM Comments (0)

Wales are still on course for a shock grand slam in rugby's Six Nations after rallying to win 16-12 in Ireland.

While England are out of contention after a 15-9 loss in Scotland, Wales came from 6-0 down in Dublin for a fourth straight victory and secured the Triple Crown title for beating the other British Isles sides.

The pre-tournament outsiders, led by former Ireland coach Warren Gatland, now need victory over France next week to complete just their second grand slam in 30 years.

"Wales are now in the driving seat for the title as they are playing at home," Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan said.

"Their defence is very good as well. Now they're much harder to break down than before."

France have first to play Italy on Sunday and need a resounding win to stay in serious contention for the title they won the past two years.

Ronan O'Gara put Ireland 6-0 ahead at Croke Park with a penalty each side of a missed effort from in front of the posts by Stephen Jones - Wales' first missed kick of the entire tournament.

Shane Horgan then almost got the first try midway through the first half when he grounded the ball in the tackle just short of the line.

"We started very well and got the dynamics right," O'Sullivan said. "We went 6-0 up and had Shane Horgan's try been given we would have been 13-0 up.

"For us, it wasn't meant to be and Wales bounced back."

Wales drew level in the 46th through a second Jones penalty goal and, with scrumhalf Mike Phillips back on the field after a 10-minute spell in the sin bin, then went ahead for the first time.

Shane Williams beat a tackle by Andrew Trimble and crossed in the corner to draw level with Gareth Thomas at the top of Wales' all-time try scoring charts with 40.

Martin Williams was then ejected for 10 minutes for disrupting an Ireland counterattack with a deliberate trip on Eoin Reddan, giving O'Gara another kick at goal to make it 13-9 and bring the home side to within a single score.

O'Gara trimmed the deficit to one point but Ireland's comeback was hit with 10 minutes left when captain Brian O'Driscoll was carried off with a right leg injury, and Williams returned to action to help Wales close out the match.

England never looked like scoring a try as Scotland dominated the match with fierce tackling and accurate kicking.

In driving rain and swirling wind, England kept kicking away possession rather than patiently moving through the phases. Under pressure, England conceded a string of penalties that Chris Paterson and Dan Parks converted.

Paterson scored 12 points - in the process taking his run of successful kicks in Test rugby to 30 - and Dan Parks added the other three with a long-range penalty as Scotland got their first win this season.

"It's just a massive relief," Scotland captain Mike Blair said. "We've not had too much to shout about for a few games but the guys showed determination today.

"There was some great ball retention and some very smart play."

Although Jonny Wilkinson kicked three penalties for England to become rugby's record international scorer on 1,099, he struggled to engineer any momentum and was replaced by Charlie Hodgson with 10 minutes left.

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