NatWest 6 Nations Flashbacks: Ireland v Scotland

If results go Ireland’s way on Saturday then they could be crowned NatWest 6 Nations champions, but before they can think about popping champagne corks they must first overcome an old and fierce rival.

If results go Ireland’s way on Saturday then they could be crowned NatWest 6 Nations champions, but before they can think about popping champagne corks they must first overcome an old and fierce rival.

There are few tougher tests in international rugby right now than facing a Scotland side still buoyant from their win against England in round three.

But Ireland have the Championship lead and plenty of momentum heading into the contest, ensuring a classic awaits an expectant Aviva Stadium crowd.

Click here for the complete 2018 NatWest 6 Nations fixtures and table

These two are used to putting on a show and Dublin has seen several thrillers down the years, including these three memorable contests.

2016 – Ireland 35-25 Scotland

Where better to start than Scotland’s most recent trip across the Irish Sea in a game that saw 60 points, seven tries and 80 minutes of thrilling entertainment?

Joe Schmidt’s Ireland were the two-time defending champions heading into 2016 but a draw with Wales, coupled with defeats to France and England, scuppered their hopes of an unprecedented three in a row.

Scotland meanwhile were coming into form after two early losses, with wins against Italy and France filling them with confidence.

Three Jonathan Sexton penalties gave Ireland an early lead but Stuart Hogg turned the game on its head with a scintillating solo try in the 20th minute.

The full-back cut inside two defenders on half-way and sprinted clear, evading a couple more Ireland defenders to dot down.

Ireland hit back through scores for CJ Stander and Keith Earls and they gradually took control of the match, with scrum-half Conor Murray also scoring.

Scotland battled away and lock Richie Gray got them back into the game but Ireland kept them at arm’s length through Devin Toner’s try.

In a gripping, end-to-end game Scotland continued to fly forward and they scored a third try through centre Alex Dunbar but it proved to be too little too late.

The win secured third place for Ireland while Scotland finished fourth.

2010 – Ireland 20-23 Scotland

Dublin has been a daunting destination for Scotland fans, with just one win secured this century.

But that day in 2010 remains one of their best away victories in the NatWest 6 Nations with a last-gasp Dan Parks penalty clinching a 23-20 win.

Scotland led for much of the match with Johnnie Beattie’s first-half try, two Parks penalties and a drop-goal moving them 14-7 ahead at the break.

But. after wins against England and Wales, Ireland were chasing the Triple Crown and Tommy Bowe’s converted try in the second-half moved the scores level at 17-17.

Parks and Ireland replacement Ronan O’Gara then shared two further penalties and the game looked like it was heading for a draw in the dying minutes.

But Ireland’s Rob Kearney was penalised for holding onto the ball at the breakdown and Parks stepped up to fire through the posts.

That was Scotland’s first win in Dublin since 1998 and meant they avoided finishing bottom.

2000 – Ireland 44 -22 Scotland

There was a time when a win in Dublin was almost as common as one in Edinburgh for Scotland fans but, ever since Ireland ended that dominance in 2000, it has proven to be a tough venue.

Between 1985 and 1999, Scotland won 13 of the 15 Tests played between them – including five times at the old Lansdowne Road – and they arrived as the favourites in 2000.

Ireland were struggling in the build-up to their meeting, despite a young Brian O’Driscoll and wise Keith Wood spearheading a new era.

Heading into the contest, Ireland had not won at home in the Championship since beating Wales in 1996 but they had too much for Scotland on a special afternoon

The visitors were 10-0 to the good in the early stages but Ireland settled into the match and a first international try for lock Malcom O’Kelly helped them lead 13-10 at the break.

Wing Shane Horgan extended that to ten points soon after half-time with a debut try, and from there Ireland took control in front of a raucous home crowd.

O’Driscoll found space and muscled two Scottish defenders off the ball to score Ireland’s third try before David Humphreys and Keith Wood added gloss to the scoreline late on.

It was Ireland’s biggest ever score in the Championship and, with Peter Stringer, O’Gara and O’Driscoll all starting, an exciting new team was beginning to emerge.

They went onto finish third in the table, two places above Scotland – who have never been as dominant in Dublin since.