Joe Schmidt is widely regarded as one of the best designers of set-plays and he proved it once again as Ireland got the better of Scotland at BT Murrayfield.
Last year it was CJ Stander who was the beneficiary of a beautiful wrap move off a lineout at Twickenham – a score that was nominated for World Rugby’s Try of the Year award.
This time around Jacob Stockdale was the man to cross, again off a designed lineout move, with the score even earning praise from Schmidt’s opposite number Gregor Townsend.
He said: “We always expect a really good set-piece play (from Ireland), which they brought and scored. So credit to Joe and the players for executing it.”
Stockdale’s try in the first half was meticulously planned, with the ball coming off the back of the lineout and then an initial carry by Chris Farrell.
After quickly recycling the ball was fed to Peter O’Mahony, who then found Johnny Sexton on the switch. The Ireland fly-half then fed Stockdale, who had a pair of front-rowers, Simon Berghan and Stuart McInally to beat.
That proved no problem for the in-form winger and he raced clear for the try on what Schmidt admitted was a brand new move.
He said: “We have not used it before, we felt that they would, if we got it into Pete’s hands they would just think we were going to carry round the corner into contact.
“For Johnny to come back and strike that side of the ruck might be an opportunity but you can never say for certain that there will be opportunities. Mostly we would strike on the other side of the ruck.
“Certainly that has been the case in some of the plays we have used and they have played since!
“So we thought there might be an opportunity and no better man to get it in his hands than Jacob. I thought he looked quick and strong today. He created the opportunity for us to get the first try as well with a nice chip ahead.”