Speaking of the Scots aspirations to snatch the title this year, Laidlaw said:
‘It's everybody's goal to win the tournament. Everyone wants to win the Six Nations. That's why we are here.’
Despite Ireland dominating possession from the get-go, the fight and determination of the Scots was palpable in the second half, beginning with Laidlaw’s successful penalty kick 53 minutes into the game. Ireland’s young Paddy Jackson pulled another penalty wide two minutes later, but Laidlaw showed the Irish novice how it was done with his second three-pointer of the game, which reduced the deficit to just two points. As the crowd came alive, two more accurate kicks from Laidlaw gave the Scots a four-point cushion entering the final five minutes. Pushing hard to the end, Ireland were then awarded two attacking scrums 10m out from Scotland’s tryline. In a gripping finale, Scotland dug deep in defence and managed to hang in there to victory. How our team at Rugby Plus rejoiced!
Described by Mike Blair, former Scotland scrum-half, as a ‘great escape’, the collective resolve of the Scots compensated for their lack of ideas.
‘It was just about togetherness and nitty-gritty’, explained 21-year-old fly-half Duncan Weir. ‘Put your shoulders in, go one man low, one man high, and compete for every ball.’
After the victory, a beaming Scott Johnson said of his boys, ‘They can be proud of their effort and their heart’. The line between winning and losing was a fine one, but the emotional impact of victory is significant - keep winning and nobody is too bothered about how it's done. If Johnson's team can keep boosting their foundations in defence, improving their goal kicking, developing their set-piece work and strengthening their desire then a victory against Wales is not out of the question.