The home were level ten minutes later when Chris Paterson was on the mark from 36 metres and at this stage the Scots were putting together some useful phases. On the 29th minute mark however, Dan Parks had his kick blocked down by O'Gara who gathered and set off for the Scottish line. When tackled he found Gordon D'Arcy on his right, the Leinster man in turn passed to Simon Easterby and when the Scarlet was collared, O'Gara was on hand to take the scoring pass.
O'Gara tapped over the conversion but from the restart Paul O'Connell coughed up possession and the Scots made progress to metres from the Irish line. They swept the ball right and had Hugo Southwell been Brian O'Driscoll or Shane Horgan, then he would have put Chris Paterson in for a try.
The Scots had to settle for a penalty that Paterson converted and when Ireland were penalised for not rolling away at the tackle area Paterson stepped up to land his third successful kick and leave his side trailing by four points (13-9) at the break.
Ireland: Girvan Dempsey; Shane Horgan, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Denis Hickie; Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer, Simon Best, Rory Best, John Hayes; Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell; Simon Easterby, David Wallace, Denis Leamy.
Scotland: Hugo Southwell (R Lamont 39 min), Sean Lamont, Marcus Di Rollo, Rob Dewey, Chris Paterson captain, Dan Parks, Chris Cusiter; Gavin Kerr, Dougie Hall, Euan Murray; Nathan Hines, Scott Murray; Simon Taylor, Kelly Brown, David Callam.
Referee: Dave Pearson (England).