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Ronan O'Gara clears with Denis Hickie in support
Inpho/Billy Stickland
Triple Triumph For Irish in Murrayfield But Only Just
3 March 2007, 12:58 pm
By Pat Geraghty
Ireland claimed their third Triple Crown in four years by the narrowest of margins when Ronan O'Gara kicked all of their points in his side's 19-18 win over a brave if limited Scottish side this afternoon.
It was a performance that was nothing like what they produced against England last time out but in the end good enough against a home side who brought no end of passion, physicality and commitment but little enough scoring threat save for the unerring boot of Chris Paterson who, like O'Gara, was responsible for all his side's points.

Ireland led 13-9 at half time and although they started the second half in serious fashion and despite the fact that the Scots were reduced to 14 within a minute of the restart when Nathan Hines was yellow-carded, they never managed to impose themselves a their pre match odds of 1/7 might have suggested they might.

In fact they were behind 18-16 with just ten minutes to go before O'Gara kicked them into the lead and if one considers that Denis Hickie, made two try-saving tackles they may count themselves lucky although nonetheless totally deserving to be celebrating that third Triple Crown.

Ireland: Girvan Dempsey; Shane Horgan, Brian O'Driscoll captain,, Gordon D'Arcy Denis Hickie; Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer; Simon Best, Rory Best (Jerry Flannery 59 min), John Hayes; Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell; Simon Easterby (Neil Best 67 min), David Wallace, Denis Leamy.

Scotland: Hugo Southwell; 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).

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