EDINBURGH - Fly-half Greig Laidlaw held his nerve as Scotland won back-to-back Six Nations matches for the first time since 2001 after coming from behind to beat Ireland 12-8 at Murrayfield yesterday.
Laidlaw landed all four of his penalty attempts while, in contrast, debutant Ireland outside-half Paddy Jackson managed just one successful goal-kick from four attempts.
Scotland, under the interim charge of Australian coach Scott Johnson, were 8-0 down early in the second half after Ireland wing Craig Gilroy crossed for the only try of the match.
But Scotland's forwards, dominant at the scrum, eventually laid a points-scoring platform for Laidlaw, who took his side into a 12-8 lead with barely five minutes left.
Ireland then pressed for a match-winning try but when debutant centre Luke Marshall knocked on with the final play, the Scots, roared on by a crowd of over 67,000, had done enough to secure victory in a match where the visitors had 80 percent possession.
"Credit to all the forwards, we really dug deep today, and I think you can see that means a lot to us," said Scottish lock and man-of-the-match Jim Hamilton. "The scrum was immense.
"We knew Ireland notoriously start very well, we hung in there in the first half and to go in 3-0 to Ireland was probably a good outing for us. We had to come out in the second half, we dug deep and took our chances."
Johnson added: "That was a game we probably shouldn't have won but we did and it showed great spirit and great heart.
"We're still in the tournament, up to our ears, and that's great."
Ireland counterpart Declan Kidney was left ruing his side's inability to notch up more points.