Six Nations preview: What to expect when Scotland face Ireland in Edinburgh

Scotland v Italy - Guinness Six Nations

Scotland take on Ireland at BT Murrayfield looking to make it two wins from two at the start of their Guinness Six Nations campaign.

Ireland were beaten by England in their opener at the Aviva Stadium last weekend and need to beat the Scots to get their championship bid back on track.

Each of the champions from the previous 19 Six Nations tournaments have won their second fixture.

We take a look at both sides ahead of their meeting in Edinburgh.

Scots to win by between one and five points

When Ireland and Scotland meet in Edinburgh, the games are usually close.

Four of the last five meetings in the Scottish capital during the Six Nations have been decided by five points or less and this is expected to be another close game.

In 2017, Scotland survived a second-half comeback to beat the Irish 27-22 thanks to Greig Laidlaw’s two late penalties.

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A win will put Gregor Townsend’s side in a great position to challenge for the Six Nations title while defeat will all but end Ireland’s hopes of defending their title successfully.

Kinghorn to score anytime

Jacob Stockdale set a new standard in terms of try-scoring in last year’s tournament, but after just one round of fixtures, Scotland winger Blair Kinghorn is well on his way to raising the bar this year.

Stockdale scored seven tries in 2018 but Kinghorn has three after his hat-trick against the Italians last weekend.

Irish winger Stockdale, like the rest of his team-mates, was poor against England and the men in green will be out to prove their display against Eddie Jones’ side was a one-off.

Scotland’s playmaker Finn Russell created plenty of chances for Kinghorn against Italy and Stockdale, who will be operating on the same side of the Murrayfield pitch as Kinghorn, will need to be at his best to stop the 22-year-old from adding to his try tally.

Scotland v Italy - Guinness Six Nations

Ireland to score last

Scotland will hope the championship does not come down to points difference to decide the winner.

Leading 33-3 against Italy, they made a number of changes that disrupted the cohesion within the team in the closing stages of the game.

Concentration levels dipped, allowing Italy to score 17 points in the final 10 minutes when Scotland were reduced to 14 men following Simon Berghan’s yellow card.

Ireland will be wary of that and will hope to capitalise if Scotland lose focus in the latter stages of the game.

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