Mack Hansen and three teammates that shone as injury-ravaged Ireland silence Scotland 2 weeks ago

Mack Hansen and three teammates that shone as injury-ravaged Ireland silence Scotland

The Grand Slam dream lives to fight another day.

Andy Farrell's juggernaut Irish side claimed a hard-fought 22-7 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield, all but sealing the Triple Crown in the process. Mack Hansen was sensational, but he had plenty of help.


Ireland's fourth win of the tournament sets up a Grand Slam decider against a wounded England at the Aviva Stadium next weekend, as Farrell's all-conquering side go in search of just their fourth ever Slam title.

Ireland got the job done at Murrayfield. (Credit: Getty Images)

Decimated by injuries, which saw the Irish forward pack ravaged in the opening half, a perseverant Ireland held Scotland scoreless in the second half, and ultimately eased to a three try victory in the Scottish capital.


With big performances around the park, it seems unfair to just single out the best player on the day- an award bestowed upon Mack Hansen by former Wales and British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton.

Here, we take a look at the three players who made all the difference, as Ireland swiftly laid to rest any half-time concerns over a Scottish comeback victory.

Mack Hansen dots down in the corner. (Credit: Getty Images)

Mack Hansen

Only one place to start here, and that's with the 24-year-old Connacht winger, who was undoubtedly Ireland's standout performer in the backline on the day.

Scoring Ireland's opening try to drag them into the lead for the first time, the Australian-born flyer dotted down with a superb finish in the Scottish corner.

In the second half, Hansen continued his stellar performance, with a number of crucial turnovers accompanying a tremendous aerial take in the lead up to James Lowe's try. That's before we even mention that sublime skip-pass for Jack Conan's game-clinching score.


Josh Van der Flier throws into the Irish line out. (Credit: Getty Images)

Josh Van der Flier

The World Player of the Year highlighted just why he is considered the apex of a modern-day forward. Not only carrying out his customary roll as Ireland's breakdown specialist, Van Der Flier stepped up to the plate when both Dan Sheehan and Ronan Kelleher were forced off.

Throwing into the line out, the former Wesley College pupil displayed his vast skillset, delivering an assured display which rubbed off on the rest of the make-shift Irish pack.


Wherever your eyes drifted to across the expansive Murrayfield pitch, that familiar red scrum-cap was present, disrupting Scotland's attacking flow time and time again.

Sexton slots one of his touchline conversions. (Credit: Getty Images)

Johnny Sexton

What can you say about this man that hasn't been said already? Not his most eye-catching display in a green jersey but he returned from injury with the methodically composed display that his side required.

Calmness personified, Sexton steered Ireland out of trouble on more than one occasion as Scotland ramped up the pressure on his injury-hit Irish side.

In slotting two second half touchline conversions, the Leinster fly half draws level with old foe Ronan O'Gara on the Six Nations scoring charts, with the chance to eclipse the Munster legend on offer next weekend, in what will be the masterful 10's final competitive fixture at the Aviva Stadium in the green of Ireland.

The other Ireland star that merits a big mention is Cian Healy. The Leinster prop last played hooker in school but did not shirk the challenge, when asked, and laced up before going in at the No.2 slot.

There was even a moment, in the final minutes, when he was part of an Ireland front row that monstered the Scots.

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