The Grand Slam is on for Ireland on St. Patrick's Day.

The Six Nations trophy could be in Irish hands even sooner after they dispatched Scotland 28-8 at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Undefeated Ireland will win the championship if titleholder England doesn't beat France in Paris with a matching four-tries bonus point later Saturday.

Scotland upended England last time out but that was at Murrayfield.


With an awful record away from home, the Scots' own championship bid was almost inevitably squashed by an Irish side which owns the visitors in Dublin, where Scotland has won only once in 20 years.

Scotland had its chances but wasn't as accurate, and butchered two tries, probably three.

By the time new cap Blair Kinghorn claimed Scotland's sole try, Ireland had three, two to wing Jacob Stockdale.

The bonus-point fourth try came with 11 minutes to go, when Sean Cronin, only three minutes after replacing captain and hooker Rory Best, dived over from the back of the rolling maul.

Ireland made its bonus-point intentions known after only four minutes, when flyhalf maestro Jonathan Sexton waived off a penalty goalkick to set up a lineout.

However, the throw-in wasn't caught. The Scots' relief was brief as they knocked on two early high kicks.

Ireland's Jacob Stockdale scores a try against Scotland during the Six Nations rugby match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday March 10, 2018. (Brian Lawless/PA via AP)
Ireland's Jacob Stockdale scores a try against Scotland during the Six Nations rugby match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday March 10, 2018. (Brian Lawless/PA via AP)

Against the run of play, they took the first points from a Greig Laidlaw penalty.

Scotland managed to get hands on the ball and looked threatening until Peter Horne threw a wayward pass between center partner Huw Jones and Stuart Hogg straight to Stockdale.

The wing took the gift 55 meters untouched to the posts with the usual Sexton conversion.

Scotland was bearing more gifts for the hosts.

An attack from deep saw a Jones chip and catch, and Hogg inside him with only the posts ahead. Jones drew last-man Sexton but passed too far in front of Hogg.

Back came Ireland. Right on halftime, a nice flick-on by center Garry Ringrose, playing only his second match this year, freed fullback Rob Kearney, and Bundee Aki was held up.

From the resulting scrum, Ringrose doubled round Aki, and Stockdale stepped opposite Kinghorn to score his second try of the match, and a leading sixth in the championship.

Sexton's conversion gave Ireland a 14-3 lead into the break and breathing room.

Scotland missed 13 tackles in the first half, and looked outclassed after the new half began and an Irish lineout drive to the try-line finished with scrumhalf Conor Murray barging over with a push from Aki. At 21-3, Ireland was cruising.But Scotland didn't think it was over.

Another attack foundered when Hogg threw too high for Kinghorn, but Kinghorn scored on debut moments later when all seven Scottish backs lined up to the right from an attacking scrum, and executed a great two-wave move to put Kinghorn into the right corner.

The Scots, 21-8 behind, should have had another try moments later when Horne slipped through a big gap.

He had Jones beside him and Kinghorn further out but threw to the wrong man - Kinghorn - and over the sideline. That was Scotland's last gift.Ireland went all out for the fourth try. Devin Toner, Peter O'Mahony, and the front row were replaced.

Scotland captain John Barclay conceded a penalty in his half but Sexton, again, kicked for touch rather than the posts. The lineout throw was caught, the ball was mauled, and Cronin didn't wait for the pack to go over the try-line, preferring to dive from three meters.

Sexton converted, and Irish fans started singing.One more win, at Twickenham no less in a week, will give them only a third Grand Slam ever.