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Ireland Grand Slam dreams alive after Six Nations thriller against Scotland

media Ireland’s Garry Ringrose in action with Scotland’s Peter Horne and David Denton REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

The Irish maintained their unbeaten record in the 2018 Six Nations tournament in an emphatic home win against a brave Scotland.

Jacob Stockdale's two tries push Ireland to within one win of only their third Five or Six Nations Grand Slam.

The 21-year-old's double in the first-half makes him the only Irishman to score six tries in the tournament.

His tries were added to by Conor Murray and Sean Cronin in the second-half as the Irish secured a third successive bonus point win.

The win piles huge pressure on England.

The Irish could clinch the title later on Saturday if the defending champions England fail to secure a bonus point win over France in Paris.

And beyond that, the fixture against England at Twickenham next week sets them up for a Grand Slam showdown.

Brave Scotland

Scotland matched their hosts for much of the first half but Stockdale's two, with the second on the stroke of half time, saw the Irish take a 14-3 lead.

Scrum-half Conor Murray wriggled over early in the second half to widen Ireland's advantage but it was replacement Sean Cronin's try in the 68th minute that could prove a title winner.

Scotland showed sporadic bursts of the form which saw them beat England in the previous round of matches, with Blair Kinghorn's try keeping them just about in the hunt.

But sloppiness and inaccuracy at critical moments of the match proved fatal.

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