Ireland began their Six Nations Championship campaign with a commanding 28-6 victory over Scotland in Dublin.
Andrew Trimble, Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney scored tries as Ireland joined Wales and France in winning on the opening weekend of the 2014 tournament.
Joe Schmidt’s first Six Nations game in charge of Ireland started cagily with the only scoring in the opening quarter coming via penalties from Jonathan Sexton and Greig Laidlaw.
Sexton added a second kick to give Ireland a 6-3 lead before Trimble scored at the end of the first half at the Aviva Stadium.
The hosts spread the ball wide and created a huge overlap to allow winger Trimble to cross, although Sexton was unable to convert.
An 11-3 half-time advantage became 18-6 within six minutes of the re-start.
Laidlaw added a second penalty before Ireland won a line-out deep in Scotland territory and their pack drove to the line with captain Heaslip going over from the back of the maul.
This time Sexton did add the extras, and Scotland were trailing by 12 points.
Sexton notched a third penalty before Trimble’s converted try with 10 minutes remaining put the game to bed.
Chris Henry got behind the visiting defence, and Ireland recycled the ball quickly before full back Kearney cut inside and powered over the line.
It meant a successful day for Brian O'Driscoll, who set a new Irish caps record by making his 129th appearance.
Heaslip, who took the armband after Paul O'Connell was ruled out through injury, told the BBC he was happy with the performance.
We came out against Scotland to do the jersey proud. We can be proud of how we took our scores and our general shape.
Coach Joe Schmidt told me this morning captain Paul O'Connell was not fit to play. We were missing a great leader, but everyone stepped up. I am taking the try [hooker Rory Best also had a claim]. You train for hours on the field for a try like that.
We can be more clinical and accurate, but I am very happy with the win.
Ireland face Wales next Saturday in Dublin while Scotland entertain England in the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield.
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