146 years ago Ireland and Scotland faced each other for the first time in a rugby international. Since then they have met 140 times. Ireland edge the wins with 69 victories, Scotland have won 66 and 5 have ended in a draw. The 141st head to head is arguably going to be the most important in their history as World Rugby's Webb Ellis Cup will be within the grasp of the victorious team.
The stage is set then. The Stade de France in Saint Denis, located north of the Paris city centre. On Saturday 7 October this suburb's population will swell as thousands of rugby fans wearing the green of Ireland and the blue of Scotland will descend to watch their teams in a must win match for both.
Going into this fixture South Africa top Pool B with 15 points having completed all their fixtures. Played 4, won 3. Ireland have 14 points to Scotland's 10. The Irish will qualify for the quarter-finals and guarantee top spot in the pool if they avoid defeat. A win or a draw will do it.
However, if they do lose to their neighbours from across the Irish Sea then a losing bonus point or a try scoring bonus point will send them through. If Scotland win and avoid the Irish picking up that 1 point bonus then they finish runners up to South Africa and head to the knock out stages to face the winners of Pool A.
Can South Africa miss out on the quarters? If Scotland beat Ireland by 21 points or more with a four try bonus point and Ireland get a four try bonus point in defeat then yes, South Africa could be eliminated due to their head to head loss with Ireland and a points difference lower than Scotland.
Kick off is 9pm local time and Australian referee Nic Berry will take charge of the match. Official hospitality with gold category tickets is available in Rugby House and Le Village only. The DAIMANI platform shows live availability and details what you can experience pre and post match. Doors open 2hrs 30 mins before kick off and for 90 minutes after the final whistle.
These two nations have met twice before at a Rugby World Cup. In 1991 the Scots led by captain David Sole won on home soil at Murrayfield, Edinburgh 24-15 before both teams progressed to the knock out stages. Ireland going out in the quarter-final to Australia in a tight encounter 19-18 and Scotland losing 9-6 to the auld enemy England in the semi-finals. Australia went on to lift the trophy.
At Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan it was Ireland who took the spoils 27-3 in the Yokohama stadium. Scotland did not progress out of the pool stages and the All Blacks 46-14 victory in the quarter-final sent Ireland home. South Africa eventually lifting the trophy, beating England in the final.
Next week-end marks the end of the pool stages and the completion of forty matches. The fixtures for the quarter-finals and the route to the semi-finals will be determined. For those not heading to Marseille or Paris it's all about pride in their final performance.
To check the available hospitality options (including gold category tickets) for the following final round pool matches visit DAIMANI.
- New Zealand vs Uruguay – Thursday 5 October in Lyon
- France vs Italy – Friday 6 October in Lyon
- Wales vs Georgia – Saturday 7 October in Nantes
- England vs Samoa – Saturday 7 October in Lille
- Ireland vs Scotland – Saturday 7 October in Paris