SCOTTISH wins in the Six Nations Championship against the Irish in Dublin are a rare commodity. Singularly rare. Which means that unexpected success in 2010 has seen a few more airings than usual in the build up to today’s meeting.

Indeed, it was so long ago that today’s venue, the Aviva Stadium, wasn’t even opened that last time Scotland won in Dublin. Yes, that long ago.

However, for Scotland’s man of the match at Croke Park that afternoon, stand-off Dan Parks, the memory is still just as vivid. Today, the former Glasgow fly-half will watch on from Sydney, where he resides and works, specialising in construction logistics. Probably why he was able to piece together the key moments of that win, from eight years ago.

“It was a very special day and I still have great memories of it,” said Parks, capped 66-times for Scotland, having qualified to wear the dark blue through his maternal grandfather.

“We actually had a lot of confidence going in to the game,” Parks recalled, perhaps not something many travelling supporters shared after successive losses to France, Wales and then Italy.

“But we’d drawn the previous week, 15-15 against England at Murrayfield, and played pretty well against Italy over in Rome, and should have beaten Wales. Our form was good – we just hadn’t been getting the results we deserved. I felt good, and the squad we had was quite strong.”

Scotland kicked-off knowing a win would be required to avoid the Wooden Spoon. Ireland, however, had their sights on a Triple Crown.

“I think that’s what made it such a tight game,” Parks reflected. “Ireland got an early try but we scored one ourselves and by half-time had a seven point lead and were back in control.”

Scotland’s touchdown had come courtesy of a rampaging run from Johnnie Beattie, Dan reminiscing how his Warriors team-mate had rumbled “through and over” several would-be tacklers.

A drop-goal on stroke of half-time, “a free hit” Parks called it, and then another penalty within minutes of the turnaround, put the Scots 17-7 to the good.

However, a Tommy Bowe try, converted by replacement Ronan O’Gara, made it 17-17. Parks and counterpart O’Gara then swapped penalties to make it 20-20 with minutes remaining, before Parks produced two telling kicks.

His first was a cross field chip, that turned the Irish defence. His second, to win the game.

“Rob Kearney fielded the ball, but Nick De Luca and Simon Danielli tackled him, winning us a penalty, out near the left touchline - and I knocked it over.”

For the normally calm Parks, jubilation kicked in, leaping and punching the air with joy as his goal sailed in to the floodlights and Dublin’s night sky, and, between the posts.

Job done. Well, not quite. For despite taking as long as possible over his kick, there was still a minute left when his penalty went over, as Dan recalled. “And they had O’Gara on the pitch, and you knew what he was capable of.”

Scotland however, held out, sparking celebrations brought on more by relief than anything else.

“It was a pretty special way to finish the game. Great to see friends and fans so happy afterwards and seeing so much glee in the crowd as we went on a lap of honour. It was the last game of the season and we were just saying thanks to them.

“But it was pretty amazing.”

Today, the Aviva Stadium is the setting, not a place you want to be if things go wrong, according to Parks.

“I played at the Aviva for Cardiff against Leinster in a European Cup quarter-final – in 2012, the year they won it - and they beat us convincingly, just way too good.

“It is a cracking stadium, and a really awesome place to play. It’s a very closed-off stadium, and the support they get there is pretty special and it’s a very tough place to play. Saturday won’t be any exception - especially if the home team get on top of you.

“You really have to be on your game, but the key will be how Scotland start. That’s the thing that impressed me against England, was how they started.”

Parks reckons Scotland has the game to again upset Ireland’s pursuit of a Triple Crown and the Grand Slam. And those hopes will rest with the man who now wears the 10 shirt Parks once owned.

“The game against England was absolutely fabulous. Scotland produced some very exciting play where Finn Russell was very impressive, in amongst a number of players.

“He came out with some outstanding plays in the first-half, along with Huw Jones in particular. It was really something special. It was really awesome, watching it, and seeing how it went down with some of my friends. The first half was just great to watch.

“Russell is a really confident guy and you can see that on how he goes about his business. The first couple of games were tough for him. Things didn’t go his way and he made some uncharacteristic mistakes. Against France, I mean, it was a pretty rare occurrence to see Gregor Townsend take Finn off.

“I know how that feels, especially at home, at Murrayfield, when things aren’t going right, and it can be really difficult.

“But he showed great composure and character against England and he fought back beautifully.

“And now Finn Russell has another big stage to play on.

“And a win here, who knows, with England – Ireland in the last game, and Scotland could be potential champions.”

And even for Dan, that would beat avoiding a Wooden Spoon.