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Six Nations | Aviva Stadium
17:00 (GMT) | 18-03-2017
  • 82
Ireland secure a marvellous 13-9 win over England in a hard-fought battle. Thank you so much for joining us! For all your rugby action please check out!
  • 80
Scrum is reset and England retain possession. Care feeds the line. England doing everything and the ball is shifted wide and Brown lose it forward.
  • 79
Ireland penelise at the line-out and England has one minute to rescue the game and the record. Scrum on the 22 and the scrum is turned.
  • 78
From the line-out England secure the ball and Care slots out a desperate kick but just as far as his own 22.
  • 77
Ireland retain possession and have a rolling maul. Ireland have to keep the ball as they try to break though the middle of the 22. England not on their feet and ball still available to Ireland and Luke McGrath slots it to touch for a 5 metre line-out.
  • 75
Scrum is reset and Luke McGrath picks it up at the back but Care hits the ball down deliberately. Ireland have a penalty.
  • 73
England's line-out have been stolen by Ireland inside their own 22. And the Irish shift it wide eventually England have a knock on and its a scrum
  • 72
Robbie Henshaw penelised for not rolling away on the halfway mark and Farrell opt to slot it to touch.
  • 71
Scrum is reset, Care feeds the scrum. The ball is shifted wide and after some scrambling the English barely hold onto the ball.
  • 69
Line-out on the halfway mark. England retain the ball and sets up an attack. Ireland try to dig for the ball and retain it but is halted with a knock on.
  • 68
Scrum on the English 22. England with a big shove wins the penalty and opt to kick to touch.
  • 67
Farrell steps up to slot over the easy conversion just inside the Irish 22
  • 65
England retain the ball on the Irish 22. They have a rolling maul and the advantage. Eventually England are forced to use it and Care shifts it wide, Ford gives a cross kick but Watson fails to reach it. Play returns for the penalty.
  • 63
England setting up an attack from the restart but some huge tackles by Ireland and eventually England have a penalty for a high tackle on the halfway mark. England opt to kick to touch.
  • 62
Sexton have an opportunity to extend the lead and he slots it over from just inside the 50 metre.
  • 60
Another high tackle in Sexton gets Ireland a penalty inside their own half. Sexton opt to kick to touch for a line-out on the England's 10.
  • 57
A great break by Jared Payne gets his side in England 5 metre, but England isolates him and have possession. The ball is slotted downfield and eventually Zebo decides to run it.
  • 55
A scrum just inside the Ireland and they retain possession Kieran Marmion slots it downfield to touch and have a line-out on the England's 10.
  • 54
England win the line-out and Youngs shifts it wide. The English are now inside the Irish 10 metre, but a huge tackle by Sexton gets make sure England loose it forward.
  • 52
From the restart England have a penalty advantage and they opt to kick to touch. From the line-out their secure the ball and have a rolling maul. Again they win a penalty and opt for a line-out just inside the Irish half.
  • 51
From the line-out England turnover the possesion and gest a penalty just outside the Ireland's 10 metre. Farrell steps up and slots over the kick!!!
  • 48
Ireland have a penalty just outside their 22 after Maro Itoje hits Sexton with a high tackle again!
  • 47
Scrum is reset on the halfway mark! Billy Vunipola with a pick-up but finds himself under pressure however he shifts it wide before Ireland steal it.
  • 45
Handling errors just playing a major part in the match as both teams fail to hold onto the ball after a line-out on the halfway mark.
  • 44
Ireland secure the ball and shift it wide. Both teams failing to deliver some scintillating rugby, and a kick by Sexton goes to touch.
  • 43
Some great offloads by the English side but Watson fails to keep the ball alive as he knocks it forward for a scrum on the Irish 10.
  • 42
After some aerial ping pong, Mike Brown calls a mark and slots it out for a line-out. The Irish secure the line-out and shifts it wide they build some phases on the halfway but kick away possession again.
  • 41
Sexton gets the second half underway!!!

Half Time

  • 39
England have possession from the line-out and shifts it wide on the Irish 10 metre. Browm eventually puts in a grubber but fails to collects it and bounce to touch. There is still time for a line-out. Irelands knock the ball and that is all te action of the first half.
  • 37
Ireland have possession inside the England's half, however CJ Stander penalised and England have a chance to slot it clear.
  • 35
Engalnd scrum is under pressure, but manage to retain possession. Ireland's defence in solid holds England inside their own half, for yet another scrum
  • 34
Again Ireland have a line-out on the English 10 metre, but this time they have knock on and its a scrum.
  • 31
Forward pass by Irelands on England's 22. Youngs have a chance to feed the scrum
  • 29
Ireland secure the line-out on the England's 22. They shift it wide and tries to break into that red zone. Ireland have an advantage after Anthony Watson's knock-on.
  • 28
England with an counter attack as Farrell kicks an chippy which Daly collects but with no support the wing runs into trouble. Again Ireland have possession and penalty.
  • 26
Some interchanging passes by Irelands get them inside the English 5 metre however a knock on halts it all.
  • 25
Courtney Lawes knocks the ball on just inside the Irish 10. Ireland secure the ball and Robbie Henshaw breaks off with a strong run to get his side inside England's half.
  • 24
From just inside the 10 Sexton slots over the extras!!
  • 23
From the line-out, Ireland have a rolling maul and Iain Henderson stretches himself over for a try..
  • 22
Ireland four metres out and they opt to go to the short side only Zebo in support but the wing keeps possession. The ball is again blasted to the middle and England is penelise. Ireland opt for the line-out.
  • 20
Ireland have a line-out just inside the England's 22. Ireland move it to the back and have rolling maul. Ireland look dangerous inside the England's 22 and they shift it wide.
  • 18
From the deep restart England return the favour but this time Ireland keep ball in hand and opt to attack. Robbie Henshaw with a chip kicks away possession, but the ref returns for a late tackle on Sexton. However no yellow card to Maro Itoje but just a penalty to Ireland.
  • 16
England opt to kick to posts and Farrell slots over the kick to level matters!!!
  • 15
England now have a chance to attack and they build some phases on the Ireland's 10 metre. Farrell hoist the ball high but fails to collect it. Lucky for England the ref returns for their penalty.
  • 13
Scrum just inside Ireland's half and England manage to win the scrum. The English went Elliot Daly with a grubber goes to touch and its a line-out.
  • 11
From the restart Garry Ringrose collects it on the 22. The ball still available for Ireland as their try to attack the English side. Despite losing territory, Ireland still have possession inside their own 22.
  • 10
Sexton steps up and slots over the easy penalty!
  • 9
Ball still available for Ireland after 10 phases. Zebo with a great pass to Jared Payne but Keith Earls loose it forward. However the ref returns for the penalty
  • 7
Ireland have a line-out inside the England's 10. Ireland with a rolling maul and makes their way to the 22. Sexton with cross-kick but its collected by England, however it's quickly overturned and Ireland have possession inside the England's 22.
  • 5
Game is really loose and after some great runs and good work by both teams, Ireland have a panakty and Sexton kick to touch.
  • 3
Ireland secure the ball and move forward with Simon Zebo as the pacesetter however he is tackled to touch on the England's 10.
  • 2
Mike Brown just taking his eye of the ball and has given Irelan a scrum on the Irish 22
  • 0
Ford gets the game underway!
  • -30
Welcome to live coverage of this Six Nations clash between Ireland and England in Dublin!
Mc ireland ed
Mc england ed
  • 1 Jack McGrath
  • 2 Rory Best
  • 3 Tadhg Furlong
  • 4 Donnacha Ryan
  • 5 Iain Henderson
  • 6 Christiaan Stander
  • 7 Sean O'Brien
  • 8 Jamie Heaslip
  • 9 Kieran Marmion
  • 10 Johnny Sexton
  • 11 Simon Zebo
  • 12 Robbie Henshaw
  • 13 Garry Ringrose
  • 14 Keith Earls
  • 15 Jared Payne
  • 16 Niall Scannell
  • 17 Cian Healy
  • 18 John Ryan
  • 19 Devin Toner
  • 20 Peter O'Mahony
  • 21 Luke McGrath
  • 22 Paddy Jackson
  • 23 Andrew Conway
  • 1 Joe Marler
  • 2 Dylan Hartley
  • 3 Dan Cole
  • 4 Joe Launchbury
  • 5 Courtney Lawes
  • 6 Maro Itoje
  • 7 James Haskell
  • 8 Billy Vunipola
  • 9 Ben Youngs
  • 10 George Ford
  • 11 Elliot Daly
  • 12 Owen Farrell
  • 13 Jonathan Joseph
  • 14 Anthony Watson
  • 15 Mike Brown
  • 16 Jamie George
  • 17 Mako Vunipola
  • 18 Kyle Sinckler
  • 19 Tom Wood
  • 20 Nathan Hughes
  • 21 Danny Care
  • 22 Ben Te'o
  • 23 Jack Nowell
Mc article rory bes and dylan hartley 800

PREVIEW: Ireland v England

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 09:31

SIX NATIONS ROUND FIVE: England will leap across the Irish Sea on Saturday in search of golden glory. Paul Dobson reports.

They have the championship in the bag but they want more - the Grand Slam and still more than that - the world record of 19 consecutive victories, outdoing the mighty All Blacks.

The All Blacks got to 18 and then, in Chicago, the Irish stopped the triumphant march of their records.

It was a shock defeat, enjoyed by many.

Many will enjoy it, too, if the Irish do it again, this time to the triumphant English, who have equalled the All Blacks tally of 18 in just a year.

Such is the way Test matches tumble on till international teams seem more like clubs than the exciting occasional selections they used to be.

If you have been watching the two teams this Six Nations, you would think an English victory inevitable.

They have won all four of their matches, while Ireland have won two and lost two.

While Ireland can do sweeping, skilful rugby from time to time, England have a confident, invincible look about them. They are organised and strong. Unless Jack Murphy finds a strong enough axe, the giant will continue to sit sunning himself on top of the beanstalk.

Ireland will need the fearless energy and dedicated aggression of Michael Collins and the calm, smooth skill of Valera - Collins at the tackle and Valera when the backs are on the move. They have the ability to do both.

Possession for the Irish will be limited, not quite a potato famine, but close enough to cause serious problems of ball starvation.

They have dropped Devon Toner. Does that mean that they have surrendered the line-outs to Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes and Maro Itoje?

Ireland can scrum well and England possibly better.

That is where the Michael Collinses of loose forwards come in, the smash-and-grab men, and one would back Heaslip, O'Brien and Stander against Vunipola, Haskell and Itoje, except that loose forward ability so often depends on tight forward dominance.

One thing is certain - the Irish will not want for motivation. They have every reason, historical and modern, to want to win this match, and they will have the crowd to roar them on. After all Irishmen have poor memories - they don't forget.

In some ways rugby football has been Ireland's greatest achievement. It is a land with so many divisions - religious, political, economic, urban and rural.

Ireland is a small island and yet one sixth of it is a foreign country.

But rugby football has transcended the differences and got on with the game, the one activity in which all Irishmen are equally involved.

Players to watch

For Ireland: You would want to watch Jonathan Sexton. If he is over all his aches and pains, he is a player who can run again - skilled and brave, a player with vision to attack and a rugged heart to defend with. And he is an excellent goal-kicker. It is a serious pity that Conor Murray, the best scrumhalf in Europe, is not there. In the Irish pack, you will notice CJ Stander of the work rate, endlessly bashing forward, felling opponents in the tackle. He may just be in danger of being too predictable.

For England: Mike Brown is brave, almost recklessly so, as he leaps for the high ball and counterattacks directly at opponents. Then there are the English centres - clever Owen Farrell, who adds excellent goal-kicking to his value as a player, and free-running Jonathan Joseph. Of the English pack, you will see bustling Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje, surprisingly tough and skilful.

Head to Head: Jonathan Joseph against Garry Ringrose - fast against tough. Ringrose has made great progress this year. Dapper George Ford against free-spirited Jonathan Sexton at flyhalf. Front row against front row, Tadhg Furlong, Rory Best and Jack McGrath against Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley and Joe Marler. For England Cole's penchant for being penalised can be a problem. Loose trio against loose trio - Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien and CJ Stander against Billy Vunipola, James Haskell and Maro Itoje. The Irish three look a more balanced trio than the English trio, more likely to effect turnovers than the English.

Results against common opponents

Australia: England won 37-21; Ireland won 27-24
France: England won 19-16, Ireland won 19-9
Italy: England won 36-15; Ireland won 63-10
Scotland: England won 61-21; Ireland lost 27-22
Wales: England won 21-16; Ireland lost 22-9

Recent results:
2016: England won 21-10, London
2015: England won 21-13, London
2015: Ireland won 19-9, Dublin
2014: England won 13-10, London
2013: England won 12-6, Dublin
2012: England won 30-9, London
2011: England won 20-9, Dublin
2011: Ireland won 24-8, Dublin
2010: Ireland won 20-16, London
2009: Ireland won 14-13, Dublin

Over all the two countries have met 131 times, England have won 76 times, Ireland 47. In Dublin it's much closer. Out of 64 matches, England have won 31, Ireland 29.

Prediction: The rugby world will be expecting an English victory but then in Chicago the rugby world expected a New Zealand victory. If England will win, they will win by lots but something in the mad mind of me says that, provided they unIrishly sensible in St Patrick's Day, Ireland will win by two or three.


Ireland: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Cian Healy, 18 John Ryan, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Peter O'Mahony, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Andrew Conway.

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tom Wood, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te'o, 23 Jack Nowell.

Date: Saturday, 18 March 2017
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 17.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

By Paul Dobson

Mc article ireland v england 2017 800

Ireland bring England back down to earth

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 16:50

SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: Ireland dashed England's hopes of bagging another Grand Slam and a tier-one nation world record with a 13-9 win in Dublin on Saturday. 

The giant on his beanstalk must have started shaking as Jack Murphy laid into the beanstalk with an insistent axe, until he came tumbling down - still a giant and still a king but without a Triple Crown, without a Grand Slam and without a world record of successive victories.

But that giant that is England  knows that it has basked in the glory of remarkable year of 18 successive victories, equalling the best the All Blacks have achieved. It has been a wonderful phoenix act after the 2015 World Cup.

As with the All Blacks, the giant killer was the Irish, the determined, intent men from the Emerald Isle - the same giant killer with the same relentless tactics.

Their set pieces were excellent, their post-tackle play precise and their tackling filled with devastating passion. And they did it for the whole match.

Perhaps St Patrick looked down with a proud smile and extended his feast day by one day.

In those last seconds, with England pinned in their 22, the crowd sang The Fields of Athenry, a song about English injustice to the Irish with louder voice than ever before. There could be some broken heads in Dublin this evening. The brown water of the Liffey with its creamy top may just run dry!

The ground in Lansdowne Road was expected to be greasy after the rain during the week and the misty drizzle in the morning. And late in the match rain came down hard. Nobody took the least bit of notice and nothing  happened in the match that suggested that the conditions were difficult.

There was an accident in the warm-up which may have been a happy fault for Ireland. Jamie Heaslip turned an ankle and Peter O'Mahony came off the bench to flank with CJ Stander sliding back to No.8. O'Mahony was a star. Through his efforts Ireland won the line-outs where England were expected to rule. He won ball after ball for his side and  contested England's throws to win their ball (twice) and make their delivery less smooth.

Ireland scored the only try of the match. They were also the first to come close. Jonny Sexton kicked an up-'n-under to his right and Jared Payne beat Mike Brown and sent Keith Earls racing towards  the line. Earls lost the ball and the referee, who was playing advantage, went back to a penalty where Joe Launchbury had been offside. Sexton goaled and Ireland led 3-0 after 9 minutes.

It was then that captain Rory Best went off for a head injury assessment, which he passed and was able to return to the match.

Ireland were penalised at a tackle and Owen Farrell goaled. 3-all after 17 minutes.

There was an unsettling incident when tall Maro Itoje thumped into Sexton after the flyhalf had passed. It hurt Sexton and it seemed that throughout the match he was a target. At one stage Best went to the referee and asked for greater awareness of unfair tactics against his flyhalf.

Itoje was penalised and Ireland attacked, getting closer and closer to the England line. When England were penalised eight metres from their line, Ireland eschewed the kick at goal and instead kicked out for a five-metre line-out. They mauled and Henderson burst ahead, stretched and score, the try confirmed  after consultation with the TMO. Athenry sounded for the first time when Sexton's conversion made it 10-3 after 23 minutes.

Earls, given an overlap, had a good sprint down the right but half-time came with the score 10-3.

Jack McGrath moved obviously offside at a tackle/ruck and Farrell made it 10-6 after 50 minutes and Payne, so delicate looking and so elusive, had a sharp run.

Substitutions started happening after 55 minutes when Ian George came on for Dylan Hartley and Cian Healy for McGrath and Tom Wood for James Haskell.

Itoje went off side and Sexton goaled. 13-6 after 62 minutes. Ireland were penalised at a maul and Farrell made it 13-9 after 66 minutes, and that is how the score remained.

It may have been scoreless but, heavens, it was agonisingly exciting and the game's 80 minutes flew away, well, 78 of the 80 minutes as the last two minutes dragged on.

There were about 90 seconds left when Luke McGrath, a rooky scrumhalf at this level, kicked a wonderful kick to touch well inside the England 22. England knew they had to score and ran from inside their 22. They worked their way upfield and reached their own 10-metre line when Brown knocked on and the referee blew the final whistle.

Ireland was gleeful but England had the consolation of being presented with the Six Nations Cup.

Man of the Match: It is a not unreasonable temptation to nominate all 23 Irish players, for they were all heroes on the day, but we should probably whittle it down to Rory Best, Jonathan Sexton and our Man of the Match Peter O'Mahony, the late selection who played with such effective skill and courage right to the end. His were the line-outs and a lot besides.

Moment of the Match: Ian Henderson's try - the only try with the final whistle a close second.

Villain of the Match: If anybody set any English player  to target Jonathan Sexton by foul means, that would be the only possible Villain of the Match.

The scorers:

For Ireland:
Try: Henderson
Con: Sexton
Pens: Sexton 2

For England:
Pens: Farrell 3


Ireland: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Christiaan Stander, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Cian Healy, 18 John Ryan, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Jamie Heaslip, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Andrew Conway.

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tom Wood, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te'o, 23 Jack Nowell.

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Iain Henderson (23min)
Johnny Sexton (24min)
Johnny Sexton (10min) and Johnny Sexton (62min)
Owen Farrell (16min), Owen Farrell (51min), and Owen Farrell (67min)
VENUE Aviva Stadium