England stain Ireland's Euro supremacy in Dublin
SIX NATIONS MATCH REPORT: England ended Ireland’s hopes of back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slams with a deserved 32-20 victory at Lansdowne Road on Saturday in an absorbing Test match.
The visitors – ending a run of two successive defeats at the hands of the Irish – ran in four tries including two second-half efforts by Henry Slade
For the Irish, who are ranked two in the world on the back of 18 wins in their preceding 19 Tests, it also brought to an end a record run of 12 successive home victories.
England rocked the Irish within two minutes, Jonny May going over in the corner after a superb long pass by Owen Farrell picked out Elliot Daly coming into the line.
The England fullback off-loaded to May who ran in unopposed and Farrell converted brilliantly from the touchline for 7-0.
Johnny Sexton reduced the deficit with a sweetly struck penalty from in front of the posts.
The hosts received a further boost when Jerome Garces did not hesitate to send England flanker Tom Curry – making his Six Nations debut – to the sin bin for a high tackle on Keith Earls.
Jack Nowell, who Eddie Jones had suggested could play at flanker, for the scrums at least moved from the wing to replace Curry in his absence.
Jones had promised his side would bring brutality Dublin and the unfortunate Earls was victim to it again when Maro Itoje went in high on him without any intent to take the ball.
Ireland skipper Rory Best argued to Garces that it was worse than the Curry incident, but the French referee just awarded just a penalty.
Ireland sneaked ahead with 15 minutes remaining of the first period, veteran prop Cian Healy pushed over by his team-mates for his fifth try in 85 Tests after Sexton had gone for the corner instead of kicking at goal when the English conceded another penalty.
Sexton added a sublime conversion from the touchline for 10-7.
However, the English hit straight back almost immediately, Nowell harrying Jacob Stockdale into a handling error inside the Irish try area and Daly – whose grubber kick had forced the Ireland wing to scurry back – touched down.
Farrell converted superbly from the touchline to make it 14-10.
The Irish went in 17-10 down at half-time after Farrell slotted over a penalty on the stroke of the break, but Ireland had been relieved after Mako Vunipola had touched down over the line but it was adjudged to be a double movement.
The two sides traded blows early in the second half with the Irish relieving their 22 after sustained English pressure when Garry Ringrose’s clattering tackle on Farrell.
Ireland came away with a Sexton penalty to leave them trailing by four points. England lost key lock Itoje after he went off injured although that balanced out as giant Irish second rower Devin Toner limped off.
Ireland’s discipline had held really well through the pressure and when they conceded a rare penalty Farrell was unable to make them pay sending a relatively easy penalty wide of the posts.
However, the English produced the killer blow with 14 minutes remaining as May’s kick ahead was gathered by Slade who touched down for 22-13 — Farrell missing the conversion.
Farrell made no mistake, though, with a long range penalty attempt with 10 minutes remaining, pumping his fist in delight as he stretched the visitors’ lead to 25-13.
Another brilliant piece of handling by Slade extended their lead and Farrell converted before the well-beaten Irish ran in a late consolation try.
Man of the match: Henry Slade, Jonny May and Elliot Daly added their names to the scoresheet with incredible tries. While Owen Farrell’s leadership proved to be a remarkable aspect when it came to England’s attack. However, the work of the pack was the difference between the two teams. Players like Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, and Billy Vunipola deserve a mention for their hard work and big tackles. However, boasting with the most tackles and his carries reaching double figures our nod goes to England prop Mako Vunipola.
Moment of the match: England wing Jonny May’s try in the two minute of the match. May’s try set the tone and handed England the crucial advantage.
Villian of the match: With momentum on their side, England flank Tom Curry’s moment of madness resulted in a yellow card and left England with 14 men on the park in the 24th minute. Despite not conceding any points it placed England on the backfoot momentarily.
Tries: Healy, Cooney
Cons: Sexton 2
Pens: Sexton 2
Tries: May, Daly, Slade 2
Cons: Farrell 3
Pens: Farrell 2
Yellow card: Tom Curry (England, 12 – Shoulder Charge)
Ireland: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Christiaan Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahoney, 5 James Ryan, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 John Cooney, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Jordan Larmour.
England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jack Nowell, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Dan Robson, 22 George Ford, 23 Chris Ashton.
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)
Source: AFP & @rugby365com