England vs Ireland NatWest Six Nations 2018
The day started with our clients being warmly welcomed into our official hospitality venue by the outstandingly professional hostesses, being offered champagne as they are shown to their seats.
TV’s placed all around the room for our guests to watch, while being served Michelin star lunch and desserts, Scotland took on Italy on the giant plasma screens at the Stadio Olympico. This gripping game caught the attention of almost everyone in the hospitality suite. Despite the many delicious distractions around them.
Italy was up 17 -12 by the end of the first half however Scotland fought back and took the lead through tries from Sean Maitland and Stuart Hogg. The lead changed hands twice during the final minutes as Tommaso Allan first struck a penalty for Italy, before Greig Laidlaw struck the penalty for Scotland. In the end Scotland came from behind to beat Italy 29-27 in an amazing Six Nations contest in Rome.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for England’s performance as it lacked any real excitement. Ireland, having already won the 2018 NatWest Six Nations last weekend, they looked to secure their third ever Grand Slam and wasn’t troubled at all with a 24-15 victory at Twickenham.
The defeat for England was their first at Twickenham under Eddie Jones and their third defeat consecutively – losing to Scotland 25-13 at Murrayfield Stadium, and last week’s defeat to France 22-16 at the Stade de France.
Ireland got off to the perfect start when Anthony Watson could not deal with a high ball under pressure from Rob Kearney, and Garry Ringrose was the first to react as he jumped on the bouncing ball for the first try of the match. It was the first of three first-half tries for the Irish, all of which required a TMO referral before being confirmed.
Eddie Jones’ side trailed 21-5 at half-time with Ireland scoring three converted tries through Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Jacob Stockdale all crossing, while Elliot Daly scored England’s only points with a 31st minute try.
The second half was soon underway after grabbing a few more pints of Guinness to get back in the St Patrick’s day spirit, England came out seeking redemption and went close down the left when Daly was tap-tackled by a scrambling Earls and again when Ben Te’o’s poor pass forced May to stop with the line beckoning.
Remorselessly Ireland took back control. Aki went off injured and England coach Eddie Jones threw his finishers for a job that had barely been started, yet it was the visitors who threatened again.
Brown game within a fraction of touching down in the corner, but he had been put into touch by outstanding Irish defending, before May scored on the final play of the game. It made no difference to the most important statistic though.
The final whistle sounded- Ireland have won their third Grand Slam.
We headed back over to our hospitality suite where spirts were still high even though we lost. The amount of Guinness we all consumed was to say the least a few barrels full.
Looking forward to England doing much better when they tour South Africa in a few months. One thing for certain it will be considerable warmer as that must have been the coldest St Patricks day on record.