Guinness Six Nations – Ireland v England
England shocked champions Ireland 32-20, at the rugby on the weekend, securing four tries bringing Ireland’s first Six Nations defeat in Dublin in six years. England made a quick start at the Aviva Stadium, with Jonny May scoring a try along the wing, after only 90 seconds.
Ireland soon replied with a Johnny Sexton penalty and Cian Healy try to take the lead, but England edged in front once again, following an Elliot Daly score. Ireland were able to see off world champions New Zealand in an undefeated Autumn, but their dream of consecutive Grand Slams came to an abrupt end. England led at half time 17-10.
Every time the hosts attempted to pull clear, England roared back, beginning to suffocate Ireland keeping them pinned in their own half and when the opportunity came, they attacked with precision. Grand Slam champions, Ireland had not conceded as many first-half points in a Six Nations match in Dublin for 13 years.
The second half started in much the same vein as the first, England raising the tempo, stressing Ireland’s defence. But Joe Schmidt’s men held firm and eventually won a penalty of their own that Johnny Sexton scored to close to four points. Henry Slade spotted Sexton’s desperate pass in his own 22 and collected brilliantly to slide over for his second try.
Mark Vunipola made an astonishing 25 tackles and 11 carries to lead a brutal England performance, lasting nearly the full 80 minutes, he was rightly given man of the match.
Maro Itoje was injured, Nathan Hughes packing down in the second row, Ireland were within four points as the one-hour mark came. But when Jonny May chipped over the top and Henry Slade was onside – the game was essentially up for Ireland.
England face their next challenge on February 10th against France at Twickenham,
Defending champions Ireland will face Scotland on February 9th at Murrayfield.
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