Dublin - Robbie Henshaw's first Test try has kept alive defending Six Nations
champions Ireland's hopes of the Grand Slam on Sunday as the Irish beat
England 19-9 at Lansdowne Road for a national record-equalling 10th
success in a row.
The 21-year-old man-of-the-match's second-half
try -- allied to 14 points by Jonathan Sexton -- ended a run of four
successive defeats to the English, whose own hopes of the Grand Slam
disappeared with this defeat, and could see the Irish retain the
Five/Six Nations trophy for the first time since 1948/49.
first try coming against England is a dream that you daren't even think
will come to reality," said Henshaw. "It was good chance to use my
Gaelic football skills and get it down."
Coach Joe Schmidt was
left beaming at matching the 10-Test winning record, adding: "I'm
incredibly proud of the lads and the way they defended.
"It is probably our biggest win and is a little bit special as only one other Irish team has done that before."
His England counterpart Stuart Lancaster decried his team's ill-discipline and tactical naivety.
the first half we were masters of our own destiny. We played in the
wrong areas at times and our discipline wasn't good enough and the
timing of the try at the start of the second half was crucial," he told
"For us we need to understand where it went wrong and learn from it - we now need to focus on our two big games at home."
landed a penalty in the third minute pumping his arms in celebration on
his way back to the halfway line to give the hosts early momentum.
Ireland fly-half tested the English defence immediately afterwards with
a delightful cross kick into the far corner and earned the Irish a
scrum five metres out.
Hooker Rory Best looked to have gone over
the line under the posts but he was held up and from the subsequent
scrum the hosts went close to the line again through Rob Kearney but as
consolation earned a penalty which Sexton converted.
England steadied the ship as George Ford reduced the deficit with a drop-goal in the 12th minute.
he missed a chance to draw them level when a penalty drifted wide of
the post after Jordi Murphy, who had come in for the injured Jamie
Heaslip, had been penalised.
England won another penalty but
captain Chris Robshaw opted not to go for goal despite being within a
kickeable distance and paid the price as Devin Toner won the resulting
lineout allowing the Irish to clear the danger.
regained possession but Ireland somehow managed to turn the ball over
despite being down to 14 as Sean O'Brien's injury woes continued when he
went down -- he had to be replaced by Tommy O'Donnell after just 25
O'Donnell was immediately in the thick of the action
burrowing away as the Irish entered the England 22 but the hosts came
away with nothing as Peter O'Mahony was penalised for not releasing the
However back came the Irish and Sexton won them a penalty
with a cracking tackle on Luther Burrell which earned him a pat on the
shoulder from captain Paul O'Connell. The fly-half duly slotted it over
for 9-3 after 30 minutes.
Sexton was like a man possessed as he
put in another extraordinary tackle on Ford and Anthony Watson conceded a
penalty picking up the ball yards offside. Sexton, though, sent his
penalty just wide for Ireland's first miss of the championship in 16
He made no mistake when called upon the next time as he extended Ireland's lead to 12-3 in the 48th minute.
roar that greeted those points was nothing compared to those when
Henshaw outjumped Alex Goode to touch down from Conor Murray's astute
box kick, Sexton converting beautifully from the sideline for 19-3.
However, that was it for Sexton as he had to go off with an apparent hamstring problem and was replaced by Ian Madigan.
got England's first points of the half on the board as the hour mark
approached with a penalty to make it 19-6 and added another three points
as the game neared the final 10 minutes but the Irish held firm for a