Six Nations

Ireland wreck England's dream

2011-03-19 21:11
Jonathan Sexton (AFP)

Dublin - Ireland wrecked England's hopes of a Six Nations grand slam on Saturday, outclassing their opponents 24-8 in a one-sided encounter at Lansdowne Road.

Tries from wing Tommy Bowe, captain Brian O'Driscoll - setting a new all-time record for the tournament of 25 - and 14 points from flyhalf Jonathan Sexton gave Ireland a deserved victory that was even more one-sided than the lop-sided final score suggested.

England, bidding to win their first grand slam since triumphing in Dublin in 2003, were second best to the Irish in almost every department, outmuscled in the forwards and outplayed in the backs.

Depending on the result of Wales' match with France in Paris later on Saturday, England, may well finish the Six Nations as champions.

But the emphatic nature of England's defeat will give manager Martin Johnson and his players a stinging reality check as they now turn their attention to this year's World Cup in New Zealand.

Ireland, bitterly disappointed to lose in controversial circumstances against Wales last week and desperate to end a mixed campaign on a winning note, dominated almost from start to finish.

Man-of-the-match Sexton had opened the scoring for Ireland on seven minutes, calmly slotting a penalty after England's defensive line were offside at a line-out.

Ireland extended their lead on 15 minutes when England wing Chris Ashton was adjudged to have high tackled Sexton, who duly slotted the three points.

Ireland's relentless pressure looked to have earned them a deserved try after 20 minutes when elusive running by Bowe ended with O'Driscoll scoring in the corner.

But as the crowd and Ireland's players celebrated, referee Bryce Lawrence ruled that the final pass had gone forward by the slimmest of margins, and instead the home side had to settle for Sexton's third penalty to make it 9-0.

Yet when Toby Flood missed a straightforward penalty to reduce the deficit moments later, Ireland were swiftly back on the attack with a hack and chase upfield that ended with Bowe going over out wide for 14-0.

A rare English foray into Irish territory resulted in a Flood penalty on 32 minutes to make it 14-3 but in truth the visitors never looked like putting their opponents under pressure.

A bad half for England got worse five minutes before half-time, when flanker David Wallace, a superb, scavenging presence at the breakdown throughout, burst off a ruck and headed for the corner.

England's cover got there but when scrum-half Ben Youngs threw the ball into the crowd, referee Lawrence produced a yellow card and the young Leicester scrum-half was in the sin-bin.

A further penalty from Sexton stretched Ireland's lead still further, driving another nail into the coffin of England's grand slam hopes.

England looked to have survived the sinbin unscathed in the early moments of the second half, when Danny Care came on to replace Youngs.

But within seconds of Care's arrival, Ireland were back on the attack once more as England scrambled. Donncha O'Callaghan looked to have bungled the chance but O'Driscoll was on hand to mop up and scamper over in the corner.

Sexton converted from the touchline to make it 24-3 and Ireland were effectively home and dry.

England emptied their replacements bench and veteran hooker Steve Thompson raced over from 30 yards for an interception try but the result was never in doubt.



Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will win the 2015 Six Nations title?

Love 2 Meet

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.