Ireland overpower England to seal Grand Slam

England v Ireland in the Six Nations: Times writers predict the winner
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18 March, 2018

Ireland were full value for this victory, scoring three tries and defending superbly. "They're just a great bunch".

"We didn't let them through and that was a massive turning point". Anthony Watson failed to collect the ball in the air, close to his tryline, and Garry Ringrose dived on the loose ball to score.

Moments later though Ireland were over for a second try, with Aki breaking the line and Stander touched down at the base of the posts for 14-0 following Sexton's conversion.

A record-extending 12th successive Irish victory was sealed at a canter as a 21-5 half-time lead in south west London established an unassailable position to elevate Joe Schmidt's class of 2018 alongside the heroes of 1948 and 2009. The hosts again kicked for touch and this time, they lost their own lineout. England finally roused themselves with a series of driving mauls that created space for Owen Farrell to find with a deft kick for Daly to reach on the left wing. Farrell's conversion went wide. The home side saw more of the ball in the second period and Daly's second try on 24 minutes, which followed Conor Murray's penalty, saw a narrow defence exploited through Mike Brown's pass out of the back of his left hand.

It also represented their first Six Nations loss at home since a 19-12 defeat by Wales six years under Stuart Lancaster, Jones' predecessor.

Carbery made it 21-5 from the touchline and Sexton came back on for the restart.

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A tap tackle denied Daly on the left wing as England started the second half with positive intent but Ireland held out and in fact just shy of the hour mark came close to crossing for a fourth with the jinking feet of Jordan Larmour nearly taking him over the try line.

Sexton had left the field late in the first half only to return early in the second, but it was Murray who took Ireland's next shot at goal, with his penalty extending the lead. We won't move on from this too quickly, especially the weekend that's it's happened on as well.

Ireland could only add a Conor Murray penalty after the interval, but it mattered little as the sum of England's response was an unconverted Daly try and a consolation from Jonny May at the death.

The home side then proceeded to hammer away at the Ireland line for 18 phases but the visitors' defence was resolute and England's attack was ended when Daly was pinged for a neck roll on Kearney.

Jacob Stockdale helped Ireland make history with a stunning chip and chase try at Twickenham as the men in green beat England.

ENGLAND - A Watson (M Brown 33); J May, J Joseph (G Ford 56), B Te'o, E Daly; O Farrell, R Wigglesworth (D Care 61); M Vunipola (J Marler 53), D Hartley (capt) (J George 58), K Sinckler (D Cole 53); M Itoje, G Kruis (J Launchbury71); C Robshaw, J Haskell, S Simmonds (S Simmonds 62).


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