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England end Ireland's Six Nations triple crown bid



Care flight: England's Danny Care dives in to score the decisive try against Ireland.

Care flight: England's Danny Care dives in to score the decisive try against Ireland. Photo: Andrew Matthews

A second-half Danny Care try helped England to a 13-10 victory over Ireland in a thrilling encounter at Twickenham Saturday to keep their Six Nations rugby championship hopes very much alive.

Duncan Weir was the hero for Scotland in the day's other match as his last-gasp drop goal gave his side their first victory of the campaign, 21-20 against Italy in Rome.

England should have had a try as early as the sixth minute but Jonny May had the ball ripped from his hands by Conor Murray when poised to score. However the home side still went in ahead at the break thanks to an Owen Farrell penalty.

England's Jack Nowell (L) evades a tackle from Ireland's Jonathan Sexton during their Six Nations Championship rugby union match at Twickenham in London February 22, 2014.   REUTERS/Eddie Keogh  (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT RUGBY) Click for more photos

Six Nations rugby photos: England v Ireland

Six Nations rugby photos: England v Ireland Photo: EDDIE KEOGH

England versus Ireland
View Match Statistics
Players Care (56min) Tries 1 Tries 1 Players Kearney (41min)
Players Farrell 1/1 (100%) Conversions 1 Conversions 1 Players Sexton 1/1 (100%)
Players Farrell 2/3 (66%) Penalty goals 2 Penalty goals 1 Players Sexton 1/1 (100%)
Players Drop goals 0 Drop goals 0 Players

Ireland came out the stronger and Rob Kearney cut through the English defence two minutes after the restart to score the first try of the game with Jonny Sexton slotting over the resultant conversion to move the visitors 7-3 in front.

The sides exchanged penalties in a bruising encounter before a Mike Brown line-break eventually set up Care to score under the posts.

Farrell kicked the conversion to put England 13-10 ahead although Ireland exerted significant pressure in the final ten minutes, England remained firm to seal the win.

The result leaves England, France, Wales and Ireland all tied on four points at the top of the Six Nations table although Ireland have a considerable points-difference advantage of +42, compared to +21 for England, +6 for Wales and +1 for France. Defending champions Wales trounced France 27-6 in the Friday night game.

"It was a proper Test match, two quality sides going at it and I thought we were excellent throughout. We showed a real maturity in seeing the game out," England coach Stuart Lancaster told the BBC.

"Given the experience and form of the Ireland team and some of the relative inexperience in our team I was just so proud of them and I am delighted for them. Ireland threw everything at us but once we got that lead we just clung on."

Earlier Saturday, Scotland prevailed in the probable Wooden Spoon encounter against Italy thanks to Weir's late heroics.

Italy led 13-3 at the break thanks to a Tommaso Allan try just before the half-time whistle, with the Italian fly-half also converting and kicking two earlier penalties.

Scotland's only points of the first period came from the boot of Greig Laidlaw, who reduced the deficit further with another penalty before Alex Dunbar powered over in the right corner on 54 minutes for Scotland's first try of the tournament.

Laidlaw missed the chance to level the scores when his conversion attempt drifted wide but Scotland moved in front for the first time with another Dunbar try on 67 minutes, which Weir successfully converted.

The lead lasted just two minutes, however, as Joshua Furno crossed over in the corner for his first try for Italy, with replacement Luciano Orquera slotting over the conversion to open up a 20-18 lead.

However, Weir broke the home side's hearts with his drop goal effort to secure the narrowest of wins.

Defeat left Italy winless through three rounds, while Scotland earned some redemption in rebounding from a 20-0 home loss to England, regarded as one of their worst displays ever.

"It's all a big blur to be honest," Weir said.

"You just have to go back to basics, get your ball drop right, and I managed to execute it. It's a great feeling and I am delighted for the boys we have come away with the win. We can kick on from here now."


6 comments so far

  • England vs Ireland: test match rugby at its finest with two fired up sides belting the daylights out of each other for 80 minutes. What a contrast to the Super Softee Aussie and Kiwi games with loads of turnovers, noodle tackling and twinkle toe stuff from the backline dancers. The forwards only had any real work at the set pieces. The rest of the time they were spectators and should have been charged admission. It's a pity my old granny is no longer around. She could easily get a job as a kicker for the Crusaders.

    On a positive note, Richiekins actually turned up for work on the first day of the season. Let's see if he can stretch himself to a twenty game season. Of course it should be twenty five but let's not expect to much too soon from our hero.

    Auntie Helen
    Date and time
    February 23, 2014, 6:15PM
    • @ Auntie Helen

      Great to see Richie 'Mr.Invisible' McCaw re-appear.... and yes, it will interesting to see for how long.
      Also, sorry to hear about 'old granny' .... as she sounded like a tough old boot !

      inner west sydney
      Date and time
      February 23, 2014, 7:00PM
    • Helen

      The Wallabies under Ewen will be more than a match for the 6N teams in RWC15

      ho ho
      Date and time
      February 24, 2014, 8:13AM
    • Yes it was a good test. toughest NH game I have seen in many years. but it is far from common. still no back line penetration.....this will once again have them thinking.........”bring on end of year tests” etc
      the SH big three will once again go on a summer holiday and BELT them all. Its not even a question of “IF” . Simply look at the last 5+ years. It is so rare to see a NH win........rare rare
      The Chiefs V Crusaders was about as tough and exciting game at S15 leve you will see this season........and tries! Something missing in NH football

      headed off
      Date and time
      February 24, 2014, 9:15AM
  • Villavicencio. Sweetie pie what we are comparing here is real test match rugby with mutual massage sessions. If I want to see grown men groping each other I can do that in Kings Cross in Sydney or Cuba street in windy Welly.

    So back to test matches. In the 2011 RWC that awesome AB try scoring machine managed to rack up a total of FOUR tries in the Qs, Semis and Final. Whowee!!! In the latter case that was with Craigie Boy Joubert playing as the 16th man for the ABs and a Froggy team who were effectively without a coach.

    Auntie Helen
    Date and time
    February 24, 2014, 7:34PM
    • If by test match rugby you mean 30 gormless, pedestrians, battering each other whilst showing as little skill as required to maintain possession & string together enough passes for another crash ball....your welcome to it.

      For pure physical confrontation, mixed with ball playing skill the game of the decade was last years match AB's v Boks

      We know what we like & we know what wins & it out the dross served up by the North.

      As for the Froggies at the RWC? If your honest with yourself you'll know they were lucky to get as close as they did. They got dominated for the 1st 50min of the match & only got a sniff due to Cruden's injury & Weepu's kicking..... besides the refs call always evens out. It usually doesn't take 4 years though

      Dr Cullen
      Date and time
      February 28, 2014, 8:37AM

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