Six Nations

England 13 Ireland 10: Joe Schmidt's men miss out on Triple Crown but all is not lost

Carl O'Malley Sat, Feb 22
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  • 15:02

    An embarrassing e-mailed typo from one of the Irish Times marketing shmoozers this week, asked us knuckle draggers in sport for details of this weekend’s ‘love’ blog. Well, as I’m sure you can imagine, this unintentional hilarity was the highlight of our week.

    ‘There’s nothing loving about this one, love,” one of us guffawed.

    ‘No love lost here,’ scoffed another.

    ‘Shut your pieholes,’ honked the editor.

  • 15:08

    And, so, we put it behind us and set about looking forward to the latest instalment of our storied, love/hate relationship with our near and dear neighbours England.

    Few do wistful nostalgia like Gerry Thornley, and this week is no different. If Ireland are going to win a Triple Crown today, he reckons, they are really going to have to dig it out.

    “Ireland haven’t won by more than six points at Twickenham in 60 years”.

  • 15:16

    Gavin Cummiskey hints that with tighthead prop Dan Cole hors de combat England are fatally flawed.

    And if that means an Ireland win, Geordan Murphy thinks it means an Irish Grand Slam. “If you want to win a Grand Slam this is where it is done. Win at Twickenham and I think they will go on and win it in Paris.”


  • 15:20
    Remarkable finish at the Stadio Olimpico just now as Duncan Weir's last-minute drop goal snatched victory for Scotland. They won 20-21. That game delivered a lot, actually. Highlights and match report very soon.
  • 15:24
    Last night, Wales joined Ireland and France on four points, by beating the latter rather convincingly, 27-6
  • 15:27
  • 15:32

    Joe Schmidt on RTE just now

    "We've got two prizes to play for, both are really important for any Irish team. There's a mssive prize at the end of this championship that we can take a massive step towards today.

    "It's case of being ready for their maul too, they maul very well.

    "With Lawes, Launchbury and Wood, they've got some really good options to put us under pressure at the lineout."

    Experience a factor?

    "Not really, if I'm honest. There's enough experience in the English team in the right places.

    "Some of (our) experience is centred around a few players. If you say we have over 700 caps, 131 of those are Drico's"

    Stuart Lancaster

    "We've got to combat them up front, put our maul on Ireland as well. Obviously Ireland have got the experience but we've got a good young team and are looking forward to the game."


  • 15:33
    It all feels a little strange if I’m honest. Maybe it’s just me, but usually by this stage of the week that’s in it, there’d be the faint thud of tribal drumbeat in the distance, kids would be marched indoors and curtains would be pulled in expectation of a bloody showdown, but that’s lacking this year for some reason.
  • 15:33
    Now, obviously, it could be that the game is in London and we aren’t but, beyond that, maybe it’s got something to do with a subtle change in the English and Irish psyche(s).
  • 15:34

    “It’s been the mutual admiration society,” said Shane Horgan on RTE earlier today. He’s right, it’s all been a bit friendly. Lancaster’s England are not England, they’re sort of likeable!

    And, I’m not sure it’s a good thing for them. Or us.

    We’re hopefully not tempting fate here but England don’t have that bloody-minded bull-dogedness anymore, the sort that allowed John Terry to poke home an injury time winner against Everton under an hour ago in a game they scarcely deserved to draw.

  • 15:37

    Conversely, there’s evidence to suggest Ireland are gaining that hitherto unattainable knack of keeping opponents at a distance, to withstand pressure, and close out a game. Yes, yes, New Zealand, but that game represented progress on so many other levels.

    Anyhow, if I had any onfidence the comment button was working, I'd ask you to use it, but if you really have something to say tweet me @carlomalley or email me

  • 15:38
    The confidence or something slightly uglier has been trickling down to the support, as well, according to former England hooker Brian Moore, who took to Twitter to out Ireland fans for ‘out-arroganting’ England fans.  
  • 15:38
  • 15:40
    Big Peter O'Mahony and bigger Devin Toner are on d'telly now, talking out confidence, experience, momentum, belief. All good things apparently.  
  • 15:50

    Alan Quinlan And Ben Kaye holding court on the Twickenham sideline. The latter, obviously of the Police Academy generation, referring to Peter O'Ma-honee.  

    Both belief the outhalf channels are going to be key. Vunipola, says Kaye, will be bouncing off Sexton all day.  

  • 15:53

    Premier League halftime scores: ARS 3-0 SUN. CARD 0-2 HUL. CHE 1-0 EVE (FT) MNC 0-0 STO. WBA 0-1 FUL. WHU 2-1 SOU. CPAL (LKO) MNU.

    SPL FT. HEA 0-2 CEL.

  • 15:57

    A corker of an atmosphere at Twickenham it seems. Forget what I said earlier about there being something missing. There's be blood, hair and teeth flying in a few minutes.

    Just after this jaunty little rendition of Ireland's Call is over

  • 15:58
    And, of course, God Save Herself
  • 16:00

    We're almost there. One final check on the teams.

    Yep, they're still there.

    Ireland to receive

  • 16:01

    Toner takes and Ireland maul.  

    England hold Ireland up and win the scrum on the 22.

  • 16:02

    Care to put in.  

    Big shove from Ireland and they win the penalty. Great marker there from the Irish pack.  

    Sexton finds touch around halfway.

  • 16:03
    O'Mahony claims and BOD makes ground, then R Kearney to his brother on the wing, but back to Rob. He's forced into touch.
  • 16:04

    D'Arcy hit hard and Ireland go backwards.  

    BOD chases a chip and trie to kick past Brown but the fullback does amazingly well to gather it before he's beaten by it.

    Frantic stuff early on

  • 16:05

    Best misses a tackle on Brown but Ireland regroup on their 22.

    Still Care snipes, Farrell moves England forward.

  • 16:05
    5 min:  5 metres from the line now. Ireland under severe pressure. Lawes is stopped, Brown has a go. 4m short.
  • 16:06
    TRY ENGLAND!!!  
  • 16:07
    Vunipola is stopped under the posts but it goes wide and England have great momentum.  
  • 16:07
    OH WAIT!! It's not a try.
  • 16:08
    Jonny May knocked on under pressure from Trimble and Murray. The latter had a imilar impact when Scotland's Dave Denton tried to cross in the first week.
  • 16:09
    7 mins:  D'Arcy makes great ground and Murray box kicks high. Nowell takes and England will come again.
  • 16:09
    Or not, as 36 (Twelvetrees) knocks it on.
  • 16:09
    Ireland scrum on their 22.
  • 16:10
    England shove, Ireland urged to use and Care gets his hands on it. Ireland under pressure.
  • 16:11
    England lineout, just inside the 22. England claim but Ireland win the penalty after Tom Wood holds on.
  • 16:11

    10 min:  Sexton clears to well inside the English half.  

    6% possession for England thus far.

  • 16:13

    O'Mahony takes at the tail. BOD takes it on again, then Healy out wide.  

    D'Arcy tries to punch a hole and it finds it's way to R Kearney, whose grubber for Trimble is too long and watched by Brown.

    Farrell drops for the 22. Trimble takes.

  • 16:14
    Dave Kearney does a great impression of his brother by claiming a big high ball.  
  • 16:14
    Sexton keeps an English clearance in play and Ireland run it back, D'Arcy's pass doesn't work and POC knocks on after that. England have.
  • 16:16

    Into the Ireland but Heaslip disrupts and Healy takes control, then Toner. England don't roll away and Ireland get the penalty.

    This is as breathless as it gets but a good opportuniyt to get good setpiece ball here.

    Sexton finds touch at the 22.

  • 16:17
    Best throws, O'Mahony takes again, that's three. Sexton finds Trimble with a crossfield kick, back inside to R Kearney, he manages to hold on, just,. Best takes it on but he's stopped just short.  
  • 16:18
    R Kearney had another go there, but a boot came through and as he gathered in retreat he was pinged for holding on.  
  • 16:19
    Conor Murray receiving attention from the Irish medical staff. He's been in great form and would be a huge loss. Also thought O'Mahony looked in trouble there. That doesn't bear thinking about.
  • 16:19
    Farrell finds touch with a pen on the Irish 22.
  • 16:20
    18 mins:  Lawes takes, Vunipola boshes, then 36. Well into the Irish 22 now.
  • 16:21
    Good defence form Ireland, nice line speed and England are basically where they started
  • 16:21

    And O'Mahony steals inside his 22!!!!

    Murray clears

  • 16:22
    No advantage for Ireland and they'll have a put in on the halfway line after Murray was hit in the clearance by Farrell.
  • 16:23
    No amrs in that one. clear shoulder charge.
  • 16:24

    But no yellow card for Farrell, Sexton finds touch on the English 22.  

    Still 0-0, by the way. Hard to beleive but it is.

  • 16:24

    Toner takes, just.  

    Another crossfield kick is marked by Jack Nowell. Cleared, R Kearney runs it back.

  • 16:25
    Sexton holds on and Ireland pinged again. Farrell cleasrs, angle was bad and he didn't get great distance.
  • 16:26

    POC jumps across Lawes, who comes down heavy. First sight of the posts for Farrell, just inside the Irish half.

    24th minute

  • 16:27

    ENGLAND 3-0 Ireland  

    Farrell kicks it true and through. England lead after 24 minutes.

  • 16:28
    Twelvetrees takes the restart. Farrell clears to the Irish 10m line. Big kick from the outhalf.  
  • 16:29
    Good hands by Ireland until there is a knock on, that is. England defence very disciplined.  
  • 16:30
    Free to Ireland after the England frontrow steps forward. Dave Wilson the culprit.  Ireland choose the scrum
  • 16:31
    The scrum is reset after it wheels a bit, Ireland were still in control of it though. We go again.
  • 16:32

    28 min:

    Solid again, Heaslip in control, ireland go wide, BOD pops a pass to D'Arcy before he's hit hard. Still Ireland run it with D Kearney but England haul back possession on the ground. Great defence from them.

  • 16:33
    A bit of verbal between BOD and Brown. The England fullback is the real deal.
  • 16:34

    Ireland scrum, though, BOD goes wide, kearney comes in and takes. Sexdton's pass to Henry is cheeky and it sticks.


  • 16:35
    Oh dear, Murray's pass goes behind R Kearney who picks up and mangles an attempt at a drop goal. Brown gathers and runs England upfield.  
  • 16:36

    R Kearney redeems himself with an imperious take under the high ball but Ireand pinged for a forward pass. Scrum England.

    Ireland very ragged over the last few minutes.  

  • 16:37

    Pinged at the scrum after it swung becuase Ross wasn't engaging, says Joubert.

    Farrell for a 6 point lead.

  • 16:38

    34 min:

    No dice! Farrell hits the post. Looked good for a while but just turned away at the end.

  • 16:39
    Still, England come again after the restart. Robshaw forces a tackle from BOD.  

    Jonny May makes ground.  
  • 16:41

    Nowell proves slippery and England up to the 22. Ireland strong in defence though and force the turnover.  

    Vunipola in trouble after a twist of the ankle in the tackle from Toner. Ben Morgan to come on.

    Big loss for England, the big islander will be strechered off.  

  • 16:41

    36 min

    England 3 Ireland 0

    An unbelievable scoreline given the action so far. Ireland scrum inside their 22.  

  • 16:42
    Heaslip pops it up between his legs to Murray, D'Arcy bursts and ireland make ground.  

    A big up nad under from Sexton and Trimbkle gathers for a split second before kncoking on. Very close. Scrum England.  
  • 16:44
    England use it just in time. Morgan under pressure, but Farrell sends it downfield. Trimbles kick back finds MAy, who runs it back and Care takles it on before Ireland are called offside.  

    Farrell goes for the corner, when the points were on offer.

    Big call!!
  • 16:44
    Final play of the half in the corner for England.
  • 16:44
    Lawes takes.
  • 16:46

    All a bit messy, but Care flings it to Lawesand Burrell runs a good angle but drops it.

    Ireland have, R Kearney drops deep and clears.

    "That's it," says Joubert and Ireland nad England are separated at halftime by 3 measly points.

  • 16:46
  • 16:50
    Shane Horgan

    England are doing what we expected them to do, they are doing it very very well.
  • 16:51

    George Hook

    Ireland's back play is pedestrian, they are relying on the loop and the loop alone.  

  • 16:51

    Brent Pope

    "First of all, I disagree with George.

  • 16:52


    "Brown May and Nowell have countered consistently on us because we've kicked the ball badly."

  • 16:53


    "If I was Joe Schmidt I'd be delighted and I'd say 'we've been kicked up and down the park andwe're still only three points down'".

  • 16:59

    We're back on, Sexton restarts. Ireland win a penalty for a push somewhere or other.

    Sexton finds a good touch and this is a bright start for Ireland.

  • 17:00
    Toner taps down
  • 17:00
    TRY IRELAND!!!!!!
  • 17:01

    Brilliant start from Ireland, as R Kearney lines up a gap and receives Heaslip's pop pass 20 metres out, weaves past Brown and under the posts.

    Smashing stuff. Sexton converts.

    England 3 IRELAND 7  

  • 17:03
    But England fly back at Ireland and Twelvetrees beats R Kearney to teh high ball and Jonny May gets close in the corner, but Ireland's counter ruck is solid.
  • 17:03
    England pulll down the Ireland maul, which finally got going there. Sexton to make ground down the line.
  • 17:05
    Ireland go wide from the lineout and it's neat but the pass to Dave Kearney was marginally forward and what looked so promising for a moment is brought to an abrupt halt.
  • 17:05
    But Ireland win the scrum against the head!!
  • 17:06
    Quickly taken, a little dink, TGrimble chases. May tries to feed Brown uinder pressure and England bundle it into touch.  Big lineout here inside the 22.
  • 17:06
    Toner takes again, Heaslip has it and Ireland move forward.
  • 17:07

    Courtney Lawes pinged for lying on the Irish side for an age. Penalty Ireland.

    Sexton lines it up from the right-handside.

  • 17:08

    England 3 IRELAND 10

    Lovely hurling!! Sexton lands it and Ireland lead by seven after 49 mins.

    Great kick

  • 17:09

    England won't go away though. Care feeds Farrell, then on to Lawes and Robshaw. Ireland 22. England pinged! Best congratulated!!

  • 17:11
    52 mins:  Jonny May gerts England moving and Lawes, who is great with ball in hand today, makes serious ground. Penalty England.
  • 17:12
    They take it quick, Tom Wood closes in on the line, Burrell stopped under the posts. Thye have men wide but go the other way.
  • 17:13
    Ireland pinged 5m out but htey'll be happy with that as three Englishmen were screaming for the ball out wide and they were ignored.
  • 17:13

    ENGLAND 6 Ireland 10

    Farrell slots the three points.

  • 17:14
    Sexton straight into touch. That's disappointing. Scrum England. 56th minute
  • 17:15
    It's scrappy as Morgan misses his pass from the back of the scrum
  • 17:16


    But they recover brilliantly and Robshasw creates the space for Brown who breaks up the centre nad feeds Danny Care who strolls under the posts. Farrell converts. All from the Sexton kick out.

    ENGLAND 13 Ireland 10

  • 17:16
    58th minute, still time
  • 17:17
    Ireland win the turnover after the ball doesn't come back on the English side. Best and R Kearney key to that.  
  • 17:20
    Toner takes a Best lineout for Ireland and Murray box kicks. Knocked on bt Heaslip gathers and R Kearney dances around a few tackles before holding on.
  • 17:21

    None of Ireland's pre-planned moves working here, other than that try of course.

    Mike Ross makes way for Martin Moore. And here's where Ireland might have an edge. The bench.

  • 17:22
    Nowell swallowed up by Sexton and co near the try line and Ireland win the scrum.  A big one for Moore.
  • 17:22
    It goes well and D'Arcy is asked to take the hit. R Kearney clears long
  • 17:24
    England lineout won, flashed out wide well by them and May keeps it in play, back over through Robshaw, Brown and Morgan. Ireland stand firm but this is ominous.
  • 17:24
    Or not. Ireland win a scrum.  
  • 17:25

    England 13 Ireland 10

    65 minutes gone.

  • 17:25
    Fergus McFadden readying himself to come on for Trimble.
  • 17:26

    Another solid scrum from Ireland and Sexton cleasrs long, England clear, McFadden returns that one and Nowell kicks one out on the full.

    Lineout Ireland just outside England's 22.  

  • 17:26
    Opportunity knocks.
  • 17:27
    O'Mahony peels off the back and secures it.  
  • 17:28
    Ireland keep it close and make hard ayrds through Toner, Murray, Healy and BOD, who does brilliantly to bounce off a few Englishmen.
  • 17:29
    MArty Moore does his bit but still not huge gains being made and it's knocked forward after a wraparound wtih Sexton escapes the outhalf.
  • 17:29
    Scrum England, in the 70th minute
  • 17:30

    England under pressure and Ireland have the put in. Big scrum from Ireland  and here comes Jack McGrath and Sean Croni, so a fresh frontrow now. Could be crucial.

    Iain Henderson replaces O'Mahony.

    Henry Thomas on for Wilson in the England frontrow.

  • 17:31
    One more for England as Dave Attwood is introduced for Tom Wood.
  • 17:32
    Murray feeds. Ireland hold, then heaslip feeds D'Arcy. Henderson involved and Irelasnd have the maul up and running
  • 17:33
    Joubert not happy though and it's an England scrum. Very hard to take that one. Those frontrow changes happen now and Healy offers MvGrath some advice as he leaves the field.
  • 17:34
    Morgan takes of the back just as it looked like the England scrum was under pressure there. Brown hoofs one clear.
  • 17:34

    73rd minute

    Ireland lineout.

  • 17:35
    Best's last is taken by Henderson.
  • 17:37
    Sexton and May trade kicks and Ireland are back wtih lineout ball.  Cronin to O'Connell. Jordi Murphy is on for Chris Henry. Big debut for him.
  • 17:38
    Hartley repolaced by Tom Youngs.  England scrum after a knock on. on the halfway.

    May breaks but Sexton gathers his kick ahead and Ireland look to build.  
  • 17:39
    Henderson does amazingly well to avoid knocking on and Ireland are up thte halfway.  
  • 17:39
    Sexton truies a grubber, not sure why, he looks a little wrecked.
  • 17:40
    Out wide to Cronin but his pass is forward in the tackle and Nowell gathers. ireland have to build again from their own 22. 78 minutes gone.
  • 17:40
    Sweet Chariots rolling around Twickenham now
  • 17:41
    But D Kearney breaks down the line and is stopped only by a atp tackle form Launchbury. Ireland go crossfield and May rips it back and boots clear, all the wayback downfield.  
  • 17:42
    What a kick from the winger, whose had a good game.
  • 17:42
    Cronin to take, one last gasp. BOD coming of and Jackson on. Boss for Murray.
  • 17:43
    England pinged, Ireland penalty, lineout on halfway.
  • 17:43
    POC takes, Boss, D'Arcy tackled, Ireland maul.
  • 17:44

    But England get the put in and then the final whistle!!

    It's all over. What an intense game. That was attitional stuff.  England edged it, no doubt.  

  • 17:45
    FULL TIME: ENGLAND 13 Ireland 10
  • 17:45
    We'll have a match report from Gavin Cummiskey in Twickenham shortly.  
  • 17:55
    The crucial score.
  • 17:55
  • 17:57
  • 18:23
  • 18:27