Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Six Nations

Stuart Lancaster © Gallo Images

Ireland win inspires Lancaster



England coach Stuart Lancaster was delighted by the maturity of his youthful side after they emerged from a brutal encounter in Dublin as the only side in this season's Six Nations who can win a Grand Slam.

Chris Robshaw, the England captain, led from the front at the breakdown while 21-year-old flyhalf Owen Farrell also did his chances of selection for the British and Irish Lions' tour of Australia no harm by kicking all of the visitors' points in a 12-6 win over Ireland.

England's first Six Nations success in the Irish capital for a decade was achieved against a backdrop of constant rain that negated the running game favoured by both sides.

But whereas their record-breaking 38-21 win over world champions New Zealand at Twickenham in December witnessed three England tries in a match few expected them to win, Sunday's success saw the visitors grind out victory, with Farrell kicking four penalties to two from Ireland replacement Ronan O'Gara.

However, both successes saw England overcome a rally by their opponents, with England staving off an Ireland third quarter fightback on Sunday.

"It is very difficult to play rugby against experienced players when we have lads on single figures in terms of caps, it is great testament to their maturity," said Lancaster.

"As a test of character it was right up there because of the quality of the Ireland side and the ability to get the win."

England's defence rarely looked like being breached and they turned round 6-0 in front before O'Gara, on for the injured Jonathan Sexton, drew Ireland level.

But despite being a man down after James Haskell was sin-binned, England outscored Ireland 6-3 in the 10 minutes the blindside flanker was off the field.

"It's a huge win because we came up against an Ireland team on a day which was made for players likes Ronan O'Gara and Brian O'Driscoll and they have the nous to win on such days and get through such conditions," said England assistant coach Andy Farrell, the father of Owen.

"There was a tricky point in the third quarter but the way we composed ourselves and finished the game – our energy got better, our line speed got better, our composure – was a masterclass of how to handle that last 20 minutes," the former dual code international added.

Haskell, playing his first Six Nations match since England were denied a Grand Slam in Dublin two years ago, admitted he feared the worst when shown a yellow card by French referee Jerome Garces for kicking the ball out of a ruck.

"I think my life probably flashed before my eyes," Haskell said. "I thought if we lost the game I would have to run straight out of the stadium.

"I didn't intentionally kick it but it was the third penalty in a row and someone was going to get it. The fact we won that period is credit to those on the field."

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Kyle Brown
Fans, fun and Sevens success
The week leading up to the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens was a special one. The fans were passionate,...

Brendan Venter
Boks must think outside the box
Springbok supporters have every right to feel disenchanted after an underwhelming end-of-year tour.

Tony Johnson
Boks and Wallabies burnt in final outings
Playing the last test of the year in the last week of November has again proven to be a stumbling...

Gavin Rich
Boks learned quite a lot actually
When SuperSport returned from the Millennium Stadium to the studio discussion, it was mentioned...