Six Nations Tournament: England capsizes its audience, end of series for Ireland

Great match and great scenario in London

Six Nations Tournament: England capsizes its audience, end of series for Ireland

Great match and great scenario in London. We play the 80th minute at Twickenham Stadium, Ireland leads by two points: if the score remains there, not only will it win against England but it will also win – prematurely – the 2024 edition of the men's tournament of the six rugby nations.

It was without a last English stand, an action which crossed the entire width of the field, percussions, the Irish pushed into error and, as a final bouquet, a successful drop by Marcus Smith. England win 23-22 in added time! Ireland will not achieve a second consecutive grand slam.

During the first three days of the competition, the Clover XV, which had left the last World Cup with suitcases full of regrets, looked like a steamroller with its overpowering style, fond of contact play.

Only the French Damian Penaud and Paul Gabrillagues had crossed the goal line during the heavy initial defeat of the Blues (38-17) in Marseille. Italy had been fanny in Dublin (36-0) and Wales had only scored a penalty try (31-7). Three matches during which Ireland had gleaned the offensive bonus.

For its part, England, in reconstruction, won its first two matches (against Italy and Wales, each time narrowly), but suffered a setback in Scotland (30-21 defeat). Steve Borthwick's men were therefore logically in the position of outsiders, but they responded perfectly to the physical challenge imposed by the Irish scarecrow.

The XV de la Rose dived very hard, from the start, with a first try from Ollie Lawrence, after a restart of more than fifty meters. Ireland was surprised by the speed set by the English.

If the first period is to the advantage of the English in the game, it is the Irish, more efficient, who are in the lead at the break (8-12). Returning from the locker room, full-back George Furbank's try at the end of the line responds to a goal from Irish winger James Lowe. But we then say that George Ford's imprecision, two missed transformations and a penalty, could be very costly in the end.

“England really deserved to win.”

Reduced to fourteen against fifteen and led after a new English try scored by Ben Earl, Ireland found color in the last twenty minutes. At the end of a collective show of strength, Lowe, again, took advantage of a lightning pass from Jamison Gibson-Park to make a try in the corner (20-22). But Jack Crowley then misses the transformation.

Finally, at an extremely intense end to the match, it was the joker Marcus Smith, who had withdrawn from the three previous matches, who came into play in place of Ford, who delivered his own by dropping a drop against the poles after the siren.

“For a lot of the game I thought we were a bit off the mark, and that's England's fault. But I felt like we had the ability to bounce back. England found the solution in the end, they really deserved to win,” said Andy Farrell, Ireland coach, after the match.

In response to the criticism, England flanker Ben Earl was ironic: “There is no reason to worry about all the nonsense that was said about this team last week. Apparently we are the worst England team ever…”

In this six nations tournament, England offers itself a prestigious success at the end of a day which began with another sensation, Italy's victory against Scotland in Rome. The XV de la Rose also poses as the new runners-up to Ireland (4 points difference in the standings), before the match between Wales and France on Sunday.

Failing to conquer a second consecutive grand slam, Ireland nevertheless keeps all the cards in hand to lift the trophy next Saturday against Scotland in Dublin.