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Ireland seal third Six Nations grand slam

18 March, 2018, 01:23 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Ireland v Scotland- Nat West Six Nations Rugby Championship

O'Driscoll took centre stage as Ireland were crowned as Grand Slam champions for only the second time in our history nine years ago and he was delighted to welcome a new batch of Irish "Invincibles" to a small club as he offered his views to ITV Sport.

They were up and running just five minutes in after a moment to forget for Anthony Watson.

Though Ireland may have conceded three tries again, they were far better defensively here. Anthony Watson failed to collect the ball in the air, close to his tryline, and Garry Ringrose dived on the loose ball to score.

After great link play between Sexton and prop Tadhg Furlong, Bundee Aki burst through England's defence and passed to CJ Stander who barrelled over the line from 10 metres.

Joe Schmidt's men opened up a 21-5 lead despite having Peter O'Mahony in the sin bin.

England rung the changes with most notably Danny Care and George Ford introduced and the pair combined with Owen Farrell to release Daly on the left wing the and Wasps flyer ran in their second try of the match. Farrell's conversion went wide. It was exactly what we were looking to do in the first half, in pockets. As Brown and Jonny May attempted to tackle Stockdale just before the tryline, the ball came off the Irishman's knee.

He also paid tribute to the patched together backline, which was staffed by young players, some of them in their first global campaigns, as injuries mounted up throughout the championship and through this game.

The second half was an huge power struggle, as England tried and tried and tried again to get an advantage over the Irish squad.

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 had a couple of moves that we hoped would come off". Farrell's missed conversion kept the Ireland lead at 14 points.

A brace from Elliot Daly and Jonny May's try with the clock in the red at the end of the game brought only faint consolation for the home side.

They dominated possession after half-time, but could only muster the one Elliot Daly try as the defence held firm until it was breached at the last when it was too late to matter.

Eddie Jones' insisted England's decision to extend the dead-ball area at Twickenham had not backfired - despite Jacob Stockdale profiting from the extra space to score in Ireland's Six Nations victory on Saturday.

Ireland were not to be denied a third Grand Slam 12 months later, Jacob Stockdale scoring his seventh try of the tournament - a Six Nations record - in a 24-15 victory in the London snow.

Subs: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Jordan Larmour.



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