England defeated Ireland in their St Patrick’s Day Six Nations clash at Twickenham with an utterly dominant performance winning 30-9 on Saturday evening.
Despite the scoreline the margin and the manner of defeat could have been greater as England gobbled up the Ireland scrum and spat them out in a display of raw power and aggression that left the Ireland pack seeing stars by the end of the game.
Owen Farrell led the way for the home side with a mature and confident display that belied his tender age of 20.
It was his boot that gave England the lead in the opening few minutes after a handling error (a theme that would be repeated during the 80 minutes) from Ireland.
Ireland did try and impose themselves on England, however they failed to cope with the conditions as well as their hosts. Johnny Sexton exchanged kicks with Farrell as both outhalfs took advantage of the prevailing conditions.
The game turned, from an Ireland’s perspective, just before halftime when Mike Ross, who has been the fulcrum of Ireland’s scrum for the last number of seasons went off to be replaced by Tom Court.
Court’s introduction put Ireland’s scrum under massive pressure in the second half and England, like a dog with the smell of blood in their nostrils, attacked Ireland with remorseless aggression.
All that pressure finally told just on the hour mark when after a number of resets in the scrum, Nigel Owens awarded a penalty try to England, which was just rewards for their efforts.
That penalty try fueled England and the confidence from that scored poured through the England team. The mistakes began to appear in the Ireland play and the game was ended as a contest five minutes from time when Ben Youngs took advantage of Ireland falling asleep to scoot home and put the seal on a wonderful home performance, for Ireland, they travel to New Zealand for a three test series this summer.
Speaking after the game, a disappointed Ireland captain Rory Best said. “The scrum really cost us today. England came with a plan and they destroyed us.
“This team is a lot better than today, but we didn’t show it today. We didn’t have the character to deal with the fact that we were getting beaten in the scrum”
England: B Foden; C Ashton, M Tuilagi, B Barritt, D Strettle; O Farrell, L Dickson; A Corbisiero, D Hartley, D Cole, M Botha, G Parling, T Croft, C Robshaw (capt), B Morgan.
Replacements: L Mears, M Stevens, T Palmer, P Dowson, B Youngs, C Hodgson, M Brown.
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 1 Cian Healy, 2 Rory Best (captain), 3 Mike Ross, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 6 Stephen Ferris, 7 Sean O’Brien, 8 Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Tom Court, 18 Mike McCarthy, 19 Peter O’Mahony, 20 Tomás O’Leary, 21 Ronan O’Gara, 22 Fergus McFadden.