Ireland outclass England to clinch third Grand Slam

Irish players celebrate on the Twickenham pitch

Irish players celebrate on the Twickenham pitch

Ireland lifted the NatWest 6 Nations trophy after sealing the Grand Slam with a 24-15 win over England at Twickenham.

Just when the English, after 24 wins in 25 games under Jones, were looking the most risky challengers to New Zealand ahead of the 2019 World Cup, they have lost three games in a row.

England knocked on the door early in the second half without reward, a resolute Ireland defence standing firm before Conor Murray stepped up to give them a 19-point lead from the tee despite Sexton being cleared to return.

"This was our grand slam but we just want to keep getting better", he said.

Joe Schmidt's side were due to celebrate their championship win at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Sunday, but the event has been scrapped following heavy snowfall. "It's hard to get him to make a decision, so we'll see how we go with that".

By contrast, this result meant England had lost three Six Nations matches in a row for the first time since 2006.

That defeat by 13-9, a margin which flattered the English, prevented them from two rare feats: Consecutive Grand Slams plus a record 19th successive test win for a tier one team.

There was a lot to like and plenty to love about Ireland's final flourish in the Six Nations tournament today! Ireland's Grand Slam journey finished in snow flurries in London having started in the rain in Paris on the opening weekend when 41 phases finished with Sexton launching a dropped-goal victor deep in injury time.


Yet, whilst Ireland's head coach Joe Schmidt and his players have kept their focus on the Six Nations in recent weeks, their attention will soon turn towards the fast-approaching 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Jones had hoped to close the gap on the All Blacks, but was forced to admit that it has increased following defeats by Scotland, France and Ireland.

Ireland kicked off having both deposed England as Six Nations champions and in second place in the global rankings behind world champions New Zealand.

Ireland won the ensuing line-out and star fly-half Jonathan Sexton hoisted a a huge high kick - known as a Garryowen after the Irish club that pioneered the tactic - which was dropped on his own line by England fullback Anthony Watson and Ringrose touched down for a try.

Ireland made it 14-0 in the 24th minute. A set move off prop Tadhg Furlong in the backline saw Sexton double round him and England track him, missing Bundee Aki who burst off Furlong into space.

Meanwhile, Ireland flanker Peter O'Mahoney showed his class after the Munster captain gifted his Six Nations winners medal to Ireland's most famous sport's fan Jennifer Malone.

Jones said of England's performance: It was a really good effort, he said of England's performance.

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