England end in style

England ended their 6 Nations campaign in style with a comprehensive win over Ireland. [more]

England end in style

England ended their 6 Nations campaign in style with a comprehensive win over Ireland.

Last year’s Championship winners matched their 2011 record with four victories from five games, although a Welsh win over France had already seen them lose their grip on the 6 Nations title.

Stuart Lancaster’s men saved the best to last as they produced a dominant forward display to record a thoroughly convincing 30-9 success in a game that the bookies had been finding hard to call.

A second-half penalty try and a late effort from replacement scrum-half Ben Youngs put a gloss on proceedings at HQ, with Owen Farrell kicking 20 points from the tee.

Both tries were a result of England’s power up front as they decimated the Irish scrum after Mike Ross left the field injured shortly before the break.

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Referee Nigel Owens handed the English pack the ultimate compliment by pointing towards the posts on 59 minutes as the Irish setpiece collapsed yet again under sustained pressure.

Farrell added the extras to make it 19-9 and from then on in there was only one side in it.

England had led just 9-6 at the break and 12-9 approaching the hour-mark but Ireland never really got a foothold in the game as handling errors and a lack of accuracy in attack regularly halted their momentum.  

Youngs then took advantage of more good work from his pack with seven minutes remaining as a quick tap from yet another penalty at scrum time saw him stand up Tomas O’Leary and Jamie Heaslip before diving inside Tommy Bowe’s last-gasp tackle.

Farrell couldn’t convert from wide on the left but he did slot a sixth penalty on 77 minutes to rub salt into Irish wounds and ensure England hit the 30-point mark on home soil.

The result will add to the calls for interim England boss Lancaster to be handed the coaching reigns on a full-time basis, with the Rugby Football Union expected to make a decision on Martin Johnson’s successor later this month.

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