Six Nations - Twickenham, 27 February 2010, 16:00 local, 16:00 GMT
England (6) 16 - 20 (8) Ireland (FT)

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Afternoon all and welcome to's coverage of this 6 Nations tie between England and Ireland.

Both sides are coming here hoping to prove a point with their performance. the criticism of Martin Johnson's England has stepped up again after their laboured victory in Rome. They name an unchanged side and will need to justify that by showing a little bit more direction and purpose. Ireland will need to improve also after their dour defeat of Italy and domination at the hands of the French. They have made changes, the most notable of which is Jonny Sexton in for Ronan O'Gara; he should add a bit of zest and inspiration to Ireland's play to release the talent they undoubtedly possess. Also noteworthy is the fact that this will be John Hayes' 100th cap, the first Irishman to achieve that, although several of his current teammates are not far behind.

The game kicks off at 4:00pm, please join me, Jamie Allaway, then and in the meantime you can read our editor Graham Jenkins' preview of the match. If you want to get in touch with any thoughts on the game you can contact us through Twitter or our facebook page.

3:55pm The teams are in the tunnel preparing to come out. All the seats at Twickenham look to be filled and we are ready to go. John Hayes leads out the Irish team to mark his 100th cap and he comes out on his own to soak up the applause- although knowing a little bit about John Hayes and looking at him now, I suspect he would prefer to come out unnoticed in the middle of the team. Borthwick doesn't keep the visitors waiting in the way the French did last night, and leads England out to huge fanfare.

I'm going to sound like my dad here, but I much prefer it when the anthems are belted out to the accompaniment of just the band and they don't bother with any hired warblers. Both anthems were pretty rousing, John Hayes looked like he was about to cry.


And we're underway. England kick off and they look like they have the best of the first exchange as Bowe catches a high ball ahead of Jonny Wilkinson but Paul O'Connell knocks on.


Maybe a signal of intent early on as the ball goes through to Wilkinson three times and he runs every one.

A fourth time and he runs it again, making a half break. Promising stuff for an interesting game.

4 0 - 5

Early TRY And it goes to Ireland. England had the pressure and were looking good but failed to control the ball at the base of a ruck, are driven back and turned over. They are left very short of numbers and Sexton puts a grubber through for Bowe to chase He is up against Moody and was always going to win it. Great start for Ireland and England will have to come back hard.


Sexton misses the conversion from out on the right hand touchline.


Penalties are exchanged, England first creeping offside and then Ireland infringe in a scrum. Neither in dangerous positions and both kicked for touch.


It is good to see that England seem to be sticking to the attacking game plan that they seem to have come out with and have not been pushed back into their shell by the early try. They are running the ball quite nicely, although Monye is left isolated and is turned over; when they run the clearance back it eventually leads to slow ball. The intent is there but they just need to look after the ball a bit better.


Off the post Jonny Wilkinson attempts a drop goal which goes wide, though it was a shot to nothing, as they already had the penalty. He has a second crack at the posts from the dead ball, but it strikes the post and bounces back infield and BOD clears into touch.


More good stuff from England. Smashing the ball up through midfield and making good ground, again Wilkinson makes a half-break himself looking to run. However, he finally tries a little chip over the top for Cueto to run onto but Geordan Murphy is there easily first to secure the 22 drop-out.

15 3 - 5

Danny Care takes a quick penalty and running at the Irish defence before they can get back 10. That gives Wilkinson another chance at the posts from a nice range. This time he does cut the deficit to 2.


Sexton tries to put a high crossfield ball in for Tommy Bowe, but his challenge on Monye is early and England have the penalty to clear.

It has started to rain properly now, I wonder how that is going to affect the game.


The England scrum is looking good, certainly improved. They drive the Irish back a yard or two. Care goes himself but is knocked down after he chips on and we go back for an original penalty in the scrum. Cian Healy angling in, according to Brain Moore and I will defer to his superior knowledge of front row shenanigans.


More England possession, more effort but the ball is often too slow and the Irish defence too organised.


We are getting a few mistakes here now. Wilkinson throws a loopy, loose pass which is adjudged to be forward (it was definitely bad, not so sure about forward). Sexton puts one straight into touch but gets away with it as we are brought back for an original infringement in the scrum.


And he's going to have a go at the posts. It is just inside his own half, left of centre. It's a big kick... too big. The line is good but it drops just under the crossbar.


Lovely work from Ferris. With penalty advantage in the bag, BOD smashes a big high ball. Armitage collect s but so does Ferris and uses his superior body weight to swing the ball round to the Irish side. In the resulting attack, Sexton chips ahead but again finds touch on the full.


England rob the ball at the ruck but Geordan Murphy shows a lovely bit of skill to avoid the first two tacklers when the chip is collected. Ireland put the ball into touch to drive England back into their own half. The rain is really coming down and you are beginning to see players slipping and sliding.


Hartley makes the tackle but doesn't get fully to his feet before trying to compete for the ball. Under the new guidelines that's always going to be penalised- rightly so, keep this game moving.

29 3 - 8

It's a kickable position and Ireland are always going to go for the points. Jonny Sexton does the honours with a minimum of fuss.


Yet another Irish kick goes straight into touch, this time from Tommy Bowe. England have a good attacking position where the ball is taken back, the lineout is loose though and Ireland can collect the bouncing ball to clear.


Good work from Keith Earls who breaks a Borthwick tackle and is running at pace at the English defence. He chips ahead for a ball to chase himself, but a tackle come in at the same time and the chase is left to Heaslip. Care has the pace to get back and secure the 22 dropout.


The England lineout is still stuttering as a weak delivery from Hartley is not delivered accurately and cannot be collected, only knocked into touch.


This game has had some decent intent but is quite error-ridden and neither side have really sparked into life. On the upside it looks like the rain is easing off a bit.

36 6 - 8

O'Connell comes through the English lineout, obviously trying to put more pressure on England's misfiring jumpers. He is penalised and Wilkinson has another penalty shot, which he slots over. A good kick from a reasonable distance with a bit of angle. This game remains pretty tight.


England look like they have found the answer to the dodgy link between thrower and jumper: Deacon takes a short throw at the front of the lineout without leaving the ground. Nice training ground move, that.


Great work by Monye who has to race back to clear up an O'Driscoll kick. He secure the ball under pressure despite sliding yards on the greasy surface. When the ball is cleared from theruck the whistle goes for half-time.

I'm not sure how to sum up that first half. There was some decent stuff without much excitement (other than for Irish fans early on). The intent is there from both sides but the ball is often slow and there are plenty of errors, which has drawn the sting particularly as the half went on. Ireland probably look more threatening with the ball in hand, but this game is very close so we could at least be in for a grandstand finish.


Bit of a delay to the start of the second half here. The players are waiting but the referee seems to be having some problems getting wired for sound.

We're underway now and we have our first mistake of the half already. England get themselves offside, Easter I think, and Ireland have a penalty. They have decided to have a go at the posts, it's right on their right-hand touchline- not too far out, but a very difficult angle.


Sexton can't quite squeeze the angle it stays just right of the posts. The crowd are trying to make a bit of noise to get England going, but quite frankly, it isn't really working. It is a strange, subdued atmosphere.


Ireland's turn to give away a penalty getting themselves offside, ahead of the kicker, and Wilkinson's turn to take on a difficult kick. It's in his own half and while he gets the direction spot on, it falls well short. Not the most promising of starts to the half.


Fluffed lineout again from England, the delivery too high from Hartley this time, and then two knock-ons. Scrappier and scrappier.


Penalty against Heaslip for taking out Monye in the air, as he chases a high clearance. it was a good and brave take from Monye, who seems to have put his problems with the high ball behind him. No intent from Heaslip, but he didn't compete and he did take him out in the air.


Symptomatic of England's day, Wilkinson attempts the cross-field kick for Cueto. The idea was right, as he was one on one with Murphy, but the kick was flat and Cueto had no chance of getting there in time.


More threatening stuff from Ireland as they spin the ball wide before Sexton puts one over the top. Again Monye does well to get back and scrabble the ball into touch. But another ridiculous error as Ireland take a quick throw from ahead of the point it went out and England have the choice of a lineout or scrum. Given their lineout today and the defensive position they are in, they go for the scrum.


The scrum was no more successful though. The ball was out with no control, the Irish flood around the flanks and snaffle it back. They now have an excellent attacking position.

Eventually Wallace charges over the game-line but into English numbers and is forced to hold on, giving England the penalty and the chance to clear.


England work several phases first to their left and then back to their right, using forwards on the short side to try to stretch the Irish. However, again they make no substantial gains and after an initial couple of inside passes from Wilkinson, don't look like making a break. Wilkinson is held up in the tackle and turned over.


A bit of feistiness now as O'Leary illegally obstructs Care, who gives him the mildest of pushes and the referee, with the assistance of the touch judge, reverses the penalty. That seems ridiculously harsh, as there is a good argument that O'Leary was engaging in some professional gamesmanship, it isn't the first time he's done it today.

56 6 - 13

TRY O'Connell wins the lineout and his pack drive up the midfield and across towards the posts. When the ball comes back it is spun wide quickly and Earls is given a sniff of the line. He gladly accepts and slides in with a proper winger's finish.

I find myself in the unenviable position of agreeing with Brian Moore, who thinks England will feel slightly hard done by to have conceded the penalty that led to that.


Jonny Sexton missed the conversion, but it was a hard one, right on the touchline again.


Earls does very well to chase back and collect a Wilkinson through-ball, however he is forced to collect it ahead of his tryline and slide over with it. England have an attacking 5-metre scrum.


At the second attempt, the England scrum is good and pushes the Irish back. They have to use it. WIlkinson released Tait, who is driven within a yard of the line. When O'Callaghan goes illegally for the ball, Dan Cole is forced to take it quickly and makes a dart for the line. We are going back for the penalty, but the referee first asks the video ref, to see if Cole managed to ground it. This is taking some time, he's looked at a lot of replays- can we see a hint of ball through the limbs?

61 13 - 13

TRY Yes we can see a hint of ball, so can the video ref. Great work from Cole there, really muscled that over,. It's right under the posts. Wilkinson has no trouble converting it and it is 13-13, scores level. Even the Twickenham crowd have got a little bit animated now.


Another great catch by Monye under a high ball and England surge through. BOD reads the chip ahead though and Ireland get men back to secure and clear the ball.

Worrying sights as O'Driscoll is down for quite a while. Ouch. The replay shows O'Driscoll on his knees, O'Connell running backwards accidentally connecting with his knee at full tilt into his skipper's head. Looking at that impact O'Driscoll will be off and his game over.

O'Driscoll is stretchered off to generous applause. Let's hope he gets checked out and there is no serious damage.


England look to have got the bit between their teeth a little here. Wilkinson releases Cueto on an inside ball and he makes a half-break. He chips ahead as space closes down but the ball is a little too long for Tait.


O'Callaghan gets himself offside again at the ruck, no attempt to come from behind the rear feet, he is penalised. Wilkinson has a shot to nothing but it is charged down. He now has more time to hit the dead ball, albeit from a slightly tricky angle.


He pulls it wide and we remain tied at 13-13.


England have had several phases of play since my last update and generally they are making some ground. The running is direct and straight, several forwards go in hard and Tait and Wilkinson make half-breaks.

Eventually, though, the ball is turned over as England over-extend themselves and are forced to hold on. Interestingly Declan Kidney has substituted Jonny Sexton for Ronan O'Gara. He obviously feels that given England's resurgence in this game he wants to bring back a little control.

70 16 - 13

Wilkinson Drop Goal All made by a break by Care, who, given a little room around the base of the scrum, runs into the gaps in the Irish defence and makes good ground. Foden athletically collects his pass and when the ball is recycled, Jonny is in the pocket with plenty of time.


Now we see why O'Gara is on the field as he drives a kick into touch in the English 22. It's a good position for the Irish to pressurise England's stuttering lineout.

It's not exactly a clean take by Hodgson, on for Care, but England clear.


Second TRY for Tommy Bowe A simple move, really. Tommy Bowe comes into the line on a great angle from the base of a ruck. He goes on the inside of Jonny Wilkinson and there's no stopping him.

75 16 - 20

He had time to go under the posts so O'Gara has an easy kick to extend the lead to 4 points.


England have 5 minutes and need to score a try. Foden had some impetus in attack and England have some momentum. I can't see who it is, but a couple of phases later an Irish tackler doesn't roll away and England have a penalty that is kicked into touch.


England's pack doing the hard yards here. The drive from the lineout takes them deep into the Irish 22. Eventually, though, the Irish manage to swing it and when the maul goes down, England can't recycle the ball, scrum Ireland. Just in time too, they were less than 5 yards short of the Irish line.


Ireland do get the ball back under quite heavy pressure from the English. O'Gara hoicks the ball into touch, the clearance isn't long, still within their 22, and we have time to take the lineout.


Desperate stuff here. England can't get quick or clean ball, Heaslip's right in there messing it all up. Eventually the ball is turned over as the ball goes astray behind the English men and Ireland come flying through. Heaslip takes it from the base of the ruck and kicks it into touch to secure the win.

A great finish in the end and the final quarter really picked up. Ireland tackled like demons, got themselves stuck into English possession by any means possible.

Good to see Brian O'Driscoll is out on the field to congratulate his team on their win. He looks a bit dazed, but not too bad.


Keith Woods has been arguing blue that the England try wasn't grounded with the English pundits, however with the footage slowed down and magnified his verdict is: "yes it was". But along with Guscott and Davis the general feeling is that Ireland won on the back of a fantastic defence and a precision that allowed them to score three times from only three clear opportunities.

England probably did put in a better performance but, yet again, too much effort did not lead to gains or breaks. Ireland are on for the triple crown and England remain their normal, frustrating selves.

That's it from me, Jamie Allaway, we have a break next week but join us on in a fortnight for round 4 of the 6 Nations.


Time England  Score  Ireland
0 start of first half start of first half
4 0 - 5 Bowe - try
6 Shaw - sub off
Deacon - sub on
15 Wilkinson - penalty goal 3 - 5
29 3 - 8 Sexton - penalty goal
36 Wilkinson - penalty goal 6 - 8
39 end of first half end of first half
40 start of second half start of second half
52 Foden - sub on
Armitage - sub off
54 Worsley - sub on
Moody - sub off
56 6 - 13 Earls - try
61 Cole - try
Wilkinson - conversion
13 - 13 Buckley - sub on
Hayes - sub off
62 Mears - sub on
Hartley - sub off
63 O'Driscoll - sub off
Trimble - sub on
69 Sexton - sub off
O'Callaghan - sub off
O'Gara - sub on
Cullen - sub on
Jennings - sub on
Wallace - sub off
70 Wilkinson - drop goal 16 - 13
72 Care - sub off
Hodgson - sub on
Wilson - sub on
Cole - sub off
75 16 - 20 Bowe - try
O'Gara - conversion
80+1 end of second half
end of half
end of second half
end of half


Result Ireland won by a margin of 4 points
Six Nations points Ireland 2, England 0
Ground name Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance 81554
Referee SM Lawrence (South Africa)
England Test debuts none
Ireland Test debuts none


England Ireland
Tries Cole (61) Tries Bowe (4, 75), Earls (56)
Cons Wilkinson (61) Cons O'Gara (75)
Pens Wilkinson (15, 36) Pens Sexton (29)
Drops Wilkinson (70) Drops none

Match stats

England   Ireland
1 Tries 3
1 from 1 Conversion goals 1 from 3
2 from 5 Penalty goals 1 from 3
50.0% Kick at goal success 33.3%
1 (2 missed) Dropped goals 0
20 Kicks from hand 26
111 Passes 51
101 Runs 33
263 Metres run with ball 166
2 Clean breaks 2
1 Defenders beaten 8
2 Offloads 1
95 from 95 (100.0%) Rucks won 32 from 32 (100.0%)
5 from 6 (83.3%) Mauls won 4 from 4 (100.0%)
10 Turnovers conceded 7
29/8 Tackles made/missed 105/1
78.4% Tackling success rate 99.1%
Set pieces
5 won, 1 lost (83.3%) Scrums on own feed 4 won, 2 lost (66.7%)
14 won, 3 lost (82.4%) Lineouts on own throw 5 won, 2 lost (71.4%)
7 Penalties conceded 14
0/0 Yellow/red cards 0/0

Eng stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Armitage 0/0 0 1/3/2 2 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Cueto 0/0 0 2/2/8 35 1 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
C Tait 0/0 0 0/4/6 19 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
C Flutey 0/0 0 0/5/4 0 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Monye 0/0 0 0/1/6 46 0 1 0 2 0/1 0/0 0 0/0
FH Wilkinson 0/0 11 8/21/10 26 0 0 0 4 0/2 0/0 0 0/0
SH Care 0/0 0 9/62/3 23 1 0 0 0 4/2 0/0 1 0/0
P Payne 0/0 0 0/0/4 4 0 0 0 1 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
H Hartley 0/0 0 0/1/9 10 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/0 1 0/0
P Cole 1/0 5 0/0/4 3 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 1 0/0
L Shaw 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
L Borthwick 0/0 0 0/1/4 3 0 0 0 0 4/1 10/0 0 0/0
F Haskell 0/0 0 0/2/6 5 0 0 0 1 1/2 0/0 0 0/0
F Moody 0/0 0 0/2/6 4 0 0 0 1 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
N8 Easter 0/0 0 0/4/11 16 0 0 0 0 3/0 1/0 2 0/0
(H) Mears 0/0 0 0/0/4 5 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Wilson 0/0 0 0/0/1 1 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(L) Deacon 0/0 0 0/0/2 10 0 0 0 1 2/0 3/0 0 0/0
(F) Worsley 0/0 0 0/0/4 8 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(SH) Hodgson 0/0 0 0/1/1 2 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(FB) Foden 0/0 0 0/2/5 41 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Ire stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Murphy 0/0 0 4/3/2 27 0 2 0 1 1/1 0/0 0 0/0
W Bowe 2/0 10 0/0/4 35 1 3 0 0 2/0 0/0 1 0/0
C O'Driscoll 0/0 0 1/1/1 6 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
C D'Arcy 0/0 0 1/2/4 3 0 1 0 1 5/0 0/0 1 0/0
W Earls 1/0 5 2/1/3 47 1 2 0 1 7/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH Sexton 0/2 3 9/7/1 12 0 0 0 0 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
SH O'Leary 0/1 0 6/25/0 0 0 0 0 0 6/0 0/0 0 0/0
P Healy 0/0 0 0/0/2 2 0 0 0 0 6/0 0/0 1 0/0
H Best 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 6/0 0/0 0 0/0
P Hayes 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/1 3 0/0
L O'Callaghan 0/0 0 0/0/3 2 0 0 0 0 5/0 1/0 1 0/0
L O'Connell 0/0 0 0/2/2 4 0 0 0 4 13/0 2/0 1 0/0
F Ferris 0/0 0 0/3/3 0 0 0 0 0 12/0 0/1 1 0/0
F Wallace 0/0 0 0/3/4 20 0 0 0 0 10/0 0/0 1 0/0
N8 Heaslip 0/0 0 1/3/3 8 0 0 0 0 11/0 2/0 2 0/0
(P) Buckley 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
(L) Cullen 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(F) Jennings 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/0 1 0/0
(FH) O'Gara 0/0 2 2/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(C) Trimble 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 4/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

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