Saturday, 18 March 2017

Resurgent Ireland deny England grand slam

Ireland stunned England 13-9 in the Six Nations on Saturday to deny their old rivals a second successive grand slam and end their hopes of a world record 19th victory in a row.
Joe Schmidt's Irish team secured a top seeding for the 2019 World Cup draw as a try by lock Iain Henderson after 23 minutes proved the difference between the sides.
While England improved after being completely dominated in the first half, they failed to make a serious dent in the Irish defence.
England won the tournament last week with a 61-21 thrashing of Scotland, but they collected the Six Nations trophy in a downbeat mood as the third English side in 16 years to be denied a grand slam in Dublin on the final day of the tournament.
"We didn't slam it but, hey-ho, we're still the champions," said England captain Dylan Hartley. "Full credit to Ireland. They put us under unbelievable pressure."
England lost in 2001 and 2011 but hammered Ireland in a grand slam decider in the old Lansdowne Road in 2003, months before they won the World Cup.
The win also denied England a tier-one record of 19 consecutive wins just four months after Ireland prevented world champions New Zealand from reaching the same milestone with a 40-29 win in November.

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