England's sweet chariot marches on

Sat, 17 Mar 2012 00:00
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England continued their resurgence under the guidance of stand-in coach Stuart Lancaster with an utterly commanding 30-9 thumping of Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

England continued their resurgence under the guidance of stand-in coach Stuart Lancaster with an utterly commanding 30-9 thumping of Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

Smashed! Ireland were smashed as you may never have seen an international team smashed before.

From a team in total disarray after last year's World Cup, England have grown into a genuine international force - finishing second only to the Grand Slam-winning Welsh side in this year's Six Nations championship.

It was a huge statement by England and will once again raise the stock of Lancaster - as he awaits the decision of the Rugby Football Union over who will become the full-time coach.

For the English fans it was a joyous occasion, as they repeatedly sung the words of the 19th century African-American spiritual song: 'Swing low sweet chariot.'

You have heard old men saying things like 'Test matches are won and lost in the front row', and you have probably thought that it no longer applied. It certainly applied at Twickenham on a drizzly St Patrick's Day in 2012 when Ireland came to play and got smashed.

They were in trouble in the first half but hanging in there at 9-6 - three Owen Farrell penalties to two Jonathan Sexton penalties. But the writing was on the wall for two of England's penalty goals came from scrum infringements.

Ireland were already in trouble by then, penalised three times at the scrums but when Mike Ross went off holding his ribs to be replaced by young Tom Court, Ireland fell apart. In the second half they were penalised four times at scrums and had a penalty try awarded against them. But the effect on Ireland was worse than that. The pressure from the scrums rattled the whole side and they were probably lucky that they lost by only 21 points.

It was not a day for expansive rugby. The match was centred on the scrum and everything revolved around that. There were in fact in 80 minutes only three good runs - one by Keith Earls in each half and one by Tom Croft at the start of the second half when Ben Foden started a counterattack near his own 22 and the ball squirted out of Croft's untouched hands in the Irish 22.

For the rest the game was a mixture of scrums, errors and kicking at goal. Even England's second try was scrum generated.

England were leading 22-9 with seven minutes to play when Ireland were again penalised at a dilapidated scrum. Ben Youngs tapped and sprinted past Tomas O'Leary to score.

The penalty try began with a clever chip by Farrell down towards the Irish corner on his right. O'Leary carried over and conceded the five-metre scrum that was such an engine of Irish destruction. The scrum fell apart four times before producing a penalty. England chose another scrum and it was then that the referee wandered off to award a penalty try.

Man of the Match: The scrum was the thing that won the match. It had to be a member of the front row and the most effective of the three was Dan Cole who destroyed Cian Healy. Dan Cole is our Man of the Match.

Moment of the Match: We are giving it to the scrumming down in Ireland's left corner, five metres from their line that took the score to 19-9 and ensured and English victory.

Villain of the Match: Nobody.

The scorers:

For England:
Tries:
Penalty try, Youngs
Cons: Farrell
Pens: Farrell 6

For Ireland:
Pens:
Sexton 3

Teams:

England: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Charlie Hodgson, 22 Mike Brown.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Tom Court, 18 Mike McCarthy, 19 Peter O'Mahony, 20 Tomas O'Leary, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Fergus McFadden.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garces (France), Neil Paterson (Scotland)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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sast: 19h30 | local: 19h30

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Ireland vs France
sast: 18h50 | local: 16h50

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Kings v Jaguares 26 | 39
Scotland v Wales 29 | 13
Cheetahs v Lions 25 | 28
Waratahs v Force 19 | 13
Crusaders v Brumbies 17 | 13
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 17 | 83
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Scotland 3 2 0 1 9
England 2 2 0 0 8
Ireland 2 1 0 1 6
Wales 3 1 0 2 5
France 2 1 0 1 5
Italy 2 0 0 2 0
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