IRELAND have produced a massive performance this evening at the Aviva Stadium to beat England 32-18 in the final round of this year’s Six Nations.
England enjoyed the early exchanges but some formidable defence from Robbie Henshaw helped Ireland stand firm.
Ireland’s attack was easily stopped in the opening fifteen minutes but suddenly the match burst to life.
Jack Conan popped an inside ball to Keith Earls in the 21st minute and the Munster veteran burst away in breathtaking style.
Ireland took incredible confidence from the opening try and their performance levels elevated and elevated from there.
Passionate, accurate and constructive, players like Tadhg Beirne, Tadhg Furlong, Johnny Sexton, Hugo Keenan and Keith Earls led the charge and it wasn’t long before Andy Farrell’s team put the foot down.
An excellent Jack Conan try in the 36th minute extended Ireland’s lead to 20-6, setting the home side up for an equally brilliant second half performance.
Ireland continued to vary their play superbly in the second half and Johnny Sexton kicked a further four penalties to punish England’s indiscipline.
Although, it was called back for a Cian Healy knock-on, this piece of play in the 48th minute summed up the majesty of Ireland’s play throughout the contest. A well-measured cross-kick from Johnny Sexton allowed Keith Earls to show some extraordinary athleticism to touch down.
England did grab back two consolation tries after Bundee Aki was sent off for a dangerous tackle in the last quarter.
However, today belonged to Ireland and the legendary CJ Stander. It was a result that nobody predicted but Ireland richly deserved every one of their 32 points.
There have been few better Six Nations performances from the men in green in recent years and Andy Farrell can now head into the Summer looking to build on this fantastic performance going forward.