Sunday Feb 10, 2013 Owen Farrell kicks England to victory over Ireland in Dublin

Owen Farrell kicks England to victory over Ireland in Dublin
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Owen Farrell kicked all of England’s points as they went top of the Six Nations table with a 12-6 win over Ireland in wet conditions in Dublin. It was England’s first win there in ten years, as they remain the only side now capable of claiming a Grand Slam. 

Farrell held his nerve to kick a brace of penalties in either half of play to help England claim victory in what was a tight and physical battle.

“If you practise enough it’s only another kick. I kick thousands of them,” Farrell said in his post match interview. “Conditions out there weren’t great but we rolled our sleeves up and got stuck in.”

Ronan O’Gara, on for injured flyhalf Johnny Sexton, kicked two penalties of his own for Ireland, but it was England’s day as they edged ahead despite going a man down when James Haskell was yellow carded for attempting to kick the ball away at the bottom of a ruck.

“I’m chuffed for Owen Farrell but also the maturity of the whole team,” coach Stuart Lancaster said.

“The stakes have always been high but they go even higher with France coming to Twickenham next off the back of a defeat (to Wales) yesterday. That game will be massive.”

This was the first time England had won in Dublin since 2003, the year that they last won the Grand Slam, and later, the Rugby World Cup.

On a sidenote, congratulations must go to Brian O’Driscoll, who had a frantic morning as he and wife Amy celebrated the birth of their first child, a baby girl, just a few hours before kickoff.

44 Comments

  •  mcg
    mcg

    As an Irish Person i have to say i like Robshaw i think he would make an outstanding Lions captain if given the opp.. thats a Big if. Cant believe he gets as much grief as he does far superior to our captain on the day

    Reply
  •  barizpan
    barizpan

    The most important thing for a captain to do is to lead by example. You have to play consistently well to inspire others. Robshaw seems to be doing that. Heaslip not so much as the moment.

    Reply
  •  barizpan
    barizpan

    Don't think he's the same attacking threat with ball in hand as Sexton though or if he is I havent seen it yet. Unless our plan is to bore Australia into submission Wilkinson style?

    Reply
  •  fatprop
    fatprop

    Great performance all England need is a winger like Wade. Fast good feet can score tries in average team. Goode is not good enough because his lack of pace many times he runs back with loads of time but then gets chased down because he is slow. Whereas Foden is fast enough to get back and have time, same with Abendanon. The back three England need is Ashton Foden Brown. Also is Banahan back because he was playing 12 and i thought he looked quite good when he played Turner-Hall

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    Thank you for such an incredible, insightful view into referees.

    Reply
  •  memberbenefits
    memberbenefits

    Ok wrong wording but you can't dive on top of him like the England player did.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    @Colombes - Robshaw seems to be derided by almost all the armchair pundits in England. I simply cannot understand why. Someone posted his playing performance stats here the other day, where in the autumn tests he carried more, tackled more, missed fewer tackles, won more turnover ball, basically did everything you want from your openside better than his Welsh, Irish and Scottish counterparts. (It was a "home nations" comparison, I would like to have seen Dusautoir's stats too, which might have told a slightly different story). In both six nations games so far he's continued that rich vein of form, making tackles, territory, securing clean ball etc, all with the minimum of fuss. As a captain, his approach embodies the culture that Stuart Lancaster has developed into the England squad. He leads from the front in terms of his commitment and he seems to encourage a positive mindset and team work ethic. OK, he's not autocratic, he consults the other decision-makers in the team. Many people don't seem to like this; they seem to think it shows weakness and indecision. Well it's worth remembering that the quintessential gnarly, hard behemoth of a world-cup-winning "General", Martin Johnson, had Colonels and Majors all over the pitch in people like Dallaglio, Hill, Leonard, Greenwood / Catt. It's a 15 (or even 22)-man game and I think, when you look more closely at the strong leaders in rugby, actually they demonstrate that fact very clearly.

    Reply
  •  mcmurphy
    mcmurphy

    Italy come to Twickenham too.

    Reply
  •  mcmurphy
    mcmurphy

    I'm with you to an extent over the back 3, but for lack of outstanding alternatives, they've all made significant contributions. And I'd argue Goode and Brown were pretty good against Ireland. Mike Brown seems to havecome of age for me - his taking of the high ball right on the touchline, then spin infield and making metres, all at a crucial time under huge pressure from the Irish chase, typifies the player he has become (I'd always thought he was a not-quite player) and he consistently runs the ball back well. He is also one of the best wings at trying to steal the ball at the breakdown. And Ashton, for all his defensive fragility, isn't a terrible tackler - he set up Manu's try in France last year with a blitz on an overlap and an absolute thumping of Swarsevski, plus he does run those tracking lines better than anyone else. He has developed an annoying trait of running past the support close to the line and not taking the pass, but I think that can be changed. Goode I can't say I'm convinced is the long term solution - but he seems a solid, capable smart player, and at this stage, that's ok. He'll be around the squad for years, like Matt Perry, but I would guess Foden is the better option. I'd love to have a George North type player, but having Tuilagi back will balance the line much better.

    Reply
  •  icy
    icy

    Interesting comments. Agree with others in that it didn't look poor from where I was and didn't think that Ireland looked the better team apart from a few minutes after half time. Easy to be subjective though, so looked at the stats. Ireland "dominated" possession & territory with 58% and 57% respectively. Must mean Wales "super-dominated" Ireland the week before with 63% and 65%. Ireland starting tight 5 were heavier than England's, whose whole pack was only 0.04% heavier once you throw in the back row where the weight is less relevant. Not sure minimizing mistakes or kicking penalties count as tactics particularly, but in WC 2003 England were third behind NZ & Aus in total tries scored after topping the try scoring table in the Six Nations that year. Entry level ban for stamping is two weeks so that would be minimum if Healy does pick up a ban. He probably will but should be lower end, although it was an idiotic thing to do I hope he does another game in the Six Nations. Agree with you on Kearney though, clever move from a certain Lions tourist.

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner

    I'm unconcerned at France at HQ, or Italy in Rome, but Cardiff to win a slam will be a huge ask !

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner

    Replace "exciting" for " tense-compelling-absorbing-fasinating-enjoyable" I played in a 0-0 match once that was full of commitment,skill but also fantastic determined [& sometimes desperate/last ditch] defence across the whole pitch

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    i thought exactly the same, Robshaw is an hardworking flanker, but i don't see in him a real england skipper. For frenchies, an england captain has always been a big mouth (Carling, Johnson, Moody). This action and the episodes vs SA and Australia were perfect examples. How is he judged in england?

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    I think that many posters are harsh with England We had a pretty entertaining first round, true, but this WE conditions and pitch didn't allow to build creative actions wherever you were in paris or dublin. England played with their actual forces: a solid pack and a metronome kicker, i don't see why england should have changed plans not adapted to the situation. I find that Youngs and Farrell controled the game with intelligence, looking for territory. I'm much more reserved on the back 3 (ashton, brown and goode), but that wasn't a game for them, isn't it. Too soon to say if this team will win this 6N, but regarding french lack of form and welsh bipolarity, they seem to be the best prepared side. Ireland didn't do a bad match as they had more possession in this match.. but too many hand mistakes and some indiscipline cost them (Healy will receive a large ban) . They weren't helped by Sexton, Zebo and BOD injuries, and it won't help them for the next rounds Whatever the actual difference of form between France and England, the twickenham crunch will be still crunchy.

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner

    Is Paddy-Power an Oxymoron ?

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner

    Robshaw has been criticised for lack of experience previously ............ Was it my imagination, or did he indicate a kick at goal [to legitimately run the clock down] - only for Farrell to override him and kick to touch in the final minute ? Penalty kick would have run the clock down to zero , a lost lineout & then a Irsih converted try would have mean't castration for Robshaw.

    Reply
  •  conorl
    conorl

    Huzzah, someone else agrees with me! Ah, Bloodgate. I remember it well! My abiding memory of that match (aside from the aforementioned scandal) was the incredible defensive effort put in by Rocky Elsom. He was simply unstoppable that day.

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner

    Healy & Cole to be Lions 1st test Props......any takers? Q? does Healy 'over hard' play, get him chastised or welcomed by the lions selectors?

    Reply
  •  browner
    browner

    I'll explain the ruling as clearly as I can ......................... French Ref = Anti English + one eyed. Haskell YC was miniscule offence compared to the stamp. How blatant does it need to be ?

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    Do you not think though that for a low-scoring game to be exciting, there should be exciting play in it? Ireland just kept dropping the ball. I've never seen a professional team make more mistakes. If one of the two sides can't get past a few phases without knocking it on, I just don't think the game can be considered exciting. And another exciting low-scoring game was Harlequins vs Leinster in 2009 (5-6). Anyone remember that one?

    Reply
  •  moseley269
    moseley269

    It is this type of game that is utterly gripping. Ireland had the lions share of possesion, territory yet Englands defence and unwillingness to give away any penalty within their own 10m line was the major positive from and english point of view. For that young squad, remember Ireland had twice the number of caps of the english starting 15, for that squad to goto a wild wet and windy Lansdowne and produce a solid, no frills, go out and do a job performance deserves great credit. I counted out Ireland had 22 minutes of unrelenting pressure in and around the english 22m and could not force a single mistake from the english. Haskells yellow was inevitable after England typically shut off for that first 10 minutes after half time. It was at that point I thought o no here we go Ireland with their tails up at home this could get ugly quick. Obviously the major talking point is Healys stamp (unacceptable) and then to charge into a ruck with a low swinging arms towards the head of a player. He had clearly lost it. A win is a win. Winning is a habit aswell as losing is a habit. If England win ugly for the next 3 games are we going to complain at a Triple crown, 6N title and Grand slam in a Lions year with so many young talented and in form players having that ability to win tight games? I

    Reply
  •  conorl
    conorl

    @ Stroudos and TechnoMouse, The scoreline was close, but that doesn't mean it was a closely-contested match! As I said (and apparently DanKnapp agrees with me on this) Ireland may have been close on the scoreboard, but were never in with a real chance of winning the match. THAT is what made it a poor game IMO, not the lack of tries. Obviously you don't need teams scoring 10 tries apiece to make a good game. I like a gruelling physical battle with two teams slugging it out just as much as the next guy, but just as lots of tries do not necessarily mean a good game, neither is two teams being "physical" enough by itself to make for a good game. The BEST games IMO are the ones that feature strong defense, exciting attacking play, and the game being in the balance right up to the final whistle. eg. The simply awesome Clermont vs Leinster semi-final in last seasons Heineken Cup. This game had ONE of those three things (the defense), so for me it wasn't a particularly good game.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Spot on mate.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    @ConorL, what a dull approach to watching a game you have. Here you had two very evenly-matched sides playing effective defence - by definition that's going to result in fewer tries being scored. Does not make it a boring game! On the contrary it was a fascinating closely-contested match.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Seemed to be acting like a total tw@t all game actually, didn't he? I actually had no idea he was such a dirty bar steward. Massive disappointment, as he is a hell of a player.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Tc said "The stamp was blatant and for all to see, but we've all been guilty of the same. " I'd like it on the record that I have never deliberately stamped on the ankle of a bloke lying on the ground.

    Reply
  •  technomouse
    technomouse

    One of the most exciting and intense games I've watched as a neutral was when Scotland beat Australia 9 - 8 at Murrayfield a few years back (I think that was the score). You don't need a plethora of tries to make a good game. Often 2 units that match each other (a la Ireland vs England yesterday) physically produce the best games.

    Reply
  •  patrick
    patrick

    There isnt any law that says you have to let a player get to his feet, for some reason a lot of people still play it. Otherwise you could just lie on the floor indefinitely. If a player slipped over when he was carrying the ball, you'd tackle him, the same applies when someone slides to pick it up

    Reply
  •  memberbenefits
    memberbenefits

    I haven't seen it since the heat of the moment but could it be argued that Kearney was not allowed to get to his feet and thus it should have been a penalty to Ireland?

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Disagree. The conditions were dreadful, but you had two teams who were slugging it out for possession, hitting each other as hard as they could... what wasn't to like? Yes, it wasn't an open contest, but I found it utterly compelling. I'm normally a really pessimistic fan, but for once at no point did I think that we [England] were going to lose. I think England were just too dominant at the breakdown to give the Irish more than a sniff. It was a shame the bounce didn't favour Tuilagi, because otherwise I thought that was quite a well-worked effort.

    Reply
  •  conorl
    conorl

    Thrilling isn't the word I would use to describe it! Lowest scoring match in 6N history, and the first time there hasn't been a try in this fixture since 1984!! As an Irishman, I never got the sense that they could or would win the match. Even when they pulled it back to 6-6 and England were down to 14, they never looked like going on to win. To England's credit they played the sin bin period excellently and completely shut the game down. Once it got to 12-6, even with 15-20mins left, the game was over. They could have thrown in a second ball and Ireland still wouldn't have scored a try!

    Reply
  •  mcmurphy
    mcmurphy

    Intruiging game. What seemed to me to be the difference was the organisation and decision taking. It seemed to like England did play more rugby than many are crediting them for, but they tended to do this only when it was in the area of the pitch where it wouldn't hurt them if it went wrong. That said, I think on at least a couple of occasions off turnovers they looked to go, but after the Irish shut the door went back to their playin for territory. Other than that they were happy to defend with their rush defence, not go offside or concede kickable penalties and impose pressure. The most impressive thing for me was the way England took charge totally during the sin bin. Impressive maturity for what is still a very inexperienced side.

    Reply
  •  ajb
    ajb

    It might not be pretty but it certainly is exciting and entertaining. Even for a neutral, the game was nail-biting. I think the IRB have lost sight a little when trying to make the game as open as possible. While scrappy games can be rubbish, they can also be some of the most exciting in rugby. Wales v France and England v Ireland is an example of this divide, the former scrappy to the point of mediocrity, the latter thrilling Healy certainly deserves to get cited for one of his infringements, the stamp was especially bad. A couple of the Irish players like O'Mahoney and Healy looked to be a little too fired up. It was nice to see Marler having matured a bit. A year or two ago he would have been involved heavily I would think

    Reply
  •  connachtman
    connachtman

    Heaslip cost Ireland the game, he gave away 3 easy penalties, was a poor Captain on the day, fair play to England though for a solid all round performance, the next round should be interesting for all !

    Reply
  •  conorl
    conorl

    Was at the match, and it was pretty poor fare from both sides to be honest, even taking into account the horrendous weather conditions. Ireland dominated possession and territory, and looked the better team for most of the match, but they just simply made too many mistakes. They made something like 7 handling errors in the first 25mins! England are no great shakes either. They used the same tactics that won them the WC a decade ago ie. a big pack, minimize mistakes, and kick penalties. It ain't pretty, it ain't exciting, it ain't entertaining, but it is damn effective! Nothing wrong with the Kearney incident, it was just smart play on his part. Healy will probably get cited, but given previous suspensions for similar acts and his clean record he is only looking at a week or two MAX. Might miss the Scotland game, but that's it.

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    When Healy stamped, the ball was at the upper thigh / buttock level of the England player. So by Healy stamping his ankle, he has a rather thin argument about trying to produce the ball. Healy had a generally c*nty match overall, and should get a few weeks off to ponder his existence. As for productive rucking, I think we should bring it back. I also think they shouldn't allow offensive players to bridge on the ground, and be off-limits from being counterrucked -- but that doesn't make for an entertaining TV product in the eyes of the IRB.

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    When Healy stamped, the ball was at the upper thigh / buttock level of the England player. So by Healy stamping his ankle, he has a rather thin argument about trying to produce the ball. Healy had a generally c*nty match overall, and should get a few weeks off to ponder his existence. As for productive rucking, I think we should bring it back. I also think they shouldn't allow offensive players to bridge on the ground, and be off-limits from being counterrucked -- but that doesn't make for an entertaining TV product in the eyes of the IRB.

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    i.e. -- his movement with his free hand does not appear in any way to promote the placement or presentation of the ball. Thus, he is not trying to play it.

    Reply
  •  cheyanqui
    cheyanqui

    Kearney was tackled in the field of play. He is then allowed to play the ball in any direction he wants, but he must play or place the ball. I would argue that reaching with your free hand to make contact with the touch line - after already being held in the tackle would NOT constitute an attempt to "present" or "place" the ball. To me, it should have been an penalty kick. But in the heat of the moment, I think the referees were surprised that he didn't do something totally egregious, like throw the ball out. I think they're used to more obivously cynical plays, that this one surprised them.

    Reply
  •  technomouse
    technomouse

    True on Hartley I guess, up until not that long ago I thought he'd sorted his temperament out... alas it turned out to be temporary. I see what you mean on Youngs as well, I guess he hasn't done anything badly... bar a couple of shaky lineouts, but the conditions may well have affected that. Good job I'm not the one picking the team!

    Reply
  •  upthelowend
    upthelowend

    Agreed about Morgan, cuase as good as Wood is, he's that good because he plays his position well... looked a little uncomfortable at 8. Regarding Hartley in for Youngs, Youngs didnt have a particularly bad game today or last week, he also carries a damn site better than Hartley. Also, theres a reason Hartley wasn't starting today and thats cause the chances of Rory Best winding him up enough to snap (again) were pretty high and you can't have that in your first choice hooker. With you regarding Foden though.

    Reply
  •  technomouse
    technomouse

    Yeah I'm also confused by the ruling. You often see scrum-halves having a mighty stamp trying to get the ball out of a ruck, though I guess they can claim that they're trying to dig out the ball. Healy's, on the other hand, appeared just to be on the player, which perhaps is where the line is drawn. Will be interesting to see if he gets cited or not.

    Reply
  •  technomouse
    technomouse

    Gritty and determined performance by England, though neither team played particularly well. Defence dominated yet again, as in Wales vs France. As an England fan, I hope Morgan comes back to play 8 next weekend. I also think Hartley should start as Youngs didn't have a great game today, nor last week. Would also like to see Foden in the mix - especially considering his scoring record against the French! Next weekend's games will be very interesting, England against a wounded France, resurgent Scotland vs a tough Ireland outfit, and Wales away to a much improved Italy. Should be good.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    Right, can someone please explain to me the law regarding stamping? It seems like at one minute it's perfectly acceptable and the next players are getting banned. It would seem pretty out of order that you are allowed to nearly break someone's ankle and get away with it. Some ratification would be great.

    Reply

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Owen Farrell kicks England to victory over Ireland in Dublin | RugbyDump