England 15-24 Ireland: Visitors claim historic Six Nations Grand Slam at Twickenham
Third Grand Slam success in Irish history (1948, 2009, 2018). First loss at Twickenham for Eddie Jones in 16 attempts, and just the second time ever - after France in 1981 - a Grand Slam was confirmed for any visitors to the home of English rugby.
By Michael Cantillon at Twickenham
Last Updated: 23/11/21 12:57pm
Tries from Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Jacob Stockdale saw Ireland secure a third Grand Slam in their history with a 24-15 win at a bitingly cold Twickenham.
Elliot Daly notched a double, while Jonny May scored in the final minute in reply for England but an ultra-physical Ireland proved too difficult to crack.
The loss was the first defeat under Eddie Jones at Twickenham in some 16 attempts, and just the second time in history - after France in 1981 - a Grand Slam was confirmed for any visitors to the home of English rugby.
For Ireland, it is just the third Grand Slam success in their history following previous victorious campaigns in 1948 and 2009.
After six minutes, TMO Ben Skeen confirmed the first try of the day after a deep Johnny Sexton kick was spilled backwards by Anthony Watson under pressure from Rob Kearney, and Ringrose was there to pounce on the loose ball for Ireland.
Three minutes later, England earned their first penalty of the day after Keith Earls went off feet at a ruck on the Ireland 22, but with Owen Farrell kicking to the corner, Ireland forced a turnover at the maul.
After 17 minutes, a sustained period of 18 Irish phases in the England 22 was brought to an end when Bundee Aki knocked on down the left channel. A penalty to England at the resultant scrum allowed them to clear their lines and relieve the pressure.
Sexton passed up a gilt-edged chance to extend the Ireland lead to 10 points in the 21st minute when Kyle Sinckler went straight off his feet at a ruck 36 metres from the England line, but the Ireland fly-half hit the upright with the seemingly straightforward penalty.
Ireland didn't have to wait too long for a second score, however, as three minutes later Stander grounded the ball against the base of the post after a sensational move in midfield off a lineout saw tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong link with Aki, who in turn broke the line and fed the Irish No 8.
Aki avoided a yellow card in the next phase of play off the restart for a high shot on Daly, and once again England chose to kick to the corner ahead of a shot at the posts.
Repeated infringements from Ireland at maul time eventually saw Peter O'Mahony sin-binned, but England skipper Dylan Hartley overthrew the very next lineout with Ireland down to 14.
Eight minutes from the interval, England finally did have the score their pressure deserved as Farrell's cute grubber kick out to the left wing saw Daly dive on it to score. Farrell's conversion slipped wide of the post though.
In dead time of the first half Ireland were over again as Stockdale created his own little bit of history, becoming the first player ever to score seven tries in a single campaign of the Championship.
The 21-year-old Ulsterman scored a spectacular effort all of his own making up the left touchline as he took a clever Conor Murray pass down the short side, chipped over May, outpaced Mike Brown and dabbed the ball down just ahead of the deadball line.
Joey Carbery's conversion - on for Sexton while the Ireland starter was undergoing a HIA - left the half-time score at 21-5.
England started the second half superbly and but for an exceptional tap tackle by Earls on Daly four minutes in, the winger would have been in for his second try.
The home side then proceeded to hammer away at the Ireland line for 18 phases but the visitors' defence was resolute and England's attack was ended when Daly was pinged for a neck roll on Kearney.
On the hour mark, it was Ireland who scored the first points of the second half as England were penalised for not rolling away and Murray struck the penalty.
With 15 minutes left, England did get over for another score and once again it was Daly following a move off a lineout and outstanding Brown offload out of contact. Farrell's missed conversion kept the Ireland lead at 14 points.
Carbery missed a 40-metre penalty to extend the lead beyond two scores into the final 10 minutes but England couldn't score again until the very final minute through May as Ireland were left to taste the sweetest of St Patrick's Days.
Ireland set out their stall in this one from the off with several powerful carries and their physicality in the collisions and at the breakdown was brilliant.
Though Ireland may have conceded three tries again, they were far better defensively here. Their resoluteness and connection in the line was superb under extreme pressure towards the end of the first half and start of the second when England were pummelling at the line. Andy Farrell will be a happy man.
Furlong's role in the Stander try was remarkable. For a tighthead prop to have been removed from the lineout entirely and act as the link man in midfield for Aki to burst through and feed Stander is unique.
A mention too for Stockdale. Eleven tries in nine Tests is an incredible strike rate, and his seven in a single Six Nations Championship has never been done by anyone before. Extraordinary.
For the first time since 2006 England have lost three Six Nations games on the bounce and they were only ever chasing in this one.
During that 2006 Championship, England lost to Scotland in Murrayfield, France at the Stade de France and Ireland at Twickenham, in rounds three, four and five. The exact same order as this season! Coincidence or what?
England's home record under Jones is also gone, and a major negative for them was their discipline, continually allowing Ireland easy territory gains.
This team needs a lot of work if it is going to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup.