England beat Ireland in tense showdown

England beat Ireland in tense showdown

Ireland have lost to England 12-6 in their RBS 6 Nations match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin - the first time this has happened for a decade.

Owen Farrell landed four penalties as England edged a brutal showdown with Ireland to register their first victory in the city since 2003.

Continuous rain took its toll on the match as a spectacle, but it remained a compelling battle of ferocious intensity that was decided by Farrell's kicking accuracy.

Ronan O'Gara booted Ireland's points after he had replaced the injured Jonathan Sexton on the half hour mark and the Irish will lament their handling, even allowing for the conditions.

A well-judged kick by Farrell put England deep into Irish territory and they nearly scored the match's first try but Tuilagi just failed to hold onto Youngs' chip.

Two penalties from the nerveless Farrell restored England's six-point cushion - while they had been reduced to 14 men.

It was then Ireland's turn to benefit from Garces' whistle, but on the second of two penalties O'Gara - who was enduring a poor afternoon - ghosted the outside of right post.

Farrell did little better with five minutes to go, missing a kick that would have given England a crucial nine-point cushion.

There was an efficiency to England's game that was missing in the Irish and it was this hard-nosed approach that enabled Stuart Lancaster's side suffocate the remainder of the game.

Speaking after the game, Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip sought reasons to explain a frustrating defeat.

There were a lot of sore guys in the changing room, particularly because of the hits they took but also because they lost in a green jersey at home.

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip

"I don't want to blame the conditions because both teams played in them," Heaslip said.

"There were a lot of knock-ons and unforced errors. I don't know what caused all the errors.

"It was frustrating and we constantly tried to regroup and go again. England played a good pressure game.

"There were a lot of sore guys in the changing room, particularly because of the hits they took but also because they lost in a green jersey at home."

Ireland will remain in title contention if England lose one of their remaining three games and Declan Kidney refused to concede his team's dream of winning the championship is over.

"This gives England a bit of daylight with the other five side on two points each with three matches to play," Kidney said.

"We're extremely disappointed because that wasn't the result we wanted. Let's see what France come up with at Twickenham. England have to go to Cardiff too.

"There's still a hell of a lot to play for. What we have now are three more opportunities to get three wins. Let's get to eight points and see where we are at the end of it.

"The Grand Slam is a wonderful thing to win, but first and foremost you play for the championship and we're still well in for that."

© UTV

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