England finished the 2012 Six Nations in storming fashion. The weather meant it would never be pretty. But even given handling errors England showed they have more than one game plan as the destroyed Ireland’s scrum and sent the 80,000+ fans at Twickenham home happy with a 30-9 win, making our prediction partly right as we said it would be a narrow win for England.
England got on the score sheet within a couple of minutes of the start thanks to the boot of Farrell and the power of the pack who won a penalty at the first scrum. This set the tone of the day, as yet again England giving away silly penalties ate into their lead. Half-time and England led 9-6, with all the points coming from the boots of Farrell and Sexton, but it could and should have been 9-3 England ran down the clock to half-time and in stead of clearing up field decided to chance their arm and control the ball at ruck’s, surprise surprise they eventually went off their feet and gave away the penalty for Sexton to close the gap and expose the raw nerves of the supporters.
The second period and England’s dominance up front was rewarded with a penalty try, converted by Farrell 16-6, again Sexton closed the gap 16-9 and we still feared and Ireland breakout. However it was from the power of the pack that at yet another penalty Farrell extended the lead to 19-9, shortly after at another forwards penalty Ben Youngs spotted the Irish did not have him covered and he scooted over for a try which some how Owen Farrell failed to convert, 24-9. There was no way back for Ireland and the crowd were in full song as Farrell closed out the game with a further two penalties to give us the final score of:
England 30-9 Ireland
Try: penalty, Youngs
Pens: Farrell 6
Pens: Sexton 3
England: Foden; Ashton, Tuilagi, Barritt, Strettle; Farrell, Dickson; Corbisiero, Hartley, Cole, Botha, Parling, Croft, Robshaw, Morgan.
Replacements: Brown, Youngs, Stevens, Mears, Palmer, Dowson, Hodgson.
Ireland: Kearney; Bowe, Earls, D’Arcy, Trimble; Sexton, Reddan; Healy, Best, Ross, O’Callaghan, Ryan, Ferris, O’Brien, Heaslip.
Replacements: O’Gara, O’Leary, McCarthy, O’Mahony, Cronin, Court, McFadden.
Ref: N Owens (WRFU).