NatWest 6 Nations Flashbacks: England v Ireland

Ireland travel to Twickenham on the final day of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations looking to complete an historic Grand Slam on St Patrick’s Day against England.

Ireland travel to Twickenham on the final day of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations looking to complete an historic Grand Slam on St Patrick’s Day against England.

Joe Schmidt’s side sealed the Championship with a round of games to spare when their 28-8 victory over Scotland was followed by England’s 22-16 defeat at France.

Click here for the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations fixture list

Matches between the two sides at the home of English rugby have tended to be tight affairs down the years, with both having their fair share of glory.   2016 – England 21-10 Ireland

In round three, England were halfway through their first Championship under new head coach Eddie Jones, following their pool stage exit at last year’s Rugby World Cup.

They had successfully come through away games against Scotland and Italy ahead of the Australian’s first home match in charge.

It had been a difficult start for defending NatWest 6 Nations champions Ireland, however, after an opening 16-16 draw against Wales in Dublin was followed by a 10-9 defeat in France.

Two Owen Farrell penalties gave England a 6-3 lead at half-time, but Ireland scored the first try of the match early in the second half when Conor Murray sniped through a gap down the right.

But the hosts took control in the remaining half-hour, with another Farrell penalty being followed by two tries in five minutes from Anthony Watson and Mike Brown that eased them clear.

It turned out to be a key victory for England, who went on to win their first Grand Slam for 13 years with a final-day victory over France, while Ireland recovered to win their last two games and finish third.   2010 – England 16-20 Ireland

Under team manager Martin Johnson, England had won their opening two matches of the 2010 Championship by defeating Wales at Twickenham before edging past Italy in Rome.

It had been a mixed start for Ireland, who had won only the second Grand Slam in their history the previous year, as an opening day victory over Italy had been followed by a 33-10 defeat against France.

A lovely grubber kick by Johnny Sexton towards the corner was chased down by Tommy Bowe for the opening try after four minutes and the Irish went into half-time 8-6 ahead.

Keith Earls then scored their second try of the game, but England levelled the match through a converted try by prop Dan Cole with just over an hour played.

The hosts went ahead for the first time with nine minutes left through a Jonny Wilkinson drop goal, but Ireland snatched victory soon after when Bowe sprinted clear off Tomas O’Leary’s pass.

England wouldn’t win for the rest of the Championship, drawing with Scotland and losing at eventual Grand Slam winners France, in finishing third, with Ireland second, having been defeated by them for the sixth time in seven years.   2004 – England 16-19 Ireland

This was meant to be England’s glorious homecoming, in what was their first match at Twickenham after Sir Clive Woodward’s men had won the Rugby World Cup the previous year.

They were also defending a formidable home record, as they were unbeaten at Twickenham since October 1999 – a run going back 22 matches, all won.

The 2003 Grand Slam winners had claimed comfortable victories in Italy and Scotland, but they found Ireland, who had defeated Wales 36-15 the previous week, a much harder nut to crack.

Two Ronan O’Gara penalties put them 6-0 in front before a disrupted Irish scrum led to Paul Grayson picking up the loose ball and setting up Matt Dawson for a converted England try.

O’Gara then kicked two more penalties to restore Ireland’s advantage before half-time before Girvan Dempsey struck the decisive blow by sliding in down the left, with England only managing a Grayson penalty in reply.

It was Ireland’s first win at Twickenham in a decade and they went on to finish second behind Grand Slam winners France, with England behind them, their aura of invincibility now shattered.