Ireland disappointment
The legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi famously said: “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser”.

Andy Farrell has a different approach.

The Ireland head coach was clearly hurting after seeing his side denied victory by Marcus Smith’s last-gasp drop goal in an instant Twickenham classic.

But there was no chucking the toys out of the pram from Farrell. This Ireland team have become so good by adapting to adversity and that will be the case again here.

James Lowe’s two second-half tries almost extended their winning run in the Championship to 12, which would have been an all-time record.

But Farrell acknowledged that even with those two tries, England were the better side and deserved victors.

He said: “They thoroughly deserved to win. We fought back unbelievably well against the run of play sometimes. To cut a long story short though, I think England deserved it with the pressure they created so congratulations to them.

“We’ve been very good at winning and moving onto the next one. We’ve got to be really good at losing as well, making sure we congratulate England. I thought they played really well.”

In a Championship where every team has mixed good with bad, Ireland had been a class apart until this moment – taking a maximum 15 points from their first three games.

And after a statement of intent in Marseille when they earned a record away win over France in Round One, followed by comfortable wins over Italy and Wales in Dublin, this game started in similar fashion.

A penalty inside two minutes allowed Jack Crowley to get the Irish machine up and running early.

Then came the first indication that this might be different. England had clearly spotted something when it came to the Ireland kick chase and George Furbank ran laterally but with purpose to set up a counter-attacking score that ended with Ollie Lawrence going over in the left corner.

England played with ferocity but also control, and it was only desperate Irish defence that kept them at bay.

Three more Crowley penalties had Ireland 12-8 up at half-time, a remarkable achievement given how little we had seen of the usually relentless Irish phase play.

England attacked the breakdown and employed their aggressive blitz defence, but when Lowe went over for his first try early in the second half, it felt as though Ireland had weathered the storm, opening up an 17-8 lead.

It was not the case. England hit straight back through Furbank, the Northampton Saints full-back rewarding Steve Borthwick’s faith in him.

England kept coming, one Ben Earl break led to Peter O’Mahony being sent to the sin-bin, with the No.8 punishing the 14 men and putting England back in front.

At that point, Ireland were on the ropes, but so often under Farrell, they have found a way to get out of difficult situations.

It was testament to England that they did not this time, and Farrell said as much.

"For large parts of that game I thought we were a little bit off,” he said.

“England obviously had had a big say in that, but we showed the resilience to keep bouncing back.

“England found a way in the end and they thoroughly deserved the win.”

Despite regaining the lead after Lowe’s second try, Smith and England ensured that it would be their day.

That ended Ireland’s hopes of becoming the first team to win back-to-back Grand Slams in the Six Nations era but they remain favourites to win the title.

Sitting four points clear of England, they will retain their crown should they avoid defeat at home to Scotland.

A chance to make immediate amends is in sharp contrast to the last defeat this side suffered – a similarly heartbreaking loss in the World Cup quarter-finals against New Zealand.

If Ireland want to show that they can be good at losing, then they will do so by bouncing back at home next week.

Last year they celebrated Grand Slam success in Dublin by beating England. After losing to the same side here, they have the chance to ease the pain of defeat by claiming the Championship at the Aviva Stadium.

How they fare against Scotland will tell us a lot about the team. Based on Farrell’s track record, you can expect a big response.