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Inpho/Dan Sheridan
Ireland v England
2 February 2007, 9:50 am
By Pat Geraghty
It may be a measure of how far this Eddie O'Sullivan Ireland side is so far ahead of the rest that with a full forty minutes yet to play the outcome of this Six Nations game had already been decided by the time Joel Jutge blew the whistle for half time.
By then Ireland were leading 23-3 and to all intents and purposes England's goose wasn't so much cooked as totally burnt. Their second half response was - save for the rare threat, very rare - fairly dire. And in fiarness they can take someconsolation that their losing margin was just 30 points. It could so easily have been worse. Much worse.

England took the lead after just one minute thirty one seconds of the kick off when Wilkinson landed a penalty after Ireland had failed to deal with a David Strettle garryowen.
And that was the only real threat the visitors ever posed the Irish in that opening period.

Two Ronan O'Gara penalties put the Irish in front and then in the 28th minute Danny Grewcock was yellow-carded - perhaps a little harshly - and while he was off Ireland ended the game as a contest with tries from Girvan Dempsey and David Wallace. Both were converted by O'Gara to give Ireland a commanding 23-3 half-time lead.

O'Gara continued in that good vein with another penalty after the restart but then England's first serious backline move yielded a try in the corner in the 46th minute and Wilkinson's superb conversion made the score 26-10 in Ireland's favour.

That English score only served to stir the natives and although Wilkinson further cut the deficit with a 55th minute penalty Ireland simply ripped the English apart in the closing stages.

O'Gara knocked over a penalty (29-13) and then his superb cross-field kick was equally superbly fielded by Shane Horgan for a marvellous score. O'Gara converted - no surprise there - from the touchline and shortly afterwards was replaced by Paddy Wallace. At the same time Isaac Boss came on for Peter Stringer and when replacement Shaun Perry threw a ridiculous pass Boss gathered to scoot in under the posts to end the try scoring, Wallace kicked the conversion for a final scoreline of 43-13 in Ireland's favour.

Ireland: Girvan Dempsey, Shane Horgan, Brian O'Driscoll (captain) (A Trimble), Gordon D'Arcy, Denis Hickie, Ronan O'Gara (P Wallace), Peter Stringer (I Boss); Marcus Horan, Rory Best (J Flannery), John Hayes (S Best); Paul O'Connell, Donncha O'Callaghan, David Wallace, Simon Easterby (N Best) Denis Leamy (M O'Driscoll).

England: Olly Morgan M Tait); Josh Lewsey, Mike Tindall, Andy Farrell, David Strettle; Jonny Wilkinson, Harry Ellis (S Perry); Perry Freshwater (J White), George Chuter (L Mears), Phil Vickery (captain); Louis Deacon, Danny Grewcock (T Palmer); Joe Worsley, Magnus Lund (T Rees), Martin Corry.

Referee: Joël Jutge (France)

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