A strong Irish defence, a try from Brian O'Driscoll and 14 points from the boot of Ronan O'Gara ensured an Irish win over England to keep them in contention for the Grand Slam.
A strong Irish defence, a try from Brian O'Driscoll and 14 points from the boot of Ronan O'Gara ensured an Irish win over England to keep them in contention for the Grand Slam. O'Gara put Ireland ahead with a fourth-minute drop goal but, three minutes later, England went over for its first try. Martin Corry picked the ball up from a ruck and ran unchallenged over the Ireland line. Charlie Hodgson, whose kicking had been under scrutiny after he missed three penalties and a drop goal in the 18-17 loss to France two weeks ago, converted. O'Gara scored two penalties to edge Ireland ahead 9-7. Hodgson slotted a second successful penalty, this time from the halfway line before an O'Gara drop goal went in off the post to give Ireland a 12-10 halftime lead. Hodgson kicked England ahead with a drop goal after 57 minutes, before Ireland captain O'Driscoll scored his side's first try. O'Gara converted for a 19-13 lead but missed a drop goal under pressure from Lewis Moody. England was given a penalty in front of the posts but kicked to the corner rather than going for three points. Josh Lewsey went over the line with the ball, but the try wasn't given because the ball didn't touch the ground. Ireland has beaten Italy 28-17 and Scotland 40-13 and next faces France, which lost to Wales 24-18 in Paris on Saturday. It was England's ninth loss in 13 matches since winning the World Cup. It's also lost 11-9 to Wales this season.
Ireland: (12) 19 Tries: O'Driscoll Cons: O'Gara Pens: O'Gara (2) Drops: O'Gara (2)
England: (10) 13 Tries: Corry Cons: Hodgson Pens: Hodgson (2)
G Murphy; G Dempsey, B O'Driscoll, S Horgan, D Hickie; R O'Gara, P Stringer; R Corrigan, S Byrne, J Hayes; M O'Kelly, P O'Connell; S Easterby, J O'Connor, A Foley.
Replacements: F Sheahan, M Horan, D O'Callaghan, E Miller, G Easterby, D Humphreys, K Maggs.
J Robinson (capt); M Cueto, J Noon, O Barkley, J Lewsey; C Hodgson, H Ellis; G Rowntree, S Thompson, M Stevens; D Grewcock, B Kay; J Worsley, L Moody, M Corry.
Replacements: A Titterrell, D Bell, S Borthwick, A Hazell, M Dawson, A Goode, O Smith.