Ireland claim bonus-point win over 14-man England

Ireland Claim Bonus-Point Win Over 14-Man England Ireland Claim Bonus-Point Win Over 14-Man England
The bonus-point win for Ireland means the championship will go down to the wire. Photo: INPHO
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PA, Sport Staff

Ireland emerged 32-15 winners at Twickenham against 14-man England following an early red card for Charlie Ewels in today's Guinness Six Nations clash.

Ewels became the fastest sending-off in the history of the tournament for a head-led tackle on James Ryan that also lacked any attempt to wrap his arms in a challenge that ended the concussed Leinster second row’s afternoon.

Having recovered from the initial shock of losing Ewels just 82 seconds into pivotal showdown, England made things difficult for the visitors.

The scrum emerged as their greatest weapon, producing six penalties on a traumatising afternoon for the Irish set-piece and enabling Marcus Smith to keep his side in contention from the kicking tee.

The home resistance was led by Maro Itoje and Ellis Genge, but eventually the pressure told as Jack Conan crossed in the 72nd minute before Finlay Bealham added another.


It means Ireland remain in title contention on the final weekend while England must discover how much they have left in the tank as they head to France with the aim of finishing third.

An action-packed first half unfolded at lightning pace and produced brutal collisions to the extent that neither Ryan, Tom Curry nor Kyle Sinckler made it to the interval.

But there were also moments of artistry and the first of these arrived in the sixth minute when an undermanned England blindside was expertly exploited by Josh van der Flier and Dan Sheehan, with the pace of James Lowe doing the rest.

A second Ireland try was chalked off because of a knock-on and even as England celebrated winning a scrum penalty close to their line, their joy quickly turned to despair as Curry injured his hamstring while running.

A thrilling raid by Ireland ended with a third scrum penalty, and they just could not escape Raynal’s whistle as Smith found the target once more.

A second try was added as Jamison Gibson-Park took a quick tap and sent Hugo Keenan over.

The first half finished with Smith splitting the posts and the second began with the rivals trading blows in attack, Sam Simmonds flattening Tadhg Furlong one highlight.


Smith kicked another three points as England and when Raynal raised his hand for the sixth time Harlequins’ fly-half levelled the score.

Johnny Sexton nudged Ireland back in front, however, and as pressure built again on the home line, Conan was able to stride through a big gap before Bealham secured the bonus point.

France top the standings on 18 points after winning their first four games. Ireland have 16 and could still take their first title since 2018 with victory or possibly even a draw against Scotland in Dublin next week if England can upset France in Paris.

The bonus-point win for Ireland means the championship will go down to the wire.

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