England 13 Ireland 10: Championship up for grabs, declares Lancaster
England 13 Ireland 10: Stuart Lancaster believes the championship is up for grabs after his side's win
Stuart Lancaster declared that the Six Nations Championship is wide open after England ended Ireland’s Grand Slam hopes at Twickenham.
Owen Farrell’s sole first-half penalty separated the sides at half-time, before Rob Kearney scored the first try of the match following a clever Ireland set-piece move.
I think it [the championship] is up for grabs for everyone bearing in mind the fixtures and results
Jonny Sexton’s conversion and penalty shortly after left Ireland with a 10-3 lead after 50 minutes but the Red Rose dug deep to overhaul the Irish and their pack as Farrell slotted over his second penalty.
Man-of-the-match Mike Brown broke past the Irish defence and teed up Danny Care – and the fly-half ran between the posts to leave Farrell with a simple conversion.
The England No10 added a further three points as the Red Rose saw off late Irish pressure to give their Six Nations championship hopes a boost.
“I think it [the championship] is up for grabs for everyone bearing in mind the fixtures and results,” Lancaster said. “It’s a fantastic championship this year. We’ll enjoy tonight.
“We know there is a big big challenge in two weeks’ time. We equally respect Wales and their performance last night has given them confidence as well.”
Lancaster praised England’s character after they got through tough periods of the match against an Irish side packed with experience and quality.
“Ireland had a really strong period at start of the second half and I think are inner confidence and belief shown through at that point,” Lancaster added.
“We came back and scored a fantastic try ourselves. I thought the defining moment was 70-75 minutes as Ireland threw everything at us and our character shone through at that point.”
He added: “It was nip and tuck. We missed an opportunity in the first half but overall the character of the team shone through.”