Six Nations 2014: England showed massive balls, says Andy Farrell

Six Nations 2014: England coach Andy Farrell says the Red Rose showed massive balls to beat Ireland at Twickenham

Andy Farrell heaped praise on England for showing “massive balls” after the Red Rose were 13-10 winners against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Red Rose ended Ireland’s hopes of winning their first Grand Slam since 2009 after Danny Care’s decisive second-half try was sufficient to secure a close-fought win.

We had to be at our best and hang on in there at times because our legs had gone

Andy Farrell

And England attack coach Farrell, whose son Owen kicked eight points in the slender win, was thrilled with the Red Rose’s ability to handle Ireland’s set-piece and mauling.

“Pardon my French, but I thought we showed massive balls to go out there and play like that,” Farrell said.

“We’ve confronted head-on our ability to up our game in the last 20 minutes. All credit to Ireland, we knew what type of game they would come with.

“It was a different type of game for us to handle which was the most pleasing thing because Ireland really tried to take it to us with their set-piece and mauling.

With Ireland leading 10-3 with 49 minutes played thanks to Rob Kearney’s converted try and Jonny Sexton’s penalty, Stuart Lancaster’s men appeared to be edging towards a second loss in the Six Nations championship.

However, England managed to overturn the lead thanks to Owen Farrell’s penalty and a piece of brilliance from Mike Brown to set Harlequins scrum-half Care free to cross the Irish line under the posts.

Farrell reserved special praise for tight-head props David Wilson and Henry Thomas after the pair were asked to fill the large void left by Leicester Tigers forward Dan Cole, who was ruled out of the championship last week.

“We had to be at our best and hang on in there at times because our legs had gone,” Farrell added.

“Massive credit to David Wilson to play 40 minutes of rugby and hang on like that and Henry Thomas to come on and be in the heat of the battle right at the death.

“For us to keep going at them, and not just try and survive, but keep going forward in the last 20 minutes is a massive step in the right direction for us and something we want to keep getting better at.”

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