Today we conclude our look back at classic England v Ireland Six Nations games, ahead of tomorrow’s hotly anticipated encounter at Twickenham. Yesterday we looked back at the 2012 meeting between the sides as England’s scrum paved the way for a 30-9 victory.
The final game in our list is one of England’s most significant victories under Clive Woodward as they ended their eight year wait for a Grand Slam with a 42-6 victory over Ireland at the old Landsdowne Road.
England seal Six Nations Grand Slam in style with outstanding performance in Dublin
Entering this game both sides were going for a Grand Slam; England had suffered several heartbreaking defeats to Wales, Scotland and Ireland in previous years and were determined to not let this opportunity slip. While Ireland aiming for a first clean sweep since 1948, the stage was set.
Ireland made the perfect start to the game and were 3-0 ahead inside five minutes thanks to a David Humphreys drop-goal.
But England didn’t take long to find their stride and quickly hit back, a powerful scrum surge saw the ball come to Matt Dawson, the scrum-half jinked through the defence and offloaded to Lawrence Dallaglio who scored under the posts. The simple Jonny Wilkinson conversion made it 7-3.
A further penalty from Humphreys was followed by two exquisite Wilkinson drop-goals as England took a 13-6 lead into the interval. The first half was characterised by strong defence from England including a pair of outstanding tackles from the talismanic Wilkinson.
England cut loose in second half of Six Nations decider
Into the second half the visitors extended their lead through a beautifully executed try from Mike Tindall. The Bath centre cut a superb line off Will Greenwood and powered over the line to all but secure the win and the Grand Slam.
But England were not finished. Greenwood got in on the act with two scores, a burrowing effort was followed by a simple interception and run in. The final score of the game showed just how good this England team were.
Powerful drives from the forwards took England to the five metre line, the ball was moved out and fantastic handling from Wilkinson, Jason Robinson, Jason Leonard and Josh Lewsey put Dan Luger over the line.
It was the icing on the cake. A truly outstanding performance, which was the catalyst for World Cup success.
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