Today we continue to countdown the five best Six Nations encounters between England and Ireland, ahead of their clash at Twickenham on Saturday. On Monday we looked back at England’s resounding 50-18 victory over the Irish at the ‘Home of Rugby’ in the first ever Six Nations game between the sides in 2000.
The next game on our list saw England triumph 13-10 in one of the great battles at Twickenham in the 2014 Six Nations Championships.
England and Ireland thrill crowd in epic Six Nations game
Stuart Lancaster’s side entered the game on the back of convincing win against Scotland after an agonising opening round loss to France. While Ireland were searching for the Triple Crown after convincing wins over Scotland and Wales, where they conceded just nine points.
The hosts started the game at a rip-roaring pace and almost scored the opening try inside five minutes. Winger Jonny May jinked inside the defence and stretched for the line, but a brilliant covering tackled from Conor Murray saved the day for Ireland.
The game continued at a relentless pace, with both sides making line-breaks but unable to convert thanks to some outstanding scramble defence. Unbelievably the first points didn’t arrive until the 22nd minute as Chris Robshaw’s men took a 3-0 lead through a superb Owen Farrell.
Despite the best efforts of both sides the score remained the same until the break.
But the Twickenham crowd didn’t have to wait long for the first try. From a threatening attacking position the visitors produced a well executed move, which saw Rob Kearney race through the defence to touch down under the posts; with Johnny Sexton’s conversion and another penalty kick making it 10-3 to Ireland.
England were staring down the barrel of a crushing defeat, but an incisive try wrestled the momentum back in their favour. A wonderful carry and offload from Robhsaw sent Mike Brown into the open, the full-back perfectly drew his man and sent scrum-half Danny Care racing in to score under the posts.
It was try very much made by Harlequins on the Twickenham Stoop pitch, just across the road.
The final 15 minutes became a frantic affair with chances and mistakes across the field. The effort from both sides was exemplified in the final minute as lock Joe Launchbury sprinted across the field to make a covering tackle on Irish winger Dave Kearney.
What a game. A real Six Nations classic.
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