England v Ireland - RBS Six Nations

By Bea Asprey at Twickenham

The match in 30 seconds

A crowd of 81,555 saw an evenly-matched England and Ireland battle it out for glory at Twickenham. Just three points were scored in the first-half with Farrell slotting a pen for England, but the lack of points on the scoreboard didn’t reflect the physicality and intensity of the game. Ireland pounced in the 42nd minute as Rob Kearney sliced through the England defence to dot down, but England regained the lead through a scintillating Danny Care score and a watertight defence made sure there was no way back for Joe Schmidt’s men.

England – Tries: Care Cons: Farrell Pens: Farrell 2

Ireland – Tries: R Kearney Cons: Sexton Pens: Sexton  

Click here for match highlights

Post-match bulletin

- Stuart Lancaster: “I’m delighted with the win. I thought it was a proper Test match. Ireland are a quality team so it’s just fantastic for the players that the commitment they put into the game was rewarded at the end. Our character and commitment sone through throughout.”

Danger man: Man of the Match Mike Brown

Danger man: Man of the Match Mike Brown

- Joe Schmidt: “The result showed small margins that exist in Test rugby. We searched long and hard for that last three points in the last ten minutes but credit to England, they defended superbly. Mike Brown’s running in broken field was maybe the difference between the two teams.”

- Brian O’Driscoll limped off the pitch in the final minute of the game. Coach Joe Schmidt said the problem was cramp in his calf, and though he will be monitored over the next 48 hours Ireland are expecting him to be available to play against Italy in two weeks time

- Tom Wood also suffered from cramp and was replaced in the 70th minute, while Billy Vunipola took a knock to his ankle. The No 8 was replaced at the end of the first half, and will be assessed by the England medics over the next few days

- England made 430 metres to Ireland’s 351, and Man of the Match Mike Brown made more than other player with 88

- Ireland had more possession (59% to England’s 41%) and territory (53% to 47%) than England, and made half as many offloads (5 to England’s 10)

- Ireland won 100% of scrums on their own feed, where England won five and lost four, but both teams won 100% of their own lineouts

Rock: Ross has Moore snapping at his heels

Rock: Ross has Moore snapping at his heels

What’s next?

- England will draw confidence from a home victory ahead of their match against title holders Wales in two weeks time

- Marland Yarde will feature in his first game since November on Sunday for London Irish, and will provide Lancaster with a sought-after selection conundrum on the wing. Yarde has had 12 weeks out injured, but after Jonny May missed an opportunity to score for England early in the first half Lancaster may be tempted to give Yarde a run out against Italy in the final round

- David Wilson did well to play for 70 minutes in his first game of 2014, but Dan Cole’s injury has highlighted a lack of depth at tighthead for England

- Ireland will be confident of overcoming Italy in Dublin having put in a strong performance, with their set piece holding up well – a welcome change from their last visit to Twickenham in 2012

- Ireland are developing good strength in depth in their front row, and Schmidt would do well to start Marty Moore, Sean Cronin and Jack McGrath against Italy in two weeks time

- Donnacha Ryan returns for Munster on Sunday and will push Devin Toner for a place in the 23. However the totemic Toner is proving to be a force in the lineout and Schmidt will likely opt for continuity for the rest of the tournament