10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
O'Sullivan and his back room team can give themselves a well deserved slap on the back because they out-thought the opposing think-tank in every department.
The areas they targetted were the English lineout, the full-back, the need to close down the space in the centre where Clive Woodward had placed his most potent threat, Jason Robinson, and - and this would have really riled Woodward (had he known) - the vulnerability of the English out wide.
From the very first throw after just 53 seconds when Paul O'Connell snaffled the first of Steve Thompson's darts' Ireland went after the English in the area where for four and a half years they have been supreme. And that proved a fruitful area for O'Connell, Malcolm O'Kelly and Simon Easterby.
Thompson threw over-long (once to John Hayes) and threw crooked and Woodward left him there until the 60th minute by which stage the confidence of the catchers must have been severely dented. Full-back Iain Balshaw was dreadful. He set out his stall in the opening minutes when he ambled casually across the field to watch a Brian O'Driscoll kick slide into touch and shortly after he caught a ball outside his 22 and with time and space aplenty just hoofed the ball up into the stand. He wore a haunted look from the moment O'Driscoll tackled him as he went for a Ronan O'Gara up-and-under and at the start of the second half all he had to do was take a few more steps, suck in Gordon D'Arcy and give Ben Cohen a clear run to the line. Instead he shovelled out the pass and allowed the superb D'Arcy make the try saving tackle. Woodward left him remain for another 13 minutes before hauling him away to be replaced by James Simpson-Daniel.
This allowed Robinson move to full-back but at this stage the Irish had a steely resolve about them and crucially Thompson was still around throwing wild and wide.
But the really lovely aspect of this victory was the manner in which the coup de grace was delivered. You see, we were led to believe that the English back three were the superior unit by a distance and the English thinking wouldn't even have contemplated this all-singing all-dancing troupe being out-flanked by the flat-foots in green.
But that's exactly what happened in the 51st minute.
It began with a sublime break from D'Arcy which was carried on to the right hand side and when the ball was recycled two skip passes (O'Driscoll and D'Arcy) found Tyrone Howe galloping forward. He took an awkward enough pass and did what Balshaw wasn't able to do - deliver a perfectly timed pass for Girvan Dempsey to score. - Happy Days.