4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
The flanker's right knee buckled under the force of a first half challenge from Manu Tuilagi. Wallace's immediate reactions suggested that his participation in the Rugby World Cup is in serious doubt.
Wallace was stretchered off and taken to hospital for further examination, with head coach Declan Kidney confirming afterwards that he will miss the tournament in New Zealand.
"David took a very bad bang on the knee and while we don't know the exact prognosis, he has unfortunately been ruled out of the World Cup," explained Kidney.
"He took the news like the man he is. There's a word I'm not supposed to say in public, but it happens.
"You have to deal with these things. He's 35 and I've never seen a man as physically fit as he is right now. Never.
"It's heartbreaking for him and his family. It's extremely disappointing for us and will be good news for someone else (coming in as a replacement). That's the cut-throat nature of sport."
At that stage of the game, Ireland were 10-6 in arrears. Tuilagi's fifth-minute try had set England on the road to their first victory on Irish soil since their 2003 Grand Slam success.
Jonny Wilkinson, one of the surviving members from that side, landed the conversion and kicked two penalties to give the visitors a 13-9 buffer at the break.
Captained by Paul O'Connell, Ireland turned down some kickable penalties as they tried to conjure up a try, but a hat-trick of O'Gara kicks was all they had to show for their first half efforts.
England survived some early pressure from the hosts as the second half got underway. After a succession of penalties at the breakdown by the men in white, Chris Ashton was sin-binned for going off his feet at a ruck.
However, O'Gara's penalty attempt drifted onto the right hand post and Martin Johnson's men hit back with a crucial try just three minutes later.
Their captain Mike Tindall, the GUINNESS man-of-the-match, threaded an inch perfect kick into the left corner for replacement Armitage to reach before Tommy Bowe.
And with Wilkinson following up with a terrific conversion, the seven points came as a crushing blow to Ireland's hopes of a home win.
The application and desire could not be questioned, but Ireland lacked penetration and were too predictable at times when trying to unlock England's defence.
A series of promising set pieces in the English 22 could have led to tries, but a combination of loose play and the worsening weather conditions thwarted Ireland's advances.
It was another very physical battle between these arch rivals, which the 48,523 spectators lapped up. The 11-point loss leaves Ireland bottling their frustration up for bigger days ahead.
England made the early running, breaking into the Irish 22 courtesy of runs by late replacement Hendre Fourie and Tuilagi, the Samoan-born 20-year-old centre.
Disciplined defending from Ireland shunted the white shirts back towards the halfway line and Wilkinson's long range drop goal attempt sailed harmlessly wide.
Their next serious attack caught Ireland off guard though. James Haskell was brought down by the returning Stephen Ferris, before scrum half Richard Wigglesworth spread quick ruck ball into midfield.
Tindall passed for Tuilagi to thunder past a stretching Keith Earls and he had the pace to make the try-line from 30 metres out. Wilkinson clipped the conversion over from the left for a seven-point return.
Ireland got their first sight of the English 22 shortly afterwards, with O'Gara launching a penalty towards the left corner.
The maul was disrupted and Wilkinson kicked downfield to Geordan Murphy, who was caught late by Courtney Lawes as he tried to chase his own kick.
A penalty was awarded to Ireland just outside the 22, and O'Gara duly knocked the left-sided kick through the posts for a 7-3 scoreline.
England got the shove on in a scrum and forced a penalty which saw Wilkinson strike back to restore the seven-point advantage. On the quarter hour mark, Ireland seemed to be hitting their stride in attack.
The in-form Andrew Trimble popped up in midfield to carry towards the visitors' 22, following good work at close quarters from O'Connell and Ferris. England infringed at the ruck and O'Gara was called on to set up the lineout.
Jerry Flannery was connecting well with his jumpers and when Ireland won another penalty closer in, they looked poised to go for the posts.
Suddenly, Eoin Reddan took a quick tap as he spotted numbers out wide on the right. But his pass for Jamie Heaslip was intercepted by an alert Mark Cueto who saved his side's bacon.
Earls and Trimble popped up in attack as Ireland got on the front foot again, a superb kick out to the right from O'Gara keeping the forwards on the move. In the next Irish attack, Wallace shipped a tackle from Tuilagi and pumped his legs as he made ten metres.
Tommy Bowe got involved and Kidney's charges were in a promising position when Wallace was bundled into touch by Tuilagi. It was a meaty challenge from the youngster and Wallace seemed to fall awkwardly as he went out of play.
Unfortunately, Wallace's first appearance of the season lasted just 21 minutes and worse news followed with his exit from the World Cup squad. A penalty for a previous infringement had been awarded and O'Gara was on target to cut the gap to 10-6.
A harsh call for a high tackle allowed Wilkinson to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Ireland responded in impressive fashion and were getting within scoring range when an overthrown lineout was gobbled up by Tuilagi who set off on a daring run out of his 22.
The covering Murphy read it well and had the pace to close his Leicester Tigers team-mate down, pushing him closer to the left touchline before he tackled him with the try-line in sight.
A solid scrum close to halfway allowed Heaslip to charge off the base, however he was well-tackled and had to go off after feeling groggy.
With two-thirds of the starting back row now off the pitch, Denis Leamy and Donnacha Ryan were now teaming up with Ferris. Ireland had the upper hand in the closing minutes of the half, aided by O'Gara's third successful penalty goal.
Murphy, Trimble and Earls popped up in attack again, but all the good approach work was undone by a messy lineout and a knock on just as Ireland threatened the English line in the dying seconds.
After the resumption, a block by Reddan and a good link-up between Earls and Murphy in midfield saw Ireland regain the initiative. Ashton received a yellow card, however the setback for England was lessened when O'Gara struck the post.
The momentum shifted back to the visitors when they stormed back into the Irish 22 and clinically collected their second try. Tindall right-footed a peach of a ball through for Armitage to dot down, and Wilkinson's extras pushed the lead out to 11 points.
It was economical stuff from England and despite some inspirational individual play from O'Connell in the lineout and the loose, Ireland failed to respond on the scoreboard.
Earls was involved in two counter attacks, first almost getting past Tuilagi in midfield and then launching a chip and chase effort down the left touchline.
The Irish management looked to the bench for the final quarter as Rory Best came on to win his 50th cap at hooker, and Jonathan Sexton and recent debutant Conor Murray got a chance to impress at half-back.
A heavy rain shower made for difficult ball-handling conditions and seriously hampered Ireland's attempts to breach the English defence.
Earls clattered into ball carrier Tuilagi in a tackle which drew praise from the home crowd, and O'Connell charged down Wigglesworth to force a turnover.
Still, Ireland were lacking some composure with ball in hand and a number of well-constructed drives were ended by unforced errors or players taking the wrong option.
Leamy was prominent and always hungry for work, but after Murray's kick to the right corner for fellow replacement Fergus McFadden failed to come off, England managed to pin Ireland back in their half for the final few minutes.
Aside from Wallace's knee inury, Flannery (shin), Cian Healy (eye) and Heaslip (concussion) were all in the wars, while Ferris sustained some bruising to his hand.
Most of the concern is for prop Healy, who has sustained an injury to his eye socket and his departure for New Zealand has been put back by four days.
Kidney expects the other players mentioned to be available for the Rugby World Cup opener against the USA. A statement from the IRFU said that the injury could rule Healy out of that game.
"We wanted to challenge ourselves against England and France to know exactly where we are, and we know now. We've lost four in the series, which is extremely disappointing. That's not what we aimed for," added Kidney.
"No excuses to camouflage results, we're here to get results. We'll keep working and will get better.
"There's a maxim I like to live by, 'losers make excuses, winners make promises'. These players have promised me they will continue to work hard and improve and that's all you can ask for."
|Ireland Score Card|
|England Score Card|