Penalties Decide It As Ireland Lose Brutal Contest
Ireland's RBS 6 Nations challenge suffered a setback at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday as young out-half Owen Farrell kicked England to a workmanlike 12-6 win.
The youngest player on the pitch, Owen Farrell showed composure beyond his 21 years to slot four of his six penalty attempts and guide England to their first Six Nations success in Dublin since 2003.
Ireland recovered from a nervy start but had to endure match-ending injuries to Simon Zebo and Jonathan Sexton as they trailed 6-0 at half-time.
The Irish forwards picked up the baton in the second half, lifting their efforts in the scrum and maul. Sexton's replacement Ronan O'Gara, who was making a record 127th appearance, kicked two penalties either side of James Haskell's sin-binning.
The England flanker saw yellow for infringing at a 57th minute ruck. The resulting kick was nailed by O'Gara to draw Ireland level, but the visitors crucially managed to score six more points before Haskell's return.
Farrell followed up on good work from his forwards, slotting two surefooted kicks for a 12-6 scoreline. Ireland got back into scoring range five minutes only for O'Gara to pull a kickable penalty wide with time running out.
England produced the stronger finish, driven on by their captain and man-of-the-match Chris Robshaw. Farrell flung a final penalty attempt wide, but Stuart Lancaster's men did not need it as they made it two wins out of two in the 2013 Championship.
Full report to follow...
Ireland lock Mike McCarthy crashes forward with ball in hand during the bruising Championship tussle with England
'England took their chances well, credit to them. A few unforced errors helped them get a cushion. We got ourselves back to six-all, but today we weren't quite on the money.'
IRELAND HEAD COACH DECLAN KIDNEY
'England played a smart game with the conditions. They put us under pressure (in our half) and got a good return from that. It's a tough one to take, there's a lot of lads bruised and battered in the changing room.'