A glorious night for Irish rugby – tries from Girvan Dempsey, David Wallace, Shane Horgan and Isaac Boss, allied to a 21-point kicking haul from Ronan O’Gara, inspired Ireland to an unforgettable 43-13 win over England at Croke Park on Saturday.
2007 RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP: Saturday, February 24
IRELAND 43 ENGLAND 13, Croke Park
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Girvan Dempsey, David Wallace, Shane Horgan, Isaac Boss; Cons: Ronan O’Gara 3, Paddy Wallace; Pens: O’Gara 5
England: Try: David Strettle; Con: Jonny Wilkinson; Pens: Wilkinson 2
Full-Time – Ireland 43 England 13 – No words are needed! A record win over England – enjoy the celebrations! Join us again tomorrow for match tracker coverage of the women’s international in Limerick.
79 mins: IRELAND TRY! Boss has an immediate impact as he intercepts a pass from Perry off the back of an English scrum and races over for a opportunist try. Wallace converts and it is a rout. Ireland 43 England 13.
78 mins: Lock O’Connell, the man who led Ireland against France, is named as the RBS man of the match.
77 mins: The Irish management are emptying the bench – Isaac Boss, Mick O’Driscoll and Paddy Wallace are all on the field now, Stringer, Leamy and O’Gara are taking a well-merited breather.
75 mins: England have been pinned back in their own half for the past ten minutes. This a great effort from Ireland, a much-improved display from the French game. ‘Ole, Ole, Ole’ is ringing out around the stadium.
73 mins: Irish captain O’Driscoll gets a standing ovation as he is called ashore – Andrew Trimble has been introduced.
72 mins: It is exhaustive stuff – changes for both teams as Neil Best comes on for Ireland, replacing Easterby, and Hayes’ evening is over – Ulster skipper Simon Best is his replacement. England’s Shaun Perry and Lee Mears are on, with Ellis and Chuter making way.
65 mins: IRELAND TRY! Stunning try for Ireland – it is a 19th Test score for Horgan. After O’Driscoll was held up in the left corner, the next phase of play saw O’Gara send an inch-perfect crossfield kick out to the right and Horgan rose above Lewsey to gather the ball and dot down. O’Gara sends over another excellent conversion kick. Ireland 36 England 13.
62 mins: Worrying signs as both D’Arcy and O’Driscoll are down receiving treatment. Both are quickly back on their feet though.
61 mins: Energy-sapping stuff from both sides – an Ellis break, stopped by Stringer, sees the Irish defensive line broken and Wallace shows great pace to get back and force Lewsey into a knock-on. Hickie runs the ball back and O’Callaghan pumps the legs, gaining 10 metres up the left wing.
59 mins: Only a forward pass halts Horgan from following up on his own kick out on the right flank. Better from Ireland.
57 mins: IRELAND PENALTY! Some needless shoeing from replacement White hands O’Gara an ideal chance to reply and he slots over from the right, taking his personal haul to 19 points. Ireland 29 England 13.
56 mins: ENGLAND PENALTY! Wilkinson sends over his second penalty of the evening to cut the gap to 13 points. Ireland 26 England 13.
54 mins: England make a fourth change – Tom Palmer is on for Grewcock. England look a lot more settled with Tait’s introduction forcing Lewsey to full-back.
52 mins: It is a big effort from Wilkinson but his kick just does not have the legs and O’Gara restarts from the ’22’ for Ireland.
50 mins: Crossing in midfield between Denis Hickie and O’Connell hands Wilkinson a penalty chance from the halfway line.
47 mins: ENGLAND TRY! Strettle, the best English player on show so far, gets over in the left corner for a deserved try on his debut. O’Driscoll looked to have almost pushed the newcomer into touch but the replays showed Strettle’s left foot was still in play as he grounded the ball. England made good use of numbers out wide. Wilkinson swings over a stunningly accurate conversion kick. Ireland 26 England 10.
45 mins: England make a change at loosehead prop with Perry Freshwater making way for the experienced Julian White.
43 mins: IRELAND PENALTY! England captain Phil Vickery is ruled to have brought down a scrum and O’Gara mops up with an easy penalty kick from close range. Ireland 26 England 3.
42 mins: Harry Ellis breaks out of defence but a great tackle by Horan produces a turnover and Leamy gets an early run at the English rearguard.
Second Half: Kick-Off: O’Gara restart for Ireland. Tom Rees, who is on for Lund, dallies as he takes the kick and he is smothered by the Irish forwards. Mike Tindall’s kick to touch is charged down by O’Connell and goes dead 15 metres from the English try line.
Half-Time – Ireland 23 England 3 – Ireland have bossed the closing 20 minutes of the first half, with O’Connell, Leamy and Wallace putting in some towering individual performances. 59% possession and 63% territory for Eddie O’Sullivan’s side in the opening half, five missed tackles by England – those stats tell their own story.
38 mins: IRELAND TRY! From that scrum, Ireland have two pops at the line, Horgan batters up to five metres out and off the next rive Wallace rumbles over. Jutge goes to the television match official and to the glee of the Croke Park crowd, Romain Poite confirms the try. O’Gara converts. Ireland 23 England 3.
36 mins: Brilliant scrum effort from Ireland – the pack has been immense so far – and a big hit by Wallace on Worsley forces the England flanker behind his try line and it is scrum Ireland.
34 mins: A dangerous tackle from Magnus Lund on Dempsey, when the Irish try scorer was in the air, draws the ire of the Irish players but Jutge is quick to cool the situation down.
31 mins: Morgan looks slightly concussed as he is replaced by England – Mat Tait is on in his place.
30 mins: IRELAND TRY! Ireland kicked that penalty to touch, O’Connell won the throw and after a maul drive, the ball was released out to the right where numbers saw full-back Dempsey touch down to the right of the posts. A brilliant behind-the-back pass from D’Arcy in the lead-up – the Wexford man found O’Driscoll and he launced a long pass out for his Leinster team-mate to score. O’Gara’s conversion is good. Ireland 16 England 3.
29 mins: England are down to 14 men – referee Jutge had no option to send lock Danny Grewcock to the sin-bin as he prevented Stringer from releasing from a ruck close to the English try line. The phase preceeding it saw Easterby show great pace and power to go on a 30-metre burst. Dempsey was stopped just short of the line.
28 mins: Strong restart take and run from Wallace sets Ireland up for another attack. O’Gara sends a crossfield kick away to the left for Gordon D’Arcy, but Josh Lewsey covers the danger.
26 mins: IRELAND PENALTY! A lineout infringement leads to a third shot at the posts for O’Gara and he makes no mistake with a 30-metre effort from the right, drawing it in superbly. Ireland 9 England 3.
24 mins: Good cohesion from Ireland – Shane Horgan is worked into space on the right and his kick through, with the rain teeming down from the Dublin sky, skids away from Morgan’s grasp and Ireland have a lineout near the visitors’ 22.
22 mins: Wilkinson probes the touchline with a penalty after a high tackle from O’Connell on the English number 10. Just preceeding it, O’Driscoll followed up on a garryowen to put a thundering tackle in on Olly Morgan. Welcome to Croke Park Mr. Morgan!
20 mins: IRELAND PENALTY! England attacked off that set piece but Farrell was pinged for holding onto the ball on the deck and O’Gara slots the place kick from just outside the 22. Ireland 6 England 3.
18 mins: O’Gara finds a good touch with a penalty, Best’s throw is claimed by Paul O’Connell, a short maul is worked but Ireland’s progress is quickly halted and the visitors win a scrum.
17 mins: Strettle increases his influence as his tackle on Easterby halts an Irish attack on the right, where an overlap looked on the cards.
15 mins: Lovely work from Simon Easterby and David Wallace in the tackle as George Chuter is repelled and turned over.
14 mins: Penalty for England – referee Joel Jutge rules that Marcus Horan was not binding correctly at a scrum and Wilkinson kicks the ball to touch.
11 mins: Corry does well to gather a high ball – at the second attempt – territorially Ireland are on top, but Tindall does well to clear and Ireland lose the resulting lineout. England have an overlap out wide on the left but Farrell opts to bash through the middle and the chance is lost. Some good defensive work from Strettle as Ireland hack through.
9 mins: Signs that Ireland are settling well – Rory Best’s first lineout throw is won, a quick maul is worked into midfield, O’Gara blasts two touch finders, the second of which goes dead inside the English 22 and the home side are on the front foot.
6 mins: IRELAND PENALTY! O’Gara levels for Ireland, sending a 35-metre penalty through the posts after Joe Worsley was whistled up for being offside at a ruck. Dempsey did well in the build-up, exposing some weak defence from Wilkinson and Andy Farrell. Ireland 3 England 3.
4 mins: Decent comeback from Ireland – Girvan Dempsey sets out into space down the left flank, O’Driscoll and Ronan O’Gara send kicks over to debutant David Strettle’s wing but England defend well at lineout time.
2 mins: ENGLAND PENALTY! First blood to England – Wilkinson booms the penalty kick over, towards the Davin Stand end. Ireland 0 England 3.
First Half: Kick-Off: Jonny Wilkinson starts for England, with a lusty rendition of the ‘Fields’ going around the stadium. Denis Leamy gathers in and Ireland spread it wide. O’Driscoll kicks, but it is a poor one to Olly Morgan and Ireland are ruled offside at a ruck. Wilkinson to have an early shot at goal from distance.
5.32pm: Anthem time at Croke Park, ‘God Save The Queen’ gets the respect it deserves from the home fans. Nice to see. Tears in the eyes of John Hayes and Jerry Flannery as ‘Amhran na bhFiann’ and ‘Ireland’s Call’ get two great airings. The formalities are out of the way – it is game time!
5.28pm: Time for the Presidential salute as Mary McAleese and IRFU President Peter Boyle greet the teams.
5.26pm: Brian O’Driscoll leads Ireland out at Croke Park for the first time in his career – the noise is deafening!
5.23pm: Phil Vickery leads England out at Croke Park, with the visitors getting some hearty applause from the crowd.
5.15pm: There has been some drizzly rain at Croke Park, like a lot of places around the country today. More showers are expected. Both squads have been out testing the pitch which got a last-minute mowing last night. It looks in great nick.
Pre-Match: Hello and welcome to Croke Park for IrishRugby.ie’s coverage of today’s Six Nations clash between Ireland and England. Sit tight for what is sure to be a memorable afternoon in the history of Irish sport. You can also click on our MatchDayLive link at the bottom of the homepage for score updates and audio coverage.
It has been three wins on the trot for the men in green against England since 2004 – can Ireland continue their recent winning run against the English? We will find out just before 7.30pm – there are sure to be plenty of twists and turns before then so keep with us for the entire match!
IRELAND: Girvan Dempsey; Shane Horgan, Brian O’Driscoll (capt), Gordon D’Arcy, Denis Hickie; Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Rory Best, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Simon Easterby, David Wallace, Denis Leamy.
Replacements: Jerry Flannery, Simon Best, Mick O’Driscoll, Neil Best, Isaac Boss, Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble.
ENGLAND: Olly Morgan; Josh Lewsey, Mike Tindall, Andy Farrell, David Strettle; Jonny Wilkinson, Harry Ellis; Perry Freshwater, George Chuter, Phil Vickery (capt), Louis Deacon, Danny Grewcock, Joe Worsley, Magnus Lund, Martin Corry.
Replacements: Lee Mears, Julian White, Tom Palmer, Tom Rees, Shaun Perry, Toby Flood, Mat Tait.
Referee: Joel Jutge (France)