England ends Ireland’s Grand Slam bid

Written by on 11 March, 2024

By Samkelo “Sports Mjita” Gambushe

A last-ditch drop-goal by Marcus Smith saw England end Six Nations champions Ireland’s hopes of successive Grand Slams with a dramatic 23-22 win at Twickenham on Sunday night. With more than 80 minutes on the clock replacement fly-half Smith landed the winning kick and England ended a run of four straight defeats by Ireland.

“The players made mistakes and they tried playing safer and by playing safer you end up playing riskier because we haven’t trained that,” said England coach Steve Borthwick. We haven’t trained like that, so suddenly you’re doing something in a Test match that we haven’t trained. Tonight they didn’t – they made errors and got into the next battle. If there is anything I can encourage the players to do, it is go into the next battle.”

“We’re going to make errors but do it the way we want to do it. And that’s okay because then we know what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. If we do something completely different, we don’t know if the original plan is going to work or not. What pleased us today is that the players go out and just tried to bring all their strengths onto the pitch,” the English mentor added.

England will need Ireland to slip up against the Scots on the final weekend to have a chance at pipping them to the title with a win over France in Lyon.

Picture: Gallo Images

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