How England succumbed to streetwise streetfighters Ireland in Six Nations 2017 finale

Peter O'Mahony was exceptional for Ireland
Standing tall: Peter O'Mahony was exceptional for Ireland

So, for the second time in five months, Ireland ousted a Test team looking for their 19th consecutive victory. This party-pooping occurred in sodden Dublin rather than sun-bathed Chicago, and – on the surface at least – the two matches seemed starkly contrasting.

A 40-29 victory over the All Blacks last November was punctuated by five tries for Joe Schmidt’s side amid long stretches of expansive rugby. On Saturday, a disjointed game descended into chaos at times and Iain Henderson’s first-half surge represented the game’s single five-pointer.

But both Ireland performances married emotion with technical diligence and savvy. This is the story of how they overcame England.

Bespoke defence

The relationship of Owen and Andy Farrell became an omnipresent discussion point in the build-up to this game and the influence of Ireland’s defence coach certainly came to the fore. As a – perhaps the – prominent...


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