England v Ireland – story of the match
Ireland claimed their third ever Grand Slam after victory over England at Twickenham.
Ireland ignited the St Patrick’s Day Celebrations by completing the third Grand Slam in their history as England collapsed to a 24-15 defeat that nudged them towards NatWest 6 Nations despair.
A record-extending 12th successive Irish victory was sealed at a canter as a 21-5 half-time lead at Twickenham established an unassailable position to elevate Joe Schmidt’s class of 2018 alongside the heroes of 1948 and 2009.
Garry Ringrose and CJ Stander crossed before Jacob Stockdale plundered a record-breaking seventh touch down of the tournament, claiming a try that was laced in irony due to the extension of the in-goal area in anticipation of snow.
Tweet of the match
41 phases and a moment of brilliance from Sexton in Rd1 gave ireland the chance at glory. 3 home wins and GS joy at Twickers sealed it. Congrats Ireland. Deserved champs.— Rory Lawson (@rorylawson9) March 17, 2018
Former Scotland scrum-half Rory Lawson points out that but for an overtime drop-goal in Paris to seal a 15-13 win over France, Ireland would never have had the chance for a Grand Slam at all.
Star Man – Rob Kearney
The full-back almost looked down and out in November 2016. Boss Joe Schmidt told the Leinster stalwart he needed a big game to keep his place ahead of Ireland facing New Zealand in Chicago. The British and Irish Lions star conjured a classic performance that day as Ireland prevailed 40-29 and has not looked back since. Forced the issue for Ringrose’s opening try, and was safe as houses throughout – to add a second Grand Slam to his 2009 triumph.
Moment of the match
Jacob Stockdale dots down for Ireland’s third try, reaching his chip on in time, for a score that sealed a stunning triumph for Schmidt’s men.
Stat of the day
Stockdale sets a new single-championship record of seven tries in the Six Nations era.
Who’s up next
South Africa v England, Johannesburg, June 9
Australia v Ireland, Brisbane, June 9