The final game of the 2023 Six Nations will see Ireland try to seal a grand slam on home turf for the first time. Only old rivals England stand in their way.
Ireland have claimed three grand slams in their long history but not one of them has ended in Dublin, which promises to make this St Patrick’s Day weekend all the more special for the men in green, providing they can see off an England team in crisis.
Andy Farrell’s Ireland are the undisputed No 1 side in the world and have swept aside all-comers during the championship, while England have struggled to consistently improve the tailspin they found themselves in towards the end of the Eddie Jones era, under new coach Steve Borthwick.
Decent wins over Italy and Wales were immediately forgotten as they suffered a record home defeat to France at Twickenham last time out, being completely outclassed by a rampant Les Bleus and leaving them in no doubt where they stand in the pecking order just six months out from a World Cup. If they can bounce back to beat an unstoppable-looking Irish team at the Aviva Stadium, then it will go down as one of the all-time great Six Nations shocks.
Follow live coverage from the Aviva Stadium below after the conclusion of France vs Wales:
PENALTY! IRELAND 3-6 England (Johnny Sexton penalty, 19 minutes)
Three more points to his tally – Johnny Sexton surpasses Ronan O’Gara as the all-time leading Six Nations scorer.
Harry Latham-Coyle18 March 2023 17:21
Ireland 0-6 England, 17 minutes
Kyle Sinckler flops over the top of a breakdown. Penalty to Ireland, and this time Johnny Sexton beckons for the tee. This should be history for the Ireland fly-half…
Harry Latham-Coyle18 March 2023 17:20
Ireland 0-6 England, 16 minutes
But here come Ireland. Dan Sheehan hurries into a half-gap and then Hugo Keenan cuts England open more completely, the full-back slithering up the centre and into the visitors backfield.
England reform, though, and Ireland are over-hasty in their play, losing their accuracy and allowing Henry Arundell to snatch a pass from the air.
Harry Latham-Coyle18 March 2023 17:19
PENALTY! Ireland 0-6 ENGLAND (Owen Farrell penalty, 15 minutes)
Two from two for Owen Farrell. Slightly further left than his first but still simple enough for the fly-half. A bright opening 15 minutes for England.
Harry Latham-Coyle18 March 2023 17:17
Ireland 0-3 England, 14 minutes
And Ireland compound that error. Mack Hansen slices an attempted clearing kick out for a gain of all of ten metres, with Andrew Porter then taking a lifter out before the English lineout catcher has come safely to floor.
Owen Farrell will try to double his tally.
Harry Latham-Coyle18 March 2023 17:16
Ireland 0-3 England, 13 minutes
Ireland use the goalline drop out play that worked so beautifully against France, but Hugo Keenan can’t take Tadhg Furlong’s inside ball.
Harry Latham-Coyle18 March 2023 17:15
Ireland 0-3 England, 12 minutes
They were! Jaco Peyper confers with his TMO Marius Jonker, and is content that Maro Itoje was onside before rushing forward, with the lock putting Owen Farrell onside before the fly-half chimed in which his support. The pair combine with Alex Dombrandt to turtle Sexton, holding him up – just a goalline drop out.
Harry Latham-Coyle18 March 2023 17:14
Ireland 0-3 England, 11 minutes
Nearly through! Ireland vary their attacking play and it is nearly deadly, Josh van der Flier first on the inside ball making a half-break, and then James Lowe likewise as the backs work the hands.
Ireland lose control of the ball but England infringe on the floor. Tapped quickly – Johnny Sexton takes England by surprise and I’m not sure the tackler was back ten…
Harry Latham-Coyle18 March 2023 17:12
Ireland 0-3 England, 10 minutes
Johnny Sexton does not fancy testing his range from just short of halfway – the Ireland fly-half kicks for touch on the 22, from where Ireland can attack.
Harry Latham-Coyle18 March 2023 17:11
Ireland 0-3 England, 9 minutes
Johnny Sexton kicks long to Alex Dombrandt in the left corner, with England’s number eight handled by the Irish chasers. Hugo Keenan takes a long English clearance and steps past one tackler.
Into an extended kicking exchange. Ah, that’s a little naive from Henry Arundell, torn between a kick and his natural attacking instinct, and allowing Irish limbs to wrap around his ankles and then the ball – penalty to Ireland for holding on.
Harry Latham-Coyle18 March 2023 17:10