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Ireland beat England to win Six Nations Grand Slam

Ireland's Andrew Porter and James Ryan celebrate winning. Photo: INPHO

Ireland have beaten England 24-15 on St Patrick's Day to secure the Six Nations Grand Slam.

Tries from Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and a record-breaking seventh of the tournament for Jacob Stockdale helped them to victory at Twickenham.

It was the third Grand Slam of Ireland's history, with Joe Schmidt's class of 2018 joining the heroes of 1948 and 2009.

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A record-extending 12th successive Irish victory was sealed at a canter after they raced to a 21-5 half-time lead.

Ireland, who counted Rob Kearney and Rory Best as the only survivors from the 2009 Grand Slam triumph, were efficient and precise but also produced the few moments of magic in an ugly spectacle.

They made their mark as early as the sixth minute when a high, hanging Jonathan Sexton kick was spilt by Anthony Watson while stationed on his own whitewash to enable Ringrose to touch down via confirmation from the TMO.

  • WATCH: Ireland win the Six Nations Grand Slam

An attacking line-out was well defended by Ireland and there was more misery for England when Maro Itoje strayed offside.

James Haskell's head comically blocked the path of a clearance by Owen Farrell but there was nothing funny about the spell of pressure on the home line that eventually told in the 24th minute.

A line-out was worked to Tadhg Furlong via Conor Murray and Sexton and when Bundee Aki came racing through there was support on either shoulder, but it was Stander who was picked out to score by grounding the ball at the base of the post.

England sent four close-range penalties into the corner in their pursuit of a try that eventually came when Farrell, whose initial burst began the attack, chipped into the left corner for Daly to touch down.

Peter O'Mahony had been sent to the sin-bin, Watson departed on the medical cart and Sexton disappeared for an HIA as any hope of English momentum disappeared amid a succession of penalties.

And Ireland made them pay in first half injury-time, exploiting a tight blindside before 21-year-old Ulster winger Stockdale burst free, chipped ahead and beat the cover to finish a brilliant solo try.

Words can't describe how delighted we are with that win but also the Grand Slam.

– Rory Best

Daly's high tackle on Rob Kearney ended another England attack and when Murray landed a penalty, the champions were truly out of sight.

Finally there was a spark of imagination in the home ranks as quick hands sent Daly over and May was able to grab an injury-time try, but it was all too late.

Ireland captain Rory Best knew his side would be given a stern test and was understandably delighted they passed with flying colours.

"We knew it was going to be a really tough task to come here and win. Right from the off we tried to attack England with and without the ball, it was a very ferocious Test match, right throughout," he said.

"We just had to make sure we made every moment count, every single moment, build the moments on top of each other and try to build as close to a perfect 80 minutes as we could because we knew the reward would be worth the massive effort required.

"It was all about this game and all about the Grand Slam. The statement for us was to make sure we won something big and ultimately in this, what turned out to be a cup final for us, to show what we're made of."