Ireland 29 England 16

Ireland won the Grand Slam at the Aviva Stadium this evening with a 29-16 victory over England. It is the country’s fourth time claiming the Grand Slam following wins in 1948, 2009 and 2018.

Two tries from Guinness Man of the Match Dan Sheehan were crucial in Ireland’s victory over England. In their final game of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Championship, Ireland were made to work hard by England, who had only 14 men on the field for all of the second half, and 13 for the last minutes of the eighty.

The home side had begun slowly and the quiet muted atmosphere of the Aviva Stadium didn’t help Andy Farrell’s side.

The visitors took the lead through kicker Owen Farrell in the eight minute, as the number 10 comfortably slotted over his effort from directly in front of the Irish posts.

The son of the Ireland Head Coach doubled England’s lead minutes later with another three-pointer, leaving the English in a 6-0 lead with only 15 minutes on the clock.

The hosts finally got on the scoreboard in the 19th minute when Jonathan Sexton kicked a penalty to make him the highest points’ scorer in Six Nations history, as the Dubliner reached the 560 mark.

Ireland took the lead for the first time in the game on 33 minutes. Hooker Dan Sheehan fought off three English challenges to make his way over the try-scoring line to touchdown for the game’s first try. A Sexton conversion gave the hot-favourites a 10-6 advantage, with half-time approaching.

With the clock in red England soon received a red as a tackle by Freddie Steward on Ireland’s fullback Hugo Keenan saw him leave the field for the remainder of the game, to be replaced by Juimmy O’Brien.

Ireland reached the half-time whistle with a 10-6 lead and a one-man advantage.

Half-time: Ireland 10 England 6.

Despite only having 14 men on the field for the second half of the game, England drew first blood. Farrell kicked his third successful penalty of the evening to leave just the bare minimum between the sides, Ireland 10 England 9.

With the Irish crowd becoming ever more nervous, Robbie Henshaw helped settle some of those anxieties. The centre broke through for Ireland’s second try of the game, as the action entered the final quarter. With Sexton maintaining his accuracy at kicking for the posts, the Irish talisman pushed his side out to a 15-9 lead, with 19 minutes to play.

Dan Sheehan soon scored his second try of this Six Nations’ fixture as Andy Farrell’s men extended their advantage to 22-9, before Sexton added the extras for a 15-point lead.

Sheehan’s England counterpart, Jamie George, crashed over for the visitors only try of the game inside the final 10 minutes; with Farrell knocking over the conversion, it was 26-16 to the home side.

Replacement Rob Herring touched down for Ireland’s fourth five-pointer of the evening. Though Ross Byrne’s conversion attempt was a shade right of the upright, it meant the crowd, team and management could enjoy the remaining minutes in the knowledge that the victory, the Triple Crown, Championship and Grand Slam were all secured.

Full-time score: Ireland 29 England 16.

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