England win in Dublin for first time in 10 years
ENGLAND won a Six Nations match in Dublin for the first time in 10 years yesterday when Owen Farrell kicked them to a 12-6 victory to become the only team capable of winning a Grand Slam after just two rounds of matches.
Ireland, who lost flyhalf Jonathan Sexton and wing Simon Zebo to injury in a first half in which the host's handling was simply abysmal, briefly drew level with England in the second half, but Farrell's boot proved the difference.
Stuart Lancaster's men, whose last championship victory in Ireland also coincided with their last Grand Slam win, imposed themselves from the off and handed 21-year-old Farrell a straightforward early penalty opportunity to give them the lead.
It was 26 minutes before another score came as both sides dealt with the damp conditions by launching up-and-under after up-and-under, with Ireland far the sloppier from hand.
Despite Irish pressure, Farrell again slotted over a penalty from distance to double the lead.
There was yet another knock on from an Irish hand three minutes into the second half but their scrum, obliterated in last year's corresponding fixture, mustered a huge push and O'Gara halved the deficit from the resulting penalty.
Brian O'Driscoll, who rushed to hospital earlier in the day for the birth of his first child, looked like he might have to join Sexton and Zebo on the sidelines, but, as has been the case on more than one occasion, the former captain limped on.
Sexton's replacement Ronan O'Gara drew the scores level after England flanker James Haskell was sent to the sin bin for kicking the ball away illegally.
However, Ireland had little chance to take advantage of the extra man as Farrell coolly slotted two more penalties to restore his side's six-point lead.