Six Nations: Ireland defeats England to secure Grand Slam

St. Patrick's Day is alw...

Posted: Mar 18, 2018 9:35 PM
Updated: Mar 18, 2018 9:35 PM

St. Patrick's Day is always cause for celebration in Ireland, but this one will be extra-special.

The Irish rugby team overturned England 15-24 at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday to secure its second ever Six Nations Grand Slam.

England 15-24 Ireland

Ireland wins third grand slam

Secured Six Nations title last weekend

Having clinched the championship last week, Joe Schmidt's side swept past England in the swirling London snow as three first-half tries laid the foundations for an historic victory. Only in 2009 had Ireland previously celebrated an undefeated campaign in the competition's current format.

"I think words can't describe how delighted we are with that win, but also with the Grand Slam," said captain Rory Best after the game.

"We just had to make every moment count, every single moment.

"We knew it was going to be a really tough task to come here and win, but right from the off we tried to attack England with and without the ball."

England, touted as the pre-tournament favorite, has now lost its past three games. This was the first loss under coach Eddie Jones on home soil.

READ: Ireland beats Scotland to secure title, England falters again

READ: Rugby legend Dan Carter opens up on his move to Japan

The visitor got off to a blistering start in the bitter cold at Twickenham. A high kick from fly-half Johnny Sexton was spilled by fullback Anthony Watson, allowing center Garry Ringrose to pounce on the loose ball over the England line.

CJ Stander crossed soon after for Ireland after Bundee Aki had punched a hole in England's midfield. The host managed a reply, however, through Elliot Daly, who gathered an Owen Farrell kick following sustained pressure in the Irish half.

Ireland looked to be heading into halftime with a nine-point advantage, but a moment of brilliance from wing Jacob Stockdale increased his side's lead as he raced after his own chip through and beat two defenders to ground the ball over England's line.

Playing in his first Six Nations, 21-year-old Stockdale has enjoyed a storming campaign, bagging a Six Nations record seven tries.

Ireland controlled the opening stages of the second half and Conor Murray extended his side's lead with a penalty.

England was more sprightly in the final 20 minutes, but a second try from Daly and a score from Jonny May proved too little too late for the host.

It was to be Ireland's day -- a St. Patrick's Day to remember for the players and fans.

Wales, Scotland end tournament with wins

Elsewhere in the final weekend of Six Nations action, Scotland beat Italy 27-29 in Rome thanks to a late Greig Laidlaw penalty.

Italy, searching for its first win in the competition since 2015 started well and led for the majority of the game. A late Tommaso Allan kick seemed to have won it for the host, but Laidlaw's boot struck a killer blow in the dying moments.

In the tournament's final game, Wales narrowly edged out France 14-13 in Cardiff. An early Liam Williams try for the host was canceled out by Ga-l Fickou.

The only points in the second half came from the boot of France's Maxime Machenaud, but that wasn't enough for Les Bleus to secure their first away victory of this this year's Six Nations.

Visit cnn.com/rugby for more news and videos

The results mean Wales, Scotland and France respectively trail Ireland, while England slump to fifth -- its worst finish in 31 years.

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