Ireland's Grand Slam celebrations in Dublin postponed due to snow
Ireland's Grand Slam celebrations in Dublin postponed due to snow
Jacob Stockdale profited from the expanded dead-ball at Twickenham to score versus England
19 March, 2018, 12:50
A special ticketed homecoming event was organised for the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this afternoon, where the Irish rugby heroes were set to parade their Triple Crown and Six Nations trophies.
Even against England, there was a balanced blend - Garry Ringrose's score coming from kick pressure, CJ Stander's second being a attractive set-piece strike and the third involving clever play from Conor Murray and a superb individual contribution from Jacob Stockdale.
After being put in space down the Ireland left, the wing chipped over Mike Brown and touched down at the second attempt, trapping the ball centimetres before it went dead.
At a bitterly cold Twickenham - lines on the pitch had been painted blue so they would stand out against the unseasonal snow - converted tries from Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Jacob Stockdale gave Ireland a commanding 21-5 half-time lead in front of a capacity crowd of more than 82,000, with Conor Murray adding a penalty on the hour.
But in a twist of fate that will only add to England's disappointment, the score counted only because the home side chose to extend the in-goal area behind the posts at Twickenham.
His coach for all those successes with Leinster and latterly Ireland, the New Zealander Joe Schmidt, said after Saturday's grand finale: "This is massive and it's massive for the group of players that we've got".
After attacking so decisively in the first half, Ireland spent most of the second on defense as England, the deposed champion, rallied to try and prevent a first home loss in the Six Nations since 2012.
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Devin Toner and some of his Grand Slam colleagues.
"Yesterday evening the mood was a little bit subdued, we were just on a little bit of a come down after all the adrenaline, but today is really brilliant", Rob Kearney said, at a celebration in Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel.
"I'd just say I'm delighted with [the Grand Slam]". In terms of results we have, but in terms of where we want to go as a team, we are moving forward.
"We'll play in very different conditions in Australia".
"We weren't happy being the team we were... we knew we weren't good enough to get where we wanted to get".
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