The 2017 Six Nations has come to an end and fans have been treated to an absolutely stomping performance by Ireland and England.
With so much to play for, both sides needed to hit the ground running but it was Ireland that took charge early on, despite having had to shuffle their pack ahead of kick when Jamie Heaslip was ruled out late on.
With CJ Stander moving to No.8 and Peter O’Mahony coming in on the flank, it was the Ireland that defeated New Zeland in November that turned up to face England.
It was the home side that dominated much of the first half as they looked to redeem themselves from an error strewn loss to Wales last weekend. Against England they were far more clinical both in attack and defence, leading to a chorus of England fans voicing their concerns online.
— Dawn Dainty (@Jinxed79Dawn) March 18, 2017
@EnglandRugby wake the fuck up!!
— Σimon Zambelli (@Von_stenend) March 18, 2017
— Alex Holmes (@alexholmess7) March 18, 2017
— matt (@matt0675) March 18, 2017
Our England rugby team are playing as shit as our football team!
— Kaya Cairney (@kayacairney) March 18, 2017
Ireland fans were, however, pretty happy with what they had seen.
— Mark Russell (@markrusselluk) March 18, 2017
Some 40 minutes of rugby. Ireland fired up and English caught off guard. Bring it. #IrevEng
— Kevin Kelly (@AlsoKevinKelly) March 18, 2017
Rugby is a game of domination and Ireland are doing just that #believe
— William Morrin (@wmorrin) March 18, 2017
Helluva 40 mins of rugby there from Ireland #IrevEng
— Lorcan Roche Kelly (@LorcanRK) March 18, 2017
Honestly Ireland is playing absolutely superb rugby tonight
— Melissa A. Johnson (@Melissa_Jhnsn) March 18, 2017
The second saw the inevitable and expected backlash from England. You don’t win 18-games on the bounce without having to overcome some tricky moment in games.
Trailing 10-3 at the break, Eddie Jones surely had some strong words for his side and the response was resounding.
England came back strong and in waves asked all the questions of Ireland. However, despite bringing on three Six Nations debutantes, Ireland answered to a man.
The script had been written for England to make history and record a 19th consecutive win. In the Six Nations things don’t always go to plan and Ireland delivered a mammoth performance to spoil England’s party.
With Grand Slams and world records now gone for England and a resounding return to form for Ireland, fans took to Twitter to deliver their verdict.
@SuperSportTV Ireland are becoming show-stoppers, first New Zealand and now England.?
— Cooper Richard (@Cooper_global) March 18, 2017
If you can't beat Ireland you can never be the No. 1. Try again ENGLAND – not good enough!
— Ian Sturgess (@sticklerian) March 18, 2017
— Jonathan Pluck (@JonPluck) March 18, 2017
— Tim Curtis (@timocurtis) March 18, 2017
I love you Ireland x ??
— Andy Morrison (@Andy_morrison1) March 18, 2017
— Bobby mcnally (@Bobbymc1980) March 18, 2017
No Grand Slam, no record, Ireland you little beauties!!!! So proud!!! #IrevEng
— Denise Whelan (@Denise_Whelan89) March 18, 2017
— Michael Cantillon (@mike_cantillon) March 18, 2017
Damn. Well done to Ireland, much better team on the day. England simply not good enough. More work to be done.
— Keyser Söze (@Yxllop) March 18, 2017
All eyes now turn to British and Irish Lions selection next month, where Warren Gatland must now consider a few extra names from Ireland for his extended squad.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena