STUART Lancaster strengthened his claim to be appointed England’s permanent head coach after Ireland were put to the sword in the climax to the 2012 RBS 6 Nations at Twickenham.
Owen Farrell kicked 20 points, while referee Nigel Owens awarded a penalty try against an Irish scrum that was dominated from start to finish. Ben Youngs completed the rout with an opportunist late try as England finished championship runners-up
Lancaster, pictured, watched his team secure an early foothold at the scrum, winning a penalty after it had collapsed which Owen Farrell steered between the uprights.
The wet conditions failed to dent either side’s ambitions in an exciting, if error-strewn, opening spell. Full-back Rob Kearney sent a long-range drop goal attempt narrowly wide but Ireland were off the mark shortly after when Jonathan Sexton landed a penalty.
Ireland’s scrum continued to suffer and they conceded a second penalty at the set-piece which Farrell sent between the posts.
The half finished with lock Donnacha Ryan counter-rucking on the 22 and England infringed, allowing Sexton to kick his second penalty.
At the start of second half, Ireland’s scrum floundered again and Farrell took advantage by booting his fourth penalty.
Sexton kicked a penalty to slash the deficit to three points, but Ireland continued to see their scrum come under immense pressure – this time five metres out from their own line. Time and again the Irish were shoved back and eventually Owens lost patience, awarding England a penalty try that was converted by Farrell.
The match was taken beyond Ireland’s reach when Farrell landed his sixth shot at goal. And Youngs sealed it when he took a quick tap penalty from ten yards out and slipped between Jamie Heaslip, Tomas O’Leary and Bowe. Farrell missed the conversion but later landed a sixth penalty.
Scorers: England: Tries: Penalty, Youngs. Con: Farrell. Pens: Farrell 6. Ireland: Pens: Sexton 3.
England: Foden; Ashton, Tuilagi, Barritt, Strettle; Farrell, Dickson; Corbisiero, Hartley, Cole, Botha, Parling, Croft, Robshaw, Morgan. Subs: Brown for Foden (70), Youngs for Dickson (48), Stevens for Hartley (74), Mears for Cole (74), Palmer for Botha (55), Dowson for Morgan (74). Not used: Hodgson.
Ireland: Kearney; Bowe, Earls, D’Arcy, Trimble; Sexton, Reddan; Healy, Best, Ross, O’Callaghan, Ryan, Ferris, O’Brien, Heaslip. Subs: O’Gara for D’Arcy (48), O’Leary for Reddan (48), McCarthy for O’Callaghan (66), O’Mahony for O’Brien (69). Not used: Cronin, Court, McFadden.
Referee: N Owens (Wal). Att: 80,567.