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  Saturday, 20 October, 2001, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Ireland spoil England's day
Keith Wood dives over for his try
Keith Wood dives over for his try
Ireland 20-14 England

England threw away a potential Grand Slam for the third time in three years as Ireland's passion proved too much at Lansdowne Road.

Last year it was Scotland; in 1999 Wales. This year Ireland completed the Celtic hat-trick to gleefully deny England the ultimate Six Nations prize.

England never settled and the Six Nations trophy will be scant consolation for a dismal, disorganised performance.

Ireland, inspired by a fine try from captain Keith Wood and roared on by the Dublin faithful, were behind only once and never looked back once Wood had powered over on 15 minutes.

Hogan and Robinson chase down a long kick
Hogan and Robinson chase down a long kick
Ireland tore into a ragged England as the second half began, Wood driving his troops forward.

Humphries opened up a 14-6 lead with his third successful penalty and England looked every inch a side who had not played together for six months.

Wilkinson kept them in the game by landing a penalty before Dan Luger set off on a wonderful run from his own 22, searing almost 60 metres only to be tapped by Stringer when a try seemed certain.

As the game entered its last quarter, Humphreys went off injured and one wondered if his departure would prove a turning-point.

But Ronan O'Gara came on and hoofed a mis-hit penalty to extend the lead to eight points and then landed another to make it 20-9.

Substitute Austin Healey sprinted through for an England try with four minutes left but heroic tackling saw Ireland home.

Deadlock broken

England had looked to use the pace of their backs from the first minute, with Catt breaching the Irish defence twice in the first ten minutes.

The second break led to a penalty eight yards from the posts with which Wilkinson broke the deadlock.

But Humphreys brought the scores level with a penalty of his own, and Ireland were away.

Wood took a line-out five metres from the England line, set off as the throw left his hand, took a quick return from Anthony Foley and smashed through the surprised English defence for his eighth international try.

England were winning their fair share of ball, but were also making mistakes.

A fine tackle by Dan Luger on Horgan denied Ireland a second try, only for Balshaw to spill Hickie's garryowen and gift another penalty.

Humphreys extended the home lead to 11-3 - and that having missed two other penalties and one conversion.

Captain Matt Dawson limped off and England were on the rocks. But Wilkinson landed a late penalty and somehow they were just five points behind at the break.


Ireland: G Dempsey (Terenure College); S Horgan (Lansdowne), B O'Driscoll (Blackrock College), K Maggs (Bath), D Hickie (St Mary's College); D Humphreys (Dungannon), P Stringer (Shannon); P Clohessy (Young Munster), K Wood (Harlequins, capt), J Hayes (Shannon), M Galwey (Shannon), M O'Kelly (St Mary's College), E Miller (Terenure College), D Wallace (Garryowen), A Foley (Shannon).

Replacements: F Sheahan (Cork Constitution), E Byrne (St Mary's College), T Brennan (Barnhall), K Dawson (London Irish), G Easterby (Llanelli), R O'Gara (Cork Constitution), M Mullins (Young Munster).

England: I Balshaw (Bath); D Luger (Harlequins), W Greenwood (Harlequins), M Catt (Bath), J Robinson (Sale); J Wilkinson (Newcastle), M Dawson (Northampton, capt); J Leonard (Harlequins), P Greening (Wasps), J White (Bristol), S Shaw (Wasps), D Grewcock (Bath), M Corry (Leicester), N Back (Leicester), R Hill (Saracens).

Replacements: D West (Leicester), G Rowntree (Leicester), S Borthwick (Bath), L Moody (Leicester), K Bracken (Saracens), A Healey (Leicester), M Perry (Bath).

Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand).

Touch judges: Tappe Henning (South Africa) and Pablo Deluca (Argentina).

BBC rugby union correspondent Ian Robertson
"The script was turned upside down"
England coach Clive Woodward
"We deserved to get beat"
Ireland captain Keith Wood
"It was great teamwork all the way through"
England stand-in captain Matt Dawson
"I'm sure during the week it wll feel even worse"
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