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  Saturday, 20 October, 2001, 18:51 GMT 19:51 UK
Dawson: Ireland got it right
BBC Sport Online columnist Matt Dawson reflects on England's clash with Ireland
England scrum-half and BBC Sport Online columnist Matt Dawson reflects on his team's Grand Slam-deciding defeat by Ireland.

Obviously, everyone in the England camp is very disappointed with the result on Saturday, but it is always difficult when it comes to the crunch.

We had the opportunities, but we just couldn't convert and the Irish put us under tremendous pressure.

In the end, you have to take your hat off to them because they got it right on the day.

It was very hard for us to swallow, especially as it was so similar to last year when we also lost out on the Grand Slam with the defeat at Murrayfield.

But we just have to take it on board and move on.

As every professional player knows, it's part and parcel of the game.


There is no excuse really - we had ample ball to do something with, but we didn't put away our chances
Matt Dawson
Of course, it was difficult with me going off so early in the game.

And Jonny Wilkinson also took a knock quite early which didn't help.

Some teams have a knack of piercing the heart of a side and causing some damage.

That's what Ireland do and usually that's all, but this time they made the most of it to grab a well-earned win.

Austin Healey made an impact when he came on, scoring a try to put us in with a chance, but generally we were outplayed.

There were a couple of key moments when we should have scored tries, but unfortunately mistakes cost us dear.

There is no excuse really - we had ample ball to do something with, but we didn't put away our chances.

The main thing now is to learn from the defeat so that we're ready to take on Australia next month.

We need to get off to a good start against them and this result will be useful for understanding what we have to do.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
England stand-in captain Matt Dawson
"I'm sure during the week it will feel even worse"

Talking PointFORUM
Tune into our forum with Matt Dawson on Monday 22 October at 1500BSTDawson Q&A
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