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Dublin - 24 February, 2007
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Final score: Ireland 43-13 England

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By Rob Hodgetts

Full-time: Ireland simply outclassed England in the end and Croke Park erupts with a mighty roar and cries of "Easy, easy". "Two weeks ago [against France] was an open sore it hurt deeply. The responded perfectly. I'm overjoyed."
BBC rugby pundit Keith Wood

78 mins: TRY Ireland 43-13 England
Now that's really gone and done it. England replacement scrum-half Shaun Perry lobs an easy interception to opposite number Isaac Boss, who romps home to score under the posts. Paddy Wallace converts and Ireland are jubilant. Dublin will be a special place to be tonight.

75 mins: The combat around the fringes and in the trenches is still ferocious but the green wall is too strong for England to breach.

"Andy Farrell is too slow to be an international centre. England are going to have to change it."
BBC rugby commentator and former Ireland flanker Phillip Matthews

72 mins: Brian O'Driscoll does now come off, to be replaced by Andrew Trimble.

69 mins: Ireland's backs still look hungry and after a number of phases, Ronan O'Gara tries the cross-field kick that produced Horgan's try. This time, though, Horgan can't gather cleanly and England escape.

66 mins: Brian O'Driscoll injures his leg in a tackle by Harry Ellis. He limps around for a while but then seems to recover.

63 mins: TRY Ireland 36-13England
Ireland spin the ball left before rallying around Shane Horgan to rumble over the line. It's ruled to have been held up, but from the ensuing scrum, Ronan O'Gara hoists a kick into the right corner and Shane Horgan out jumps Josh Lewsey and touches down for the score. O'Gara converts. That momentum shift I talked about? Load of rubbish.

60 mins: The game is opening up and England surge down the left, only for Josh Lewsey to spill the ball to ruin a promising attack. The players stop, thinking the whistle has gone but the referee waves play-on and Ireland pour down the other flank. England scramble in defence, with physios littering the pitch, and finally manage to slow down the Irish attack. The atmosphere is reaching boiling point as "The Fields of Athenry" fills the Dublin night.

56 mins: PENALTY Ireland 29-13 England
England commit the cardinal sin of handing the three points straight back. Prop Julian White is penalised and Ronan O'Gara says thanks very much.

54 mins: PENALTY Ireland 26-13 England
There is a definite, though as yet quite subtle, momentum shift going on here. England win another penalty and this time Jonny Wilkinson is on target.

52 mins: England win a penalty right on the centre spot but Jonny Wilkinson's left boot drops marginally short. The ball, obviously, not the actual boot. The Irish crowd burst into life as they sense the threat of an England revival. Tom Palmer replaces Danny Grewcock in England's second row.

50 mins: Ronan O'Gara lofts a cross-field kick over to the left touch-line. England defend and win a penalty from the line-out to clear up, though having said that the kick doesn't find touch and Ireland come back at them.

46 mins: TRY Ireland 26-10 England
England keep the pressure on and a well-timed Andy Farrell pass finds debutant wing Dave Strettle, who stretches over in the left corner. The referee goes to the fourth official who confirms the try. Jonny Wilkinson makes the conversion from the touchline.

44 mins: England get a rare chance to shovel the ball down the backs but there is little penetration before Andy Farrell finds a useful touch.

42 mins: PENALTY Ireland 26-3 England
England skipper Phil Vickery is penalised for apparently pulling the scrum down, though Ireland's front row also popped up. Whatever, Ronan O'Gara stretches the lead.

41 mins: Ronan O'Gara kicks off the second half.

Half-time: Tom Rees is on for Magnus Lund in England's back row.

"England must get Mike Tindall to suck in O'Driscoll in midfield."
BBC rugby pundit Jeremy Guscott.

40 mins: That's half-time and Ireland run off to rapturous applause. England have been hit by a rampant green monster in the last 25 minutes and Danny Grewcock's sin-bin has hurt them even more. The Irish backs have looked razor sharp, while the Ireland pack has shown far more thunder than in recent games.

"The most electric 40mins of international rugby I've ever seen. Hate to admit it, but the Welsh game will be a massive let-down following this...(C'mon Ireland!!!)"
R. Mason, Machynlleth, Mid Wales

"Sitting here in New Zealand watching this game with interest. Most Kiwis truly believe that the Irish will be a real threat at the World Cup later this year and that they may well knock out one of the big four."
Dan, Wellington , New Zealand

"Sitting here in Sydney, Oz at 5am with my Australian wife and new two-month-old baby Jacob Patrick. It is his first Ireland-England rugby game and loving it so far. Expecting his first words any moment "O'Driscoll try"
Aiden, Sydney

37 mins: TRY Ireland 23-3 England
Ireland press again and open-side flanker David Wallace burrows over England's line for a try. Ronan O'Gara converts. Shades of Scotland v Italy here.

36 mins: Ireland's backs again slice through England from a line-out on the left. Shane Horgan is about to start planning his scoring celebration as he cuts in from the right wing but Mathew Tait hits him with a thunderous front-on tackle and England hooker George Chuter helps mop up.

32 mins: England's Magnus Lund is lucky to still be on the pitch after felling Girvan Dempsey in the air as the Irishman jumped to catch a high ball. The two packs came together as things threatened to turn ugly, but referee Joel Jutge just delivered a telling off and got on with the game.

30 mins: TRY Ireland 16-3 England
Ireland spin the ball right through the hands of Gordon D'Arcy and Brian O'Driscoll for full-back Girvan Dempsey to score unopposed in the right corner. Ronan O'Gara converts.

28 mins: Ireland's backs look threatening and set number eight Simon Easterby free down the left flank. Easterby is brought downs yards from the line by Josh Lewsey and as England panic to defend, lock Danny Grewcock is sin-binned for deliberately coming offside to take out Peter Stringer without the ball. Olly Morgan also limps off for England, to replaced by Mathew Tait.

23 mins: PENALTY Ireland 9-3 England
Big Shane Horgan runs through England wing Dave Strettle as he chases his own chip. From a line-out a bit of niggle creeps into both packs and Ireland emerge with a penalty. Ronan O'Gara threads the ball through the stair rods for another three points.

"Sitting in my office in Savannah, Georgia, USA, following this on the BBC website, somehow I rather doubt my boss is a rugby fan, or knows what the BBC is, so I think I'm safe. Ireland by 10."
Alan, Savannah, Georgia

22 mins: The rain begins to lash down as Ireland send a monster high ball down on Olly Morgan's head. He catches cleanly and calls for the mark before sparking a break with Harry Ellis. Ireland scuttle back to stop the attack but England get a penalty for Paul O'Connell's high tackle on Jonny Wilkinson. The fly-half finds touch but nothing immediate comes from it.

19 mins: PENALTY Ireland 6-3 England
Ireland surge into England's half but the visitors retrieve the ball, only for Andy Farrell to give away a penalty for hanging onto the ball. Ronan O'Gara accepts the three points.

15 mins: Nothing comes of England's attack and some ferocious Irish defence drives them back. Ireland then manufacture a large overlap on the right but Dave Strettle is able to snuff out the threat.

"Hi Rob. Very cheesed off that match not being shown here so relying on your updates. There again, on a sun-bed, by the sea, rum punch in hand and steel drums playing a melody. It's not all bad."
Richard, Barbados

14 mins: Ireland are penalised for a front-row infringement and England win a good attacking line-out in the left in Ireland's 22.

10 mins: There's a bit of tactical probing going on early doors. Jonny Wilkinson is favouring kicking deep behind Ireland but away from touch. Ireland, in turn, are content to loft a few high balls up by way of return.

7 mins: Ireland again try to run from deep and target the inside centre channel. Interestingly, England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson is tending to move outside Andy Farrell in defence. Another early Irish tactic seems to be to test out England debutant left wing Dave Strettle with some high kicks.

3 mins: PENALTY Ireland 3-3 England
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara pumps a kick into touch deep in the England half. England win the line-out but Harry Ellis misses touch, Shane Horgan returns and Ireland earn a penalty. Ronan O'Gara levels the score.

1 min: PENALTY Ireland 0-3 England
Ireland's Simon Easterby strays offside and Jonny Wilkinson takes three points.

1740 GMT: There's a slight delay as French referee Joel Jutge has his radio hooked up. The "Fields of Athenry" booms around the stadium before Jonny Wilkinson kicks off and the two packs thunder into each other.


1731: A pause as the crowd waits for Mary McAleese to take her seat. And then the band strikes up with God Save the Queen. There is audible singing around the ground and no obvious signs of disrespect. The singing of the anthem is greeted with gracious applause and then the home crowd belt out the Soldier's Song and Ireland's Call.

1728: Irish president Mary McAleese walks out to polite applause and is first taken to greet England captain Phil Vickery and his team. Brian O'Driscoll then introduces her to his side to more cheering from the crowd.

"Sitting in a minibus driving across Iceland. Very cold and bright but spectacular. Hoping for the same from Jonny and the boys! Come on England!"

"Listening on the web at home in Lanai City, Hawaii. 7h30 in the morning here. Come on Ireland."
Matt O'Carroll

1725: The England team saunter out in a low-key fashion, in no particular order, and are greeted by gracious applause. Ireland delay their arrival, leaving the red-tracksuited Englishmen in the middle of Croke Park on their own. Eventually, Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll leads his men out into the arena to an almighty roar.

"I should be snowboarding on my day off but thrashing the Irish takes precedent."
John, Banff - Canadian Rockies

"Sitting in a cold Connecticut about to listen online...Ireland to win by 10. Wish I was in Croke Park to see it, come on Ireland."
Eóin Lennon

1719: "If you're going to have any chance of the championship you can afford to drop two points. We've already done that, so today is a no-lose situation. We've got to be professional about it and not let emotions rule our heads. It's about getting on with the job when the ball is kicked off and not worrying about the periphery."
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan

1717: "We've not come here to make up the numbers. The challenge this week is to step up two or three levels."
England coach Brian Ashton

1715: "In an internet cafe in Honduras. The nerves are killing me. We just can't loose this one."
Redmond Shannon, Copan Ruinas, Honduras

1700: "In Bod we trust."
Mick the Mick, Santiago Chile

"Just off Sunset Blvd eating my eggs and bacon..waiting to hear England demolish Ireland by at least 15 points."

"Just pulling up a pew in Docksiders, Hamilton, Bermuda to watch the feed from Croke Park. Looking forward to Brian and Jonny battling it out."

"Following the texts highlights on my Blackberry on a snowy day in Ottawa, Canada's capital...come on Jonny W."
Phil Hayles

"Sitting her in Copenhagen, hope it's going to be a fair game. If I know the Irish they will play their hearts out when they are up against the English. May the best side win and it won't hurt at all if it's England."
Brian, ex-patriot

1655: "Ireland received a rapturous reception when they came onto Croke Park for the team photograph. They are now going through their pre-match drills. The stadium is half full and there is some good news for the fans and players too - the rain has stopped in Dublin."
BBC Sport's Jim Stokes (on his day off)

1650: "Ireland to win no doubt about that...even the bookies in Ireland are paying out already on an Ireland win...come on the IRISH."
Anonymous (bookie?) via email

1645: "Lymm rugby club has never been so packed for David Strettle's debut the first player who has ever worn a Lymm and England shirt."
From behind the bar at the Lymm RUFC, via text

1640: "Listening to Five Live in the middle of the Arabian Gulf on a boat with a doubting Kiwi. Good luck England - you have a good chance to win."
Mark, on a boat in the Arabian Gulf via email

1635: "I am a proud Englishman, in Aspen, Colorado. Looking forward to seeing David Strettle and Olly Morgan play."
A proud Englishman, Colorado via text

1630: Conditions could be a little tricky in Dublin where it is lashing down, though thankfully there is no wind. The England team were booed when they came on for their warm-up and some fans are waiting to change into their England shirts until they are inside the stadium.
BBC Sport's Jim Stokes (on his day off)

1621: "On the train into Manhattan with the locals having no idea what is about to happen today. Come on Ireland !"
Francis, New York

1615: There are already some fans nestled in the Croke Park stands and they are being treated to a blast of "The Irish Rover". The noise doesn't seem to be bothering Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll, who is surveying the scene from the middle of the pitch. Also out on the turf is England coach Brian Ashton and fly-half Toby Flood.

1611: "Come On England. The later kick-off means we get it live in Singapore for once as it does not clash with any football. Let's hope Jonny can inspire an England win!"
Tesh, Singapore

1600: Just 90 minutes to go until the big Six Nations match between Ireland and England is due to start.

Are you at Croke Park, having a drink near the ground, making your way to the game, logging on to the website from around the world, or following the build-up on your phone?

Why not let us know how you are building up to the kick-off, what you have spotted on your way to the match or wherever you are going to watch it and how you think the game will go.

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