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Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

Bowe thrilled with Irish response

Keith Earls

Highlights - England 16-20 Ireland

Ireland's two-try hero Tommy Bowe believes they have answered their critics by beating England 20-16.

Last year's Grand Slam winners came in for criticism after a 33-10 defeat in France but Bowe believes they produced the perfect response at Twickenham.

"A lot was written about the France game but we stuck together and pulled out the victory. Every team slips up now and again," said Ospreys star Bowe.

"This was a brilliant win - it puts us back into contention."

France, as the only unbeaten team, are favourites to win the Six Nations title, but Ireland's Jamie Heaslip is hoping England can do them a favour on the last day of the championship.

Tommy Bowe

Bowe rips through England to clinch win

"It would be an odd one, an Englishman doing an Irishman a favour - but you never know," said Heaslip, man of the match at Twickenham.

"I can see England causing France problems, but France are very clinical. They punish mistakes.

"But, if England play the game they did against us, controlling the pace and territory, they can neutralise a lot of France's attributes."

Saturday's exciting triumph was a crucial result for Ireland, who needed to restore morale after that heavy Paris defeat a fortnight earlier.


England led 16-13 with five minutes to go but Ireland responded with a superb Bowe try with Ronan O'Gara adding the conversion.

"It was great to get another win. That was probably bit of a boost for ourselves," said Lions number eight Heaslip.

"We took our opportunities against England to get the win and put ourselves back on track.

"Before the match we talked about the fact we had beaten them five out of six times to build up belief in ourselves.

"When we went behind that belief came out."

Heaslip sprained an ankle in Saturday's match but was able to finish the game and seems certain to be fit for the match against Wales.

The starting side from the England game, with the exception of Geordan Murphy who will return to Leicester, take part in a two-day training camp on Wednesday and Thursday.

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see also
Proud Kidney salutes Ireland's team effort
27 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
England 16-20 Ireland
27 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations as it happened
27 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations photos
27 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Johnson ponders England approach
28 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
England v Ireland match stats
31 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union

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