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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 March 2003, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Awesome England clinch Grand Slam
Ireland 6-42 England

Richard Hill helps Lawrence Dallaglio celebrate his try
Richard Hill helps Lawrence Dallaglio celebrate his try
England buried the ghosts of past Grand Slam failures to seal their first championship clean sweep since 1995 with an emphatic win over Ireland at Lansdowne Road.

The mishaps at Wembley, Murrayfield and Dublin two years ago were consigned to history as Clive Woodward's side swept to victory in commanding fashion.

An early try from Lawrence Dallaglio and second-half scores from Mike Tindall, Will Greenwood (2) and Dan Luger proved more than sufficient to douse the Irish fire.

Jonny Wilkinson added 15 points from two drop goals, three conversions and a penalty to secure England's 12th-ever Grand Slam.

Victory was built on a rock-solid defence, which resisted every Irish effort to unhinge it as the powerful visiting pack ground their opponents into submission.

Ireland 6 (6):
Pens: Humphreys
Drop goals: Humphreys
England 42 (13):
Tries: Dallaglio, Tindall, Greenwood 2, Luger
Cons: Wilkinson 3 Grayson
Pen: Wilkinson
Drops: Wilkinson 2
The home side could only manage a first-half penalty and drop goal from David Humphreys, as England reeled off 29 unanswered second-half points.

Aiming for a first Grand Slam in 55 years, Ireland were quickest out of the blocks.

Humphreys fell inches short with a penalty attempt from inside his own half, but they capitalised on their early pressure in the fifth minute.

Steve Thompson's wayward line-out throw was seized on by Keith Gleeson and taken on by Marcus Horan, and with England conceding a penalty, Humphreys landed a smart drop goal.

But the visitors responded with interest and were ahead within three minutes.

A wheeled Irish scrum allowed Richard Hill to pressurize Peter Stringer, Matt Dawson pounced and his break released Dallaglio to dive over unopposed under the posts.

Wilkinson converted for a 7-3 lead, but Ireland refused to be cowed and slashing breaks from Brian O'Driscoll and the dangerous Geordan Murphy tested England's defence.

Humphreys failed to convert the pressure with a bad penalty miss after 17 minutes, and another Murphy counter broke down when the full-back failed to release Denis Hickie.

Humphreys did reduce the arrears with a 40m penalty when England were penalised at a scrummage, but the visitors started to dominate possession.

Lawrence Dallaglio celebrates scoring England's opening try
Ireland failed to breach England's defence
Josh Lewsey showed his confidence with an inside-outside break and Wilkinson stretched the lead to 10-6 with a right-footed drop goal just before the half-hour.

He repeated the trick in first-half injury time to give England some breathing space as the frenetic pace continued unabated.

Hill and Matt Dawson both departed for running repairs in the first period, with Graham Rowntree also forced off before the interval, to be replaced by Trevor Woodman.

Wilkinson appeared to have followed suit as he clutched his notoriously fragile shoulder on the resumption, only to regain his feet and thump over what looked a sumptuous drop goal.

It's been a long time coming
England's Lawrence Dallaglio
But the score was ruled out for an earlier offence on the advice of a touch judge, and Ireland remained within a converted score.

Wilkinson was forced off after 54 minutes, with Paul Grayson pitched into the fray, but returned seven minutes later just as Grayson was converting Tindall's match-clinching try.

Again the forwards did the hard yards, before Grayson and Greenwood created space for the Bath centre to barge his way through the remaining cover on an angled run.

Dallaglio was held up short as England went for the kill, but instead it was Greenwood who was bundled over by his pack after 65 minutes.

Wilkinson added a penalty 10 minutes from time and Greenwood intercepted Murphy's pass to stroll over for his second in injury time.

England's superiority was confirmed as Dan Luger added a final flourish with a fifth try, Wilkinson adding the extras to spark the red rose celebrations.

Ireland: Ireland: G Murphy (Leicester); J Bishop (London Irish), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), K Maggs (Bath), D Hickie (Leinster); D Humphreys (Ulster), P Stringer (Munster); M Horan (Munster), S Byrne (Leinster), J Hayes (Munster), M O'Kelly (Leinster), G Longwell (Ulster), V Costello (Leinster), K Gleeson (Leinster), A Foley (Munster).

Replacements: F Sheahan (Munster), J Fitzpatrick (Ulster), P O'Connell (Munster), A Quinlan (Munster), G Easterby (Llanelli), R O'Gara (Munster), G Dempsey (Leinster).

England: Josh Lewsey (Wasps), Jason Robinson (Sale), Will Greenwood (Harlequins), Mike Tindall (Bath), Ben Cohen (Northampton), Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle vice-captain), Matt Dawson (Northampton ), Graham Rowntree (Leicester), Steve Thompson (Northampton ), Jason Leonard (Harlequins), Martin Johnson (Leicester, captain), Ben Kay (Leicester), Richard Hill (Saracens), Neil Back (Leicester), Lawrence Dallaglio (Wasps)

Replacements: Dorian West (Leicester), Trevor Woodman (Gloucester), Danny Grewcock (Bath), Joe Worsley (London Wasps), Kyran Bracken (Saracens), Paul Grayson (Northampton), Dan Luger (Harlequins).

England boss Clive Woodward
"The players deserve this"

Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll
"Slowly, but surely, we are getting there"

Clockwatch: Ireland v England
30 Mar 03 |  Internationals
England clinch Grand Slam
30 Mar 03 |  Photo Galleries


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