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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 March 2006, 07:22 GMT
England blame luck of the Irish

By James Standley
BBC Sport at Twickenham

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll celebrates victory
Brian O'Driscoll set up the Triple Crown-winning try for Ireland

England fly-half Andy Goode blamed "the luck of the Irish" for the visitors' 28-24 win in the RBS Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday.

Ireland were awarded a dubious first-half try and also had two other close decisions go in their favour.

"It was St Patrick's Day on Friday and with the luck of the Irish, things went against us today," the man of the match said ruefully on Saturday evening.

"They scored three tries which at the end of the day might not be given."

Ireland's first try was down to an error from the touch judge, who failed to notice that the ball had hit the line before Shane Horgan hacked it on and won the race to touch down.

Ireland's second try also had an element of bad luck for England.

Ben Cohen was incorrectly called back after taking a quick throw to himself, but England then only had themselves to blame, as their long throw over the back of the line-out went astray.

Denis Leamy was quick to pounce and the television match official ruled correctly that he had touched the ball down cleanly.

The third try also was also referred to the video referee, who awarded the score after Horgan squeezed over in the corner with millimetres to spare in the 78th minute.

"After the first try got shown on the big screen the touch judge is smiling under the posts when he realises he's made a mistake," said Goode

We've played most of the rugby and unfortunately we've come away with nothing again
England centre Jamie Noon

"That sort of decision inspires you to go and get back into the game, which we did.

"But when your luck's down, which ours is at the minute, things like that tend to go against you.

"It's a very dejected changing room. We got close to winning and were the bounce of the ball and a couple of decisions away from winning it."

England centre Jamie Noon - who was taken off at half-time feeling a "bit groggy" after a blow to the head which cut his scalp - agreed with Goode that luck had been against England.

"You can't really plan for the little things - the bounce of the ball, stuff like that," he said.

"Today it's gone against us but we played the rugby.

"It's a game we had won and then there's an element of luck and we've lost it.

"There was that bounce of the ball from O'Gara's little chip at the end.

"Credit to them - they had to throw everything at it. They've tried something and it's paid off - the luck of the Irish, as it were.

"It's difficult to say we've thrown that game away because it's the bounce of the ball.

"We've played most of the rugby and unfortunately we've come away with nothing again."


WATCH AND LISTEN
Highlights: England 24-28 Ireland


Interview: Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan


Interview: Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll



SEE ALSO
Robinson angry over Ireland tries
18 Mar 06 |  Six Nations
O'Driscoll lauds Irish character
18 Mar 06 |  Six Nations
England 24-28 Ireland
17 Mar 06 |  Six Nations
Clockwatch: England 24-28 Ireland
18 Mar 06 |  Six Nations


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