Ireland beat England 32-18 in Dublin to end their Six Nations campaign on a high and leave visitors in shock.
Eddie Jones’ men finished the tournament in fifth place, having lost to Scotland, Wales and the Irish – the first time they have done so in a single championship since 1976.
Here is how the British and Irish media reacted to the result.
Mike Brown, Daily Mail
“As a player you will always know if someone like Warren Gatland is sitting in the stands. You would hold him back in the media or see his face appear on the big screen during a break from play.
“In the back of their minds the England players desperately wanted to impress Gatland in Dublin. Unfortunately, the performance did more harm than good to their chances.
“Before Saturday’s game I had scrawled a Lions XV that contained six English players. After the game it only contained three.
“Every rugby player loves to gossip about a Lions XV during bus rides and lunch breaks and, for me, Owen Farrell, Jamie George and Ben Youngs all played their way out of the starting squad. have no doubt that Farrell will make the team overall standings, but George and Youngs might be sweating now. “
Stuart Barnes, The Time
“When England lose the collision contest, they lose the game. They win more than they lose because they have a large number of powerful attackers. Essentially, Jones has created a team that has to intimidate the opposition to do what she wants.
“Sexton quietly proved his skeptics wrong. I admit I thought his end was approaching, but his previous two performances have been flawless. He catapulted himself into the race for the British and Irish Lions. He was second to none. , cool behind the white – the hot furnace of a peloton pulled to the brink by Paul O’Connell, the attacking coach.
“The opening half is one of the Big 10s of the last decade. O’Connell is an immortal Irish rugby player on the pitch. He seems destined for greatness as a coach. One coach goes up, another should fall .
“It’s Jones’ team. It’s their fault. It’s time to go.”
Sir Clive Woodward, Daily Mail
“Make no mistake, Ireland was great, they had a lot more energy and Conor Murray’s return gave them direction but it was really poor by England on Saturday, two steps back after making a serious step forward last week.
“It’s time for Eddie Jones to look at himself in the mirror, not the window. Someone at RFU – although I’m not sure who is qualified to do it – needs to ask him some pointed questions. ‘There is no respected rugby mastermind.’ asking the tough questions.
“What’s going on? Why have England just finished fifth in the Six Nations, a place above Italy? Why have England produced only one performance decent in this tournament Why are England Six Nations also contenders Why the England squad not reflect the fantastic talent we see every week in the Premiership?
“England didn’t seem to take any of the lessons from this win against France. Their bad kicks came back with disastrous discipline when it counted. Ireland kept building the scoring to claim the victory. “
“Both Tadhgs, Beirne and Furlong, achieved such dominance on the pitch that England were rarely at the forefront. England looked humble at the overwhelming superiority of the Irish field.
“When England gained momentum, a cute and nimble Irish defense either held back the English backers, suspending them in sporting agony, or knocked them over and slashed the ball.
“CJ Stander’s brand of rugby of being an option for the passer and constantly pouncing on opposing players is not very sophisticated, but it is heroically confrontational and can be terribly effective.
“A big part of Johnny Sexton’s game is his unwavering commitment to taking the ball straight into the face of the opposition before making his decisions. It sees him regularly beaten, but it also holds back defenders and creates space for them. the others He is as altruistic as he is courageous.
“The oft-overlooked Robbie Henshaw looked like every inch of a Lion on Saturday. As my old pal Tom Shanklin texted me during the game, he has it all: an engine, speed, power, skillful touch and lightning-fast thinking on defense.
“Undoubtedly it was a poor Six Nations for England. The French game was great but that’s where it starts and ends.
“In national football there is always a balance to be struck between form and the quality of past performances. England have absolutely not found that balance.
“The national form has to be taken seriously and has to mean more, otherwise the leadership of England will increasingly be seen as short-sighted.
“Regarding the red card, we are living in a time when, for the first time, the authorities are trying to make rugby safer. It will never be completely safe but these harsh calls from the referees are the only way to prevent players from getting their heads smashed so brutally and so often.
“There is no other way out of this red age than for players to learn and adapt. And fast.
“One name that hasn’t been mentioned as a potential Lions skipper is Tom Curry. He’s young, dominant, hugely influential, bright, humble and fun. Maro and Alun-Wyn might be the first, but Gatland loves curves and Curry could be it. “
“In this form, the only English players who deserve a place on the Lions tour are Itoje and Curry.
“Eddie on Baxter in please”.
Gerry Thornley, Irish Times
“This isn’t the first time after a redemptive victory over England in Dublin last time around, the idea has arisen that maybe Ireland should consider playing arch nemesis in every game .
“Once again, the sight of the men in white inspired the men in green to produce their best performance in the championship. It doesn’t matter whether they completed two tries apiece because, on the contrary, the score flattered a contested and overtaken England.
“It was a completely convincing performance and victory to end England’s four-game winning streak, which was shaped behind the scenes and on the training ground, and exquisitely executed.
“Ireland have completely outsmarted England with their reshaped scrum, as Mike Ross pointed out ahead of the game, where locks start on their knees and the front row clutters up space.”