England edge Ireland to create a four-way tie

REX GOWAR
Last updated 07:29 23/02/2014
Danny Care
Getty Images
NOT BY HALF: Halfback Danny Care points a finger to the sky, celebrating with Billy Twelvetress (obscured) and Luther Burrell after scoring in England's 13-10 victory over Ireland at Twickenham.

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A try by scrumhalf Danny Care spurred England to a nerve-jangling 13-10 victory over Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday (local time) to create a four-way tie at the top of the Six Nations table.

Holders Wales, who beat France 27-6 on Friday, the French, England and Ireland all have four points after three matches.

Attacking runs from the fullbacks opened the game up in the second half after England led 3-0 at the interval from the first of flyhalf Owen Farrell's two penalties.

Ireland number 15 Rob Kearney touched down under the posts early in the second period after taking a short pass from number eight Jamie Heaslip, flyhalf Jonny Sexton making the easy conversion.

A Sexton penalty put Ireland 10-3 ahead with 30 minutes remaining before Farrell narrowed the gap with another penalty.

England went back in front when fullback Mike Brown broke through in midfield. He took a pass from captain Chris Robshaw and, as he was tackled, fed Care who scampered over the line.

Farrell extended the lead to three points with a conversion in front of the posts and the hosts held on to claim victory.

Overall, the action was far more exciting and absorbing than the scoreline suggests with both sides frequently going close to a try.

England crossed the line after five minutes and left wing Jonny May, who joined an attack on the right, broke through only to lose the ball as he was about to touch down.

Ireland, having withstood an early onslaught, then enjoyed a period of sustained pressure and gradually pushed the home team back against their line.

There was enterprising running from both sets of backs especially the Irish who attempted short kicks ahead and crossfield kicks behind the defence looking for the breakthrough.

England ran at Ireland directly while the visitors relied more on criss-cross moves.

The home side had marginally the better of the forward battle with Ireland giving away penalties, the first within kicking distance converted by Farrell from the right to break the deadlock after 25 point-less but hardly barren minutes.

The England flyhalf missed another penalty from the left as the interval neared, the ball glancing off the outside of the left upright.

England lost number eight Billy Vunipola with a leg injury in the final minute of the half and he was replaced by Ben Morgan.

England 13 (Danny Care try; Owen Farrell conversion, 2 penalties) Ireland 10 (Rob Kearney try; Jonathan Sexton conversion, penalty). HT: 3-0

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- Reuters

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