Six Nations

England maintain perfect record with Ireland victory

England produced another fine second-half display as they scored two tries to beat Ireland 21-10 and make it three wins from three in the Six Nations, edging a point ahead of Wales at the summit.

In winning their opening two matches, Eddie Jones' side scored 37 second-half points and they continued that impressive form to take the game away from Ireland.

England found themselves behind at the start of the second half at Twickenham but scored twice in quick succession around the hour mark to take control of the match.

Anthony Watson and Mike Brown scored those decisive tries, while Owen Farrell took his Six Nations points tally past 200 with three penalties and a conversion.

Victory maintains England's 100 per cent record under Jones and represents the sixth time they have won their opening three matches in the competition.

Jonathan Sexton gave Ireland the first points of the match in the fifth minute as he coolly slotted a penalty between the posts.

That was a rare positive for the visitors as England dominated possession and enjoyed much more of the ball in attacking areas, with Jones' side getting close to the game's opening try on three occasions through James Haskell, Dylan Hartley and Billy Vunipola.

Farrell levelled things up for England with a penalty of his own before Vunipola began to have an impact - the number eight enjoying a number of charges with ball in hand.

After Rory Best had held up Haskell a yard out on the half-hour, England were gifted the lead as Farrell kicked a second penalty.

That kick gave England a 6-3 advantage at the break, but Ireland moved ahead six minutes after the restart with the first try of the match.

England, who were a man light after Haskell's yellow card for a high tackle, could do nothing to stop Conor Murray as he peeled away from the back of a maul and found the line from five yards out, Sexton adding the extras to give Ireland a four-point lead.

Farrell cut England's deficit to one with a third penalty before Watson and Brown went over in the space of five minutes, both men profiting from expansive play to run for the line unopposed.

Ireland were not going down without a fight, though, and late pressure saw Robbie Henshaw, Ultan Dillane and Josh van der Flier go close.

Van der Flier was denied his first try by the video referee as England – who were again reduced to 14 as Danny Care was sin-binned – held on to secure victory and leave defending champions Ireland without a win from their three matches.

Key Opta stats:

- England have now won their last four at Twickenham against Ireland; the last time they won more consecutive games at home to Ireland was between 1984 and 1992 (five in a row).
- Ireland have failed to reach 20 points in each of their last seven games against England (L6, W1).
- James Haskell was yellow carded in this game, becoming the most sin binned player in the history of the Six Nations (4 times).
- Anthony Watson has scored nine tries since the beginning of 2015, more than any other player in Test rugby.