PLAYER RATINGS: Freddie Steward’s avoidable red card cost England the game… but in Johnny Sexton Ireland have a leader who played like a man who would tolerate no sad ending as they clinched Grand Slam in Dublin
- Ireland became Grand Slam champions for the fourth time after Saturday’s win
- Jonathan Sexton was given the perfect send-off in his last Six Nations match
- Freddie Steward was sent off just before halftime for challenge on Hugo Keenan
Ireland became Grand Slam champions for the fourth time following Saturday’s 29-16 Guinness Six Nations win over England in Dublin.
Captain Jonathan Sexton was given the perfect send-off in his last Six Nations match with a second Grand Slam and the championship’s all-time point-scoring record.
He limped off with six minutes to go to a standing ovation.
Freddie Steward was sent off just before halftime, but Ireland couldn’t start the St. Patrick’s weekend celebrations until the Henshaw and Sheehan converted tries for 24-9 after more than an hour.
Sportsmail‘s ADAM HATHAWAY and SHANE MCGRATH rated the players.
Freddie Steward was sent off just before halftime for his challenge on Ireland’s Hugo Keenan
Captain Jonathan Sexton was given the perfect send-off in his last Six Nations match
By Adam Hathaway
Freddie Steward 4
Decent before unlucky red card for challenge on Hugo Keenan where he had nowhere to go.
Anthony Watson 5
Used his feet couple of times and could have done with more ball. Defended well.
Henry Slade 6
Much more involved than in the previous four matches and used left foot effectively.
Manu Tuilagi 6
Brought punch to England’s midfield early like the old Manu and good line speed.
Henry Arundell 5
Got hands on ball but got collared by Irish before being replaced on the hour.
Owen Farrell (capt) 7
Good kicking game from hand put Ireland under pressure and was sparky as usual.
Jack van Poortvliet 5
Some box kicks were too long and uncontestable and No.9 slot is still up in the air.
Owen Farrell’s kicking game from hand put Ireland under pressure and he was sparky
Jack Willis’ yellow card should not detract from an immense performance, tackled brilliantly
Ellis Genge 7
A ball of pent-up anger, carried hard and honours even in scrum with Tadhg Furlong.
Jamie George 6
Got well past double figures in tackle count and scored late try, never gave up.
Kyle Sinckler 6
Got penalised a couple of times but more involved with ball in hand. Scrummed well.
Maro Itoje 6
A lot more visible around the park than recently. Not quite back but abrasive.
Dave Ribbans 6
In for injured Ollie Chessum and did not disappoint with his physicality and tackling.
Lewis Ludlam 7
Quiet against the French but bristling here and reliable as a line out option.
Jack Willis 8
Yellow card should not detract from an immense performance, tackled brilliantly and superb on ground.
Alex Dombrandt 5
Challenge on Johnny Sexton gifted Ireland penalty in first half but did share of defending.
Replacements: Jack Walker, Mako Vunipola (for Genge 65, 5), Dan Cole (for Sinckler 68, 5), Nick Isiekwe (for Ribbans 70, 5), Ben Curry (for Willis 53-65, Dombrandt 65 6 ), Alex Mitchell (for Van Poortvliet 70, 5), Marcus Smith, Joe Marchant (for Arundell 59, 5).
Ryan Baird’s energy on both sides of the ball was immense and his skill levels are phenomenal
By Shane McGrath
Hugo Keenan 6
A dreadful Steward tackle ended what had been a near-perfect championship to that point. Player of the spring.
Mack Hansen 9
Dealt superbly with the fleeting threat of Arundell, but his value in attack has soared this spring.
Robbie Henshaw 8
Praised beforehand for his ability to return after an absence at a high level, and proved it here. Outstanding.
Bundee Aki 8
In defence, he relished taking care of Tuilagi, and in attack he was a trusty courier. Remains vital.
James Lowe 7
Came careering out of the defensive line and missed his man in one nervy interlude, but high value in attack.
Johnny Sexton 8
He took the championship scoring record early, and played like a man who would tolerate no sad ending.
Jamison Gibson-Park 9
This was exceptional from a player whose importance to the team now rivals that of Sexton and Furlong.
Andrew Porter 7
Super in the loose, but his discipline was lax and the scrum had its toughest outing of the campaign.
Robbie Henshaw was praised beforehand for his ability to return after absence at a high level
Dan Sheehan 8
A few wayward lineouts, but two tries and skill and footwork that would shame many Test centres.
Tadhg Furlong 6
Three handling errors inside the first quarter and a hard day in the scrum betrayed a long absence.
Ryan Baird 9
His energy on both sides of the ball was immense, and his skill levels are phenomenal. Terrific performance.
James Ryan 7
He is rock solid, ceaseless in the loose and a highly able deputy for Sexton.
Peter O’Mahony 7
A day for dogs, and the Munster veteran gets his hands dirty with an eagerness that belies his years.
Josh van der Flier 7
Caelan Doris 7
Not as dynamic as in earlier games, but in the first half especially, he was safe and secure.
Replacements: Rob Herring (for Sheehan 70, 5), Cian Healy (for Porter 76, 5), Tom O’Toole (for Furlong 59, 5), Keiran Treadwell (for Baird 74, 5), Jack Conan (for O’Mahony 56,6), Conor Murray (for Gibson-Park 74, 5), Ross Byrne (for Sexton 74, 5), Jimmy O’Brien (for Keenan 40+3, 6).
Ireland: Tries: Sheehan (2), Henshaw, Herring; Cons: Sexton (3); Pen: Sexton.
England: Try: George; Con: Farrell; Pens: Farrell (3).
Referee: Jaco Peyper (SA) 5.
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