This victory over England (32-18) owes much to the Irish Sixteenth Symbol: the clover, the symbol of good luck. Andy Farrell’s men’s victory deserves more respect than finals, and both teams play “only” for third place in the tournament. But the confrontation between the Irish and the English has to go beyond this numbering framework.
It is historical, cultural and political. XV de la Rose knows all too well, but it is still in danger. A week late last Saturday at Twickenham will tell the losing blues. The green men greeted this time by feasting the ghost of their spectators at the Aviva Stadium.
However the start of the match did not suggest a green party. It was like a belt for everyone. The 22 meters on the opposite side were then no man’s place. Like boxers who do not dare to engage, both teams stand at a distance, using their distance, i.e. kicking, to keep one another away.
Under these circumstances, scorers Owen Farrell (ninth) and Jonathan Sexton (18) drank whey (3-3). But, on the 23rd, a flash of lightning zebra gray sky in Dublin: when first launched, Keith Earls launched like a shell, by the grace of some darting, the Irish winger is going to register the first attempt Clover! (10-3)
However, Rose cannot be easily cut. If it does not release the same look of collective control against the Blues last week, England will stick. Through Farrell’s foot (10-6, 27th) and constant pressure.
Moro chose Itoje’s partners for a second time. Ireland, often criticized in the name of regulated rugby, moves into a crazy phase of the game, leaping on both wings, back and forth, and finally Conan’s outstretched arm (20-6, 37th) ending in apotheosis.
The second half will be more confusing, though still under the green umbrella. Since Sexton is still as valuable as doing high deeds on foot, Clover’s Xwick has nothing to fear, even expelling his centerpiece Aki, who is guilty of carrying the burden on Billy Vunipola’s (64th). If England score in the wake of this dismissal of Ben Youngs, it will sparkle in the pan. The last shock of the wounded beast, contrary to what one might think after the victory over France’s sixteenth, does not heal.
Ireland ended the match on the 13th with a yellow card from Connor Murray (78th), ending with the third consecutive victory in the tournament despite conceding even one last attempt for the title in May (79th). Victory over England above all else. That is priceless.