Ireland have denied England the chance to make some serious history, ending their undefeated streak with a 13-9 win in Dublin on Sunday morning (AEDT).
England were in the mix to become the outright record holders for the most consecutive Test wins – they had 18 in a row, equal with the streak achieved by the All Blacks last year.
They also could have become the first team in history to record two Six Nations grand slams back-to-back – while they’ll still win the 2017 tournament, their record is not without blemish.
It also brings to an end Eddie Jones’ unbeaten run as the coach of England.
Ironically just months after ending the All Blacks’ winning streak, it is Ireland who have once again played the role of the spoiler.
The Irish held England tryless in a low-scoring, defensive match, while recording the only try of the match through Iain Henderson in the 24th minute.
England’s nine points all came through penalties kicked by Owen Farrell, while Johnny Sexton kicked two penalties for the Irish and converted Henderson’s try.
“Rugby” Videos See more »
“I thought we played really well in the first 20 mins. We went very close in the right hand corner twice with [Keith] Earls and [Garry] Ringrose. Ringrose was a revelation again today. He keeps taking steps forward. That 20 mins gave us confidence,” said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.
“It was probably a game for the purists. But a game that demonstrated courage is still important at this level.
“I thought Iain [Henderson] was massive tonight. He’s been a player who has been coming for a long time and arrived a bit tonight. All credit to England, they’ve been brilliant for eighteen months. They deserve to be out there with their trophy.”
England’s captain Dylan Hartley said the match showed England still had improvements to make.
“We are disappointed. We had high hopes, high expectations. But it goes to show we are not quite there as a team. Credit to Ireland. I think it was negative upon negative, we backed one error up with another.”