There have been some raucously celebrated green days but few to match the roar when this particular final whistle sounded. Andy Farrell’s modern Ireland were already the world’s No 1 team and now a Six Nations grand slam has been added to their lengthening honours list. In truth, though, the cheers also reflected a sense of genuine relief that shamrock dreams had actually come true.
Even against 14 men, with a debatable red card having been shown to an aghast Freddie Steward shortly before half-time, the hosts were just 10-9 in front with 19 minutes left. England were proving stubborn opponents and the ultimate Irish nightmare was still a faint possibility. Never before had an Ireland side clinched a slam in Dublin and the weight of history was increasingly tangible.Continue reading...
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