Saturday 27 December 2014

Andy Farrell: We showed massive balls to overcome Ireland

Duncan Bech

Published 22/02/2014 | 20:26

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland hands off Danny Care of England during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on February 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland hands off Danny Care during Ireland's 13-10 defeat at Twickenham
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll reacts after being defeated by England
Ireland's Paul O'Connell (R) and Brian O'Driscoll react after being defeated by England
England's Mike Brown celebrates defeating Ireland in their Six Nations Championship rugby union match at Twickenham
England's captain Chris Robshaw leads his team off after the RBS 6 Nations match at Twickenham
Ireland's Rob Kearney looks dejected after the RBS 6 Nations match at Twickenham
Ireland centre Brian O' Driscoll makes a break during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham
Jonny May of England goes over to score a try, that is later disallowed for a knock on
Ireland prop Cian Healy runs into England players Luther Burrell (l) and Jack Nowell
England scrum-half Danny Care tries to break through the Ireland defence
Luther Burrell of England tackles Rory Best
Mike Brown of England is tackled by Conor Murray
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell (l) is beaten to a lineout ball by Courtney Lawes
Danny Care of England celebrates his try with Luther Burrell
England scrum half Danny Care celebrates after scoring the first England try with Jack Nowell (r) as Jonathan Sexton looks on
Rob Kearney of Ireland celebrates scoring his try with Jonathan Sexton
England scrum half Danny Care celebrates after scoring the first England try with Billy Twelvetrees (l) and Luther Burrell
Jonny May of England is tackled by Gordon D'Arcy
Gordon D'Arcy of Ireland tackles Jack Nowell
Gordon D'Arcy of Ireland tackles Jack Nowell
Ireland's Rob Kearney (centre) celebrates scoring a try with team mates Jonathan Sexton (right) and Chris Henry (left)
England's Billy Vunipola (left) battles for the ball with Ireland's Gordon D'Arcy (right)
Ireland full-back Rob Kearney scores a try during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham
Ireland wing Dave Kearney is tackled by Billy Twelvetrees as Danny Care (l) looks on
Ireland full-back Rob Kearney breaks through to score a try during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham
England scrum half Danny Care scores the winning try
Danny Care of England goes over to score a try
England scrum half Danny Care celebrates after scoring the first England try with Billy Twelvetrees (r) and Luther Burrell (2nd right)
Jonny May of England is tackled by Gordon D'Arcy of Ireland as Dave Kearney looks on

Andy Farrell felt England had displayed "massive balls" in their 13-10 RBS 6 Nations victory over Ireland at Twickenham.

A 57th-minute try from Danny Care converted by Owen Farrell proved the difference in a compelling match notable for some heroic defence from both teams.

"Pardon my French, but I thought we showed massive balls to go out there and play like that," England attack coach Farrell said.

"We've confronted head-on our ability to up our game in the last 20 minutes. All credit to Ireland, we knew what type of game they would come with.

"It was a different type of game for us to handle because Ireland really tried to take it to us with their set-piece and mauling.

"We had to be at our best and hang on in there at times because our legs had gone."

Ireland had led 10-3 early in the second half after Rob Kearney exploited a gap around the breakdown to race over, but England responded magnificently.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster was delighted the Irish were kept at bay once Kearney had crossed, as the visitors' Grand Slam and Triple Crown aspirations ended in ruins.

"That was a real Test match," Lancaster said. "Ireland are a quality team. It's fantastic to have won and to get the reward at the end given the commitment we have put in is really pleasing.

"Ireland had a very strong period at the start of the second half and it was at that point that our confidence and self-belief shone through.

"We came back and scored a fantastic try ourselves and I thought the defining moment was the 77th to 79th minutes when we were defending and our character shone through.

"We delivered in our defence and it was a really pleasing win. We learned to absorb pressure and not panic."

England's win at Twickenham has created a four-way shoot-out for the title, with Wales and Italy the remaining opponents for Lancaster's men.

"The Six Nations is open for everyone given the way the results have gone. It's been a fantastic championship this year," Lancaster said.

"We'll enjoy this win but we know that there's a big, big challenge coming in two weeks' time."

That challenge will come again at Twickenham on March 9, with two-time defending champions Wales the visitors.

Lancaster said: "We respect Wales because of what they've achieved over the last couple of years and their performance against France has given them confidence, so it will be a great game."

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