Andy Farrell: We showed massive balls to overcome Ireland
Published 22/02/2014 | 20:26
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."