Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw give Ireland edge in Six Nations battle of the best 7 years ago

Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw give Ireland edge in Six Nations battle of the best

The championship truly is in Irish hands now.

Ireland hit the front after less than three minutes of their Six Nations encounter with England at the Aviva Stadium. James Haskell's offside gave Johnny Sexton an early penalty chance he slotted over.

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Rory Best then went close, under the England posts, but he was held up. Sean O'Brien then had a dart before Ireland were awarded a second penalty. Sexton chipped it over to make it 6-0 after eight minutes. Simon Zebo was in the thick of everything in the opening stages.

George Ford halved that deficit, on 11 minutes, with a sweetly struck drop goal.

Sean O'Brien was forced off after appearing unsteady on his feet - following a collision with George Ford. Ireland were undeterred by the loss of their openside and Sexton made it 9-3, after 28 minutes, when Robbie Henshaw's superb tackle on Luther Burrell won another shot at the posts.

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Simon Zebo tackled by Anthony Watson and Jonathan Joseph 1/3/2015

Sexton had another penalty chance, on 34 minutes, but pulled his kick left and wide, leaving it 9-3 to the hosts at the break.

Sexton extended Ireland's advantage, to 12-3, with a well struck penalty, on 48 minutes.

The game's defining moment, it would appear, arrived on 52 minutes as Henshaw did brilliantly to catch a chip over the top and score in the corner.

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Two George Ford penalties made it a 10-point game, going into the closing stages. Ireland kept their cool, and England had a try ruled out, before Craig Joubert's whistle signalled the end of four painful, losing years to the English.