Ireland seal rare Twickenham win vs England to preserve Six Nations title hopes

Ireland can still lift this year's Six Nations title after beating England 32-15 on Saturday, celebrating their first win at Twickenham since 2018 following a late surge.

England deserved credit the defeat wasn't even more conclusive considering they played 78 minutes with 14 men after Bath lock Charlie Ewels was shown a straight red card just 82 seconds in.

In fact, Eddie Jones' side appeared galvanised by that unfortunate incident and trailed by just three points with 10 minutes to go, only for Ireland to grab two last-ditch tries.

Much of the pre-match talk concerned whether Maro Itoje would feature after illness made him a doubt, but it was second-row partner Ewels who grabbed headlines for a head-to-head hit on James Ryan.

The man advantage gave Ireland the room they needed to go ahead through first-half tries from James Lowe and Hugo Keenan, while star substitutes Jack Conan and Finlay Bealham put the result beyond doubt.

English fans may have feared the worst when Ewels was deservedly dismissed for his high, reckless hit on Ryan, though Marcus Smith's metronomic boot ensured the hosts kept the clash competitive.

Skipper Courtney Lawes praised his side's response to going a man down and told ITV England "showed today how much it means to be part of this team. We didn't give up for a second.

"We knew it was going to be tough from minute two. We were pretty tired towards the end. Class effort from the boys. I couldn't ask for anything more from them."

It didn't take long for the guests to turn their advantage following that early drama, with the recalled Lowe sailing over in the left corner minutes later.

England's day went from bad to worse when Tom Curry was then forced off with what appeared a hamstring injury, and full-back Keenan doubled Ireland's first-half try count shortly before the break.

And yet the home faithful sang loud and proud as their team trailed just 15-9 at the interval, with England's scrum playing their Irish counterparts off the park for the most part.

Another head injury meant star tighthead Kyle Sinckler joined the treatment table, although replacement Will Stuart succeeded in his job of maintaining the scrum superiority.

That energy carried through to the second period as the guests struggled to add to their tally, failing to capitalise on a series of well-placed line-outs despite some superb 50-22 kicks courtesy of Andrew Conway.

Instead, it was Smith who continued to pad his own stat sheet and eventually pull England level at 15 points apiece, with Ireland desperate to find the try that would put them further out of reach.

Andy Farrell's side had turned down earlier penalty opportunities in the hopes it would lead to a try, though captain Johnny Sexton finally took the chance to slot three points with 15 minutes remaining.

For all the tension that surmised Ireland's play for the majority of the match, substitute Conan injected some much-needed calm when he bounded over for a crucial score in the 73rd minute.

Connacht prop Bealham had an even more instant impact and crossed the whitewash for a bonus-point try minutes after entering the fray himself, securing the win a lot later than the visitors will have wanted.

Ireland will swiftly put their English rivalries to one side considering they still need Jones' men to do a job against France next Saturday if they're to have a chance of finishing first.

A bonus-point triumph at Twickenham means the boys in green are now just two points behind Fabien Galthie's pace-setters, not to mention being 28 better off in regards to points difference.

Les Bleus are on the verge of winning their first Six Nations crown since 2010, and a win over England would see them also clinch the Grand Slam.

However, an upset in Paris opens the door for Ireland to turn the tide at the last hurdle provided they can surpass Scotland at the Aviva Stadium.

A first Twickenham triumph since 2018 might have been marred by Ewels' early red card, though Farrell & Co. will take points where they can as the Six Nations dream goes to the final fixture.

ENGLAND Pens: Smith 5.

IRELAND Tries: Lowe, Keenan, Conan, Bealham. Cons: Sexton 3. Pens: Sexton 2.

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