Article

Lancaster hails England maturity

10 February 2013 22:19

England coach Stuart Lancaster was pleased with his side's character after they beat Ireland 12-6 in the Six Nations on Sunday.

The two sides played out a scrappy encounter in Dublin, with the kicking of Owen Farrell - who booted four penalties - eventually giving the English victory.

It snapped a 10-year Six Nations hoodoo in the Irish capital for Lancaster's side, who are the only team in the competition to have won both their fixtures this year.

"I think we had a good first half, but at the start of the second we had a couple of turnovers that put us under pressure," Lancaster told the BBC.

"I think we grew in stature towards the end of the game and deserved our win. We hadn't won here for 10 years and we went and did it. We will take it.

"As a test of character it was right up there because of the quality of the Ireland side."

England captain Chris Robshaw sung the praises of Farrell after the result, with the 21-year-old delivering under extreme pressure in Ireland.

"Credit to Owen Farrell who kicked his goals, but from one minute to 80 the squad were top notch," Robshaw said.

"We tightened the game up, ran down the clock and had to be smart. It's a great day.

"Farrell is brilliant at the moment. He's got a great repertoire of skills, but he's got a great team around him who keep pushing him to get better. We're not going to get carried away."

Ireland coach Declan Kidney said his team were not at their best but maintained a positive stance on their chances of winning the Six Nations.

"This Championship is a long way from being over," Kidney said.

"France are in London next time up and England still have to go to Wales. We just have to go about our business in the three matches we have left and see where we end up.

"When we get our own game right we will be in a good position. We just were not on the money today."

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip admitted his players were very disappointed after the final whistle of a gruelling game.

"We are suffering a bit in there - it is a tough one to take," said Heaslip.

"England played a smart game in the conditions and played a lot of rugby in our half. There are a lot of lads in our dressing room feeling battered and bruised."

England will host France at Twickenham next week while Ireland will visit Murrayfield to play Scotland.

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