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Ireland head coach Andy Farrell was pleased with his side after they ended their Guinness Six Nations campaign on a high with a 14 point victory over England in Dublin. 

32-18 was the final score at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday with Keith Earls and Jack Conan both going over the line in the first half.

Captain Johnny Sexton kicked both conversions as well as six penalties.

Speaking after the game, Farrell was pleased with what was the best Irish performance since he took over as head coach in 2019.

“To win your last game in a tournament is always pleasing because it’s a long time between drinks until the next one.

"To finish off with a W is pleasing but I’m just delighted for the lads because they have come in for a bit of stick.

“Obviously, we’ve lost a couple of games and lost one here to France which we never like to lose but the lads have always believed in how they’re progressing and they’ve always thought there was a performance like that in them.

“The performance wasn’t perfect, there’s still a lot to work on but I’m so pleased for them that they got over the line with a nice victory against a very good side.”

The win, which was their third of this campaign after victories too over Italy and Scotland, assured Ireland a top-half finish.

The pressure was on Farrell going into this, but he didn't seem worried or rattled over the opening losses to Wales and France.

Strength in the attack was clear to be seen on Saturday with Keith Earls' try particularly impressive and clearly the product of a piece they had worked on in training.

“It’s something we had worked on all week and you’re always trying to find a way to, first of all, win the lineout cleanly and second, how you can manipulate a defence on the back of that.”

“We worked all week and practiced it hard with the timing of Keith Earls and thankfully it paid off.

“I thought Jack Conan’s skill was outstanding to deliver the ball because Tom Curry had read it very well. That was very pleasing

“The lads really believe that they’re making good strides.

The game marked CJ Stander's last in an Irish shirt after he announced during the week that he'd retire in the summer.

Farrell felt it was important to handle the emotion of the week right.

He felt the positive performance was a fitting way to say goodbye to the 30-year-old.

“It’s been an emotional week.

"We’ve tried to keep a lid on it the best we can and you can say whether we should have brought that out or not but it is fitting that CJ was able to say goodbye to his friends and tell them the truth from where’s he’s coming from.

“How they’ve responded to him and how he’s kept a smile on his face has been totally fitting to what this team is about and we’re delighted that we’re able to put a performance together for CJ to send him off in the right way.

"We’re delighted that we managed to control the emotion in the right way and he’s emotional in the changing rooms, but happy emotional.

“I cannot say enough about him as a bloke. He’s the most kind-hearted, most genuine bloke that you’ll ever meet.”

 

 

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Andy Farrell Aviva Stadium Guinness Six Nations IRFU

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