England sublimated themselves on Saturday at Twickenham to break the momentum and the Grand Slam dream of Ireland (23-22), green giant brought down by three tries and a final drop from the incoming Marcus Smith.

The west London stadium literally shook when the 25-year-old fly-half, out of the previous three matches, slipped the ball between the poles after the 80th minute.

English supporters, weaned from victory since 2020 against Ireland, could not dream of a better scenario at the end of a thrilling, stunning and exciting shock, where the two camps surrendered blow for blow. They capsized and made a huge racket, commensurate with the performance achieved by their heroes, then continued the party in the aisles for many minutes.

The XV of Clover, so impressive until then, left K-O. His dream of a second consecutive Grand Slam, a performance never achieved since the French in 1997 and 1998, vanished against the unleashed English. Its renowned defense has suffered repeated assaults from a host with a moribund attack since the start of the Tournament.

This time, the XV de la Rose dived very hard, from the start, with a first try from Ollie Lawrence (4th, 5-3), before crossing the goal again twice, within reach light from George Furbank (47th, 13-17) and Ben Earls (61st, 18-17). Ireland was surprised by the speed put in by the English, going against the anticipation scenario described by coach Andy Farrell. “It’s like watching Ireland play in a white jersey,” said Matt Dawson, 2003 world champion with England, on the BBC. With this tactic, the English managed to crumble a green wall that neither Italy (36-0), nor Wales (31-7 with a penalty try), had managed to cross, and that the French were a little damaged, with two tries, without preventing a heavy defeat 38-17.

Irish firepower, symbolized by three previous enhanced victories (four tries or more) in the Tournament, has also been reduced. She had to settle for an insufficient double from winger James Lowe (44th, 73rd). The English euphoria, however, was almost dampened by the lack of success at the foot of George Ford, the fly-half chosen by Steve Borthwick during the Tournament in the absence of Owen Farrell, withdrawn from the national team.

The coach brought out his clumsy striker at the hour mark to bring in Marcus Smith, the one who was expected with the No.10 behind his back, but who was injured just before the start of the Tournament. After four matches, Ireland (1st with 16 points) keeps its destiny in hand to keep its trophy before welcoming Scotland (3rd, 11 pts), but England (2nd, 12 pts) returned to the race before finishing his Tournament in France next Saturday.