England has come a long way, after months with its head underwater. The superb victory won on Saturday, in a red-hot Twickenham, against the formidable Ireland (23-22) awakened His Majesty’s subjects, who had been suffering for many months. 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. And the British press, so quick to burn down its team, also knows how to ignite when it deserves it. This is obviously the case this Sunday with rave English media.

Thus, The Times, although known for its typically English calm and phlegm, does not beat around the bush. “Some days rugby can frustrate its fans, it can be boring, mechanical and crazy. And other days it can be like this: glorious. The main distraction on the planet. Rugby or sex? It’s very close in the end,” says the leading British daily.

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And to drive the point home after this completely crazy end to the match and this drop of victory from Marcus Smith: “This magnificent match, one of the most beautiful that Twickenham has known, was won in the last seconds, after an attack dynamic Englishwoman, desperate but well controlled, who had created the conditions to achieve this easy kick to win the match, the referee having left the advantage. (…) England won. England deserved it. They played as if this fast and precise attacking game was natural.

Equally cheerful, The Guardian continues: “It was the day England finally showed their oft-discussed potential and gave their long-suffering supporters a glimpse of something more uplifting.” For The Telegraph, “if Ireland needed a reminder of why no team has yet completed back-to-back Grand Slams in the Six Nations, England gave them a resounding victory, the best of their tenure. Borthwick and the one who finally brought joy to the country. For the loyal Twickenham crowd after years of suffering.”

In recent weeks, the absence of fly-half Owen Farrell, who took a break from his international career to sign for Racing 92, has stirred up all the discussions. But the entry into the decisive game of Marcus Smith, taking over from an uninspired George Ford lacking success in his role as scorer, closed the debate, if observers across the Channel are to be believed. “It was a passing of the baton: Marcus Smith made George Ford seem like a man out of time,” analyzes The Telegraph. He continued: “England have been in limbo since Owen Farrell’s decision to withdraw. Now the question of Smith or Ford is definitely put aside.”

Overnight, after a sluggish start to the Tournament punctuated in particular by a new defeat against Scotland, the XV de la Rose rose from its ashes. “England has freed itself from its mental constraints and can look to the future with renewed optimism, starting with the match against France in Lyon on Saturday,” says The Guardian.

On the Irish side, it’s not necessarily the soup of grimaces, but it looks a little like it. The XV du Trèfle was dominated and was unable to keep the score at the end of the match. “Marcus Smith’s final goal ends Ireland’s hopes of another Grand Slam,” headlines The Irish Times, which bluntly acknowledges: “Steve Borthwick’s team played with fervor, ambition and, above all, , precision, to frequently destabilize the Irish defense and add more punch to their runs and collisions.

Our Irish colleague Murray Kinsella, journalist for the specialist site The 42, argues that “it was the Six Nations in its most frenetic, exciting and brutal form. (…) The best team won. Steve Borthwick’s team, under fire, scored three tries to Ireland’s two and were able to win thanks to the superb atmosphere created by a crowd of 81,686 people at Twickenham.

“Too often, Ireland has given the feeling of having lost its composure,” he asserts. There was a large period in the second half where Andy Farrell’s men played poorly, with captain Peter O’Mahony even being sent off during this period. It never felt like Ireland were the team dictating the pace of the game.” Now it’s time for the last match against Scotland in this 2024 edition, which the Irish can still win. But the Irish Times does not hide its face: “In the days to come, this consolation prize of retaining the title in the Tournament will seem a little hollow anyway…”