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Courtney Lawes: 'We really wanted to make it right for Ewelsy'

By PA
Courtney Lawes (Getty Images)

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Captain Courtney Lawes says the England team galvanized following Charlie Ewels Six Nations game-defining red card that came just 82 seconds into their crunch match against Ireland in Twickenham this afternoon.

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Eddie Jones’ men suffered a major blow inside two minutes when Ewels was shown a red card having clattered into Ireland vice-captain Ryan.

The 6’8 Leinsterman was left bloodied and was forced to leave field for assessment after Ewels ploughed into him, causing head-on-head contact.

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Yet instead of England folding against the Irishmen, it triggered a titanic 70 minute tussle in which the men the white went blow for the blow despite their numerical disadvantage.

On what proved to be an extremely uncomfortable afternoon, Ireland’s late scores handed them their biggest Twickenham win to keep alive their title bid. Error-strewn Ireland finally looked to have ended English resistance with eight minutes remaining.

Replacement Jack Conan crashed over on the right and Sexton, who had earlier put his side back in front with a penalty, added the extras to put Farrell’s men 10 points clear at 25-15.

The men in green then secured a bonus point as replacement Finlay Bealham bulldozed over following fine work from Lowe. Johnny Sexton was on target with the conversion to move the scoreboard to 32-15.

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Courtney Lawes who played the vast majority of the game in the second row, said the players wanted to make it right for their red-carded teammate.

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Lawes told ITV: “I really think we showed today how much it means to be part of this team.

“We didn’t give up for a second. We knew from minute two it was going to be pretty tough for us.

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“But we had a lot of confidence going into the game and truly believed we could win that.

“Obviously it wasn’t to be today, towards the end we were pretty tired, I think. But class effort from the boys. I honestly couldn’t ask any more of them.”

Asked about the feeling in the team following Ewels’ dismissal, Lawes told ITV: “We were actually quite excited for the challenge, to be fair.

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“As soon as the red card went up, the energy went up from the boys and we really wanted to make it right for Ewelsy.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that but the effort was there and that’s all we can ask for.”

Farrell’s men host Scotland on the final weekend of the championship and will be reliant on a favour from England, who travel to Grand Slam-chasing France.

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