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'Put some respect on Conor Murray's name' - Lions pair credited with saving Ireland

By Kim Ekin
Conor Murray of Ireland celebrates after their sides victory during the Guinness Six Nations Rugby (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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A pair of British & Irish Lions are being credited with steadying Ireland’s ship as a marauding 14-man England looked to upset the odds in Twickenham this afternoon and grab an unlikely victory.

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Ireland eventually took advantage of a record-breaking red card for England lock Charlie Ewels after less than two minutes to claim a bonus-point 32-15 victory that keeps them in the hunt for the Six Nations title.

Ewels was sent off for a head-on-head tackle on Ireland second row James Ryan on Saturday after just 82 seconds and Ireland led 15-9 at halftime after tries for James Lowe and Hugo Keenan.

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Back in the Game – RFU
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Back in the Game – RFU

England hit back superbly to level the match via Marcus Smith’s boot in an amazing atmosphere but Ireland finished strongly as tries by Jack Conan and Finlay Bealham earned a potentially key bonus point.

It was squeaky-bum time for Ireland fans as the men in green entered the final quarter just three points clear of a gutsy 14-man England side that simply refused to cede any advantage to Andy Farrell’s men.

Ireland’s advantage would tell, but not without the help of two steady hands on the tiller. Farrell sprung two British & Irish Lions from the bench – Conor Murray and Robbie Henshaw – who between them appeared to bring a sense of calm to a panicky side.

“Put some respect on Conor Murray’s name” wrote Irish rugby writer Gavan Casey.

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Colm Kinsella wrote: “Conor Murray’s had big impact after coming off the bench. Decision-making & composure was top class. Ireland score 32-15 bonus point win over England at Twickenham.”

“Also, anyone speculating that Conor Murray might be past it, watch that last 20 minutes again. He was the catalyst for the revival!” tweeted another.

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Robbie Henshaw was also praised for his role in redirecting Ireland’s attack and defence. “Conor Murray and Robbie Henshaw have made a huge impact off the bench.”

“Henshaw. Robbie Henshaw,” noted RTE’s Neil Treacy, and everyone knew what he meant.

The Leinster man – who has returned from injury – is currently competing with former Connacht teammate Bundee Aki for the Ireland 12 spot and may well have earned a starting spot against Scotland next weekend.

“I will never believe that Robbie Henshaw shouldn’t be one of the first names on the team sheet. He’s gifted,” wrote another fan.

France top the standings on 18 points after winning their first four games and will take the grand slam with victory over England next week.

Ireland have 16 and could still take their first title since 2018 with victory or possibly even a draw against Scotland in Dublin if England can upset France in the final game of the championship.

additional reporting AAP

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