February 2, 2019 / 6:52 PM / 6 months ago

Rugby-Resurgent England upset Six Nations holders Ireland

DUBLIN, Feb 2 (Reuters) - A resurgent England upset Six Nations champions Ireland on Saturday, handing Joe Schmidt a first ever home defeat in the championship with a resounding 32-20 victory that blew the tournament wide open at the first weekend.

England made a sensational start and rarely looked back, stunning the hosts with a fine Jonny May try after just 90 seconds before brushing off a reply from Cian Healy to force a raft of errors, one of them gifting Elliot Daly a second try.

Johnny Sexton cut the deficit back to four points in the second half but the mistakes kept coming for Ireland as their more ruthless opponents went for the jugular 14 minutes from time with Henry Slade touching down a perfectly weighted May kick.

Slade intercepted a Sexton pass for his second try to end Irish dreams of back-to-back grand slams at the first hurdle with a thud that a John Cooney consolation try did little to dampen. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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