Farrell vindicated after crushing win over son Owen's England

·3-min read

Andy Farrell basked in the most impressive victory since he took over as Ireland head coach saying the 32-18 Six Nations win over England on Saturday proved they were on the right track.

Farrell's side out-thought and out-fought an England side captained by his son Owen to end in emphatic fashion a run of four straight defeats to the same opponents.

Farrell was in overall charge for the last two in 2020, but he said he had not been put off course by those losses in where he wanted to take the Irish.

Ireland finished this Six Nations with three successive wins having lost their opening two narrowly, to Wales and France.

"To get that result against a very good side like England reiterates we are on the right track," he said.

"It gives us a chance to build on that and keep improving.

"To win your last game in a tournament is always pleasing as it is a long time between drinks until the next one (game).

"To finish off with a 'W' I am delighted for the lads who have come in for a bit of stick."

A lot of that 'stick' had been directed at the attack and failing to put away chances.

However, it was a different Ireland on Saturday scoring two excellent tries through Keith Earls and Jack Conan, the latter touching down after 26 phases of play.

Farrell said the Earls try -- the veteran wing coming in off his flank to take a tap down from Conan -- had been worked on all week.

"Attack to me in Test rugby is the last piece of the jigsaw and the toughest one to fit," said Farrell, a Wigan and Britain rugby league legend as a player before switching codes.

"The Keith Earls try was something we worked on all week trying to find way to win lineout cleanly and manipulate the defence on the back of it.

"Conan's skill was outstanding to deliver the ball, it was very pleasing."

Farrell said he thought Bundee Aki's sending off in the 63rd minute for his shoulder-making contact with the onrushing Billy Vunipola was tough but "rules are rules".

- 'Game-defining moment' -

Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton was peerless with the boot, contributing 22 points to again show how important he is to the side at the age of 35.

He and his long-time partner, scrum-half Conor Murray, enjoyed one of their finest games for a while after question marks were raised especially over Murray.

"It was brilliant," said Sexton of the overall performance.

"It was the performance, apart from the first 10 minutes, that we wanted to produce against one of the real top sides.

"England with the results they've had over the last number of years would be up there with the best sides in the world.

"We wanted to put in a performance that did us justice."

For Sexton, though, the moment that stood out was Hugo Keenan's brilliant catch from the fly-half's kick to out-jump Elliott Daly in the England 22 which ended with Conan's try.

"That was a game defining moment," said Sexton.

"That was a huge take because if he did not get it then they mark and clear the line.

"We ended up with a try.

"Sometimes you make your own luck and we grasped it... what a take!"

Farrell was delighted to give backrow forward CJ Stander a fitting farewell.

The 30-year-old shocked his team-mates by announcing on Tuesday he would be retiring at the end of the season.

The team sang 'Simply The Best' in the changing room after the curtain came down on the South Africa-born Stander's 51st Test.

"I just said to him in the changing room he can be as emotional as he wants," said Farrell.

"He has given heart and soul to the green (Irish) and red (Munster) jerseys. He is the most kind-hearted genuine bloke you could meet and will be a mate forever."

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