Ireland (0) 6

Pens: O'Gara 2

England (6) 12

Pens: Farrell 3

Owen Farrell kicked four penalties to help continue England's assault on the Six Nations championship after their first win in Ireland for a decade, in a feisty encounter at the Aviva Stadium.

Farrell punished Irish indiscipline twice either side of the break to maintain England's 100 percent record and enhance their championship and grand slam hopes.

Replacement Ronan O'Gara kicked two penalties to level the scores in the second half, but England's resilient defence, down to 14-men after James Haskell's yellow card, saw them eventually prevail in a scary and intense encounter in Dublin.

Owen Farrell
Farrell scored four penalties to down Ireland. Reuters

After impressive opening weekend wins against Wales and Scotland respectively, the contest was being build as an early championship decider, with no other team boasting a perfect record in the tournament.

Declan Kidney was afforded the luxury of selecting an unchanged team with Brian O'Driscoll making his 128<sup>th international appearance on the day of the birth of his first daughter. England were forced into one change, with Ben Morgan making way for Haskell, who began at six.

Manu Tuilagi returned to the match-day 18 after an ankle injury, and would provide the visitors with a potential trump card in the latter stages of the game, when Ireland noticeably flagged at the Millennium Stadium a week ago.

That continued into the opening stages in Dublin as England took an early lead through Farrell, and the away side enjoyed early possession in Ireland territory.

Ireland quickly sought to turn the game into a physical encounter, with England hurried in the phases and Cian Healy in particular, with a stamp on Geoff Parling, taking a no-nonsense approach in the breakdown.

But a succession of handling errors amid driving rain in the Irish capital was undermining their challenge with the likes of Jamie Heaslip and Mike McCarthy among the guilty parties.

Farrell doubled England's lead with a 50-metre penalty after Heaslip was offside from a lineout, and in a further blow to Ireland, after Simon Zebo was replaced after 11 minutes, fly half Jonathan Sexton went off for O'Gara.

A missed penalty on the stroke of half time from Farrell gave Ireland a life-line going into the second period, one they converted after five minutes as O'Gara capitalised on a lost England line-out with a simple penalty.

The pressure on the England line-out in particular was beginning to tell, forcing the introduction of Dylan Hartley at hooker, while Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes were both introduced.

Stuart Lancaster's side then temporarily wilted under the pressure, which transferred to the break-down and after Haskell was sin-binned for kicking the ball away on the floor, O'Gara made no mistake from the subsequent penalty to level the scores with an hour played.

However, England overcame their plight with offensive possession, with Tuilagi going close to scoring the opening try before Farrell restored the six-point lead with two more faultless penalties.

O'Gara spurned the opportunity to halve the defect with 10 minutes left after a penalty was given against Hartley, pushing his kick wide.

Farrell missed a chance of his own to extend the lead out to beyond a converted try, but England were able to run the clock down without alarm as Ireland failed to create opportunities in testing conditions.

Ireland: R Kearney; C Gilroy, B O'Driscoll, G D'Arcy, S Zebo; J Sexton, C Murray, C Healy, R Best, M Ross, M McCarthy, D Ryan, P O'Mahony, S O'Brien, J Heaslip (c).

Replacements: S Cronin (for R Best, 75), D Kilcoyne (for C Healy, 75), D Fitzpatrick (for M Ross 80), D O'Callaghan (for D Ryan, 66), C Henry (for M Ross, 66), E Reddan, R O'Gara (for J Sexton, 32), K Earls (for S Zebo, 11)

England: A Goode; C Ashton; B Barritt; B Twelvetrees; M Brown; O Farrell; B Youngs; J Marler; T Youngs; D Cole; J Launchbury; G Parling; J Haskell; C Robshaw(c); T Wood

Replacements: D Hartley (for T Youngs, 51); D Wilson (ford Cole, 77); M Vunipola (for J Marler, 59); C Lawes (for J Launchbury, 48); T Waldrom (for C Lawes, 71); D Care; T Flood; M Tuilagi (for B Twelvetrees, 48)