Marcus Smith's Drop-Goal Stuns Ireland, Ends Grand Slam Hopes

Marcus Smith’s Drop-Goal Stuns Ireland, Ends Grand Slam Hopes

England’s Marcus Smith delivered a dramatic last-ditch drop-goal to secure a thrilling 23-22 victory over Ireland at Twickenham, ending the reigning Six Nations champions’ hopes of a successive Grand Slam.

Despite trailing 17-8 early in the second half, England rallied with tries from George Furbank and Ben Earl to take a 20-17 lead. Ireland’s James Lowe scored his second try to edge the visitors ahead, but Smith’s late heroics snatched victory for the hosts.

England dominated the first half, with Ollie Lawrence scoring the only try. However, Ireland’s Jack Crowley kept them in the game with four penalties, giving them a 12-8 halftime lead.

After Lowe’s early second-half try, England responded with Furbank’s score. Peter O’Mahony’s sin-binning proved costly for Ireland as Earl crossed for England’s third try.

Lowe’s second try in the 73rd minute seemed to have sealed Ireland’s victory, but Crowley’s missed conversion proved crucial. England refused to give up and Smith’s drop-goal in the dying moments secured a memorable triumph.

The victory revives England’s title hopes after their defeat to Scotland last time out. Ireland can still retain their crown with a win at home to Scotland next Saturday.

Weather Woes Cancel Afghanistan-Ireland ODI, Postpone UAE-Scotland Match

Weather Woes Cancel Afghanistan-Ireland ODI, Postpone UAE-Scotland Match

Poor Weather Disrupts International Cricket Fixtures in UAE

Unfavorable weather conditions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have forced the cancellation of the second One-Day International (ODI) between Afghanistan and Ireland and the postponement of the ICC ODI World Cup League 2 match between UAE and Scotland.

The UAE vs Scotland game in Dubai was postponed on Friday due to severe weather conditions, as per a directive from the relevant government department. On Saturday, the Afghanistan Cricket Board announced the cancellation of the Afghanistan vs Ireland ODI in Sharjah due to heavy and persistent rain.

“The decision to call off the game was made after extensive discussions between the event’s technical committee, match officials, and ground staff,” the Afghanistan Cricket Board stated.

Afghanistan currently holds a 1-0 lead in the series after their 35-run victory in the first ODI in Sharjah on Thursday. The third and final game of the series is scheduled to take place on March 12 at the same venue.

Reports from UAE media outlets indicate that the inclement weather has led to flight cancellations and a yellow weather alert has been issued, suggesting the possibility of worsening conditions.

In Abu Dhabi, thunder, lightning, and heavy rain have been reported, resulting in the suspension of bus services between Dubai and Sharjah. However, marine transport services in Dubai have resumed after morning disruptions.

The weather conditions have significantly impacted international cricket fixtures in the UAE, highlighting the challenges posed by unpredictable weather patterns.

England Vows to Defend Twickenham Against Ireland in Six Nations Clash

England Vows to Defend Twickenham Against Ireland in Six Nations Clash

England’s Jamie George has vowed to defend Twickenham “like every Englishman would” when Ireland visits on Saturday for a crucial Six Nations clash. Ireland, the reigning champions, are seeking a fifth consecutive victory over England and a bonus-point win that would secure their title retention with a game to spare. They also aim to become the first team in the men’s Six Nations era to achieve back-to-back Grand Slams.

Despite Ireland’s impressive form, George remains confident in England’s ability to upset the odds. “We believe that we’re going to win,” he declared. “We don’t want anyone, any opposition, to come to Twickenham and have an easy ride.”

George emphasized the importance of home advantage, stating, “This is England. This is Twickenham. This is home. And we’re going to defend our home, like every Englishman would.” He acknowledged Ireland’s strength but expressed his team’s determination to prove their worth.

England coach Steve Borthwick has labeled Ireland the best team in the world on current form, but George believes his side can challenge them. “If we get our things right then we are going to come out on the positive end of the result,” he said. “That is genuinely what I believe and I have seen some positive signs this week that we are going to be going in the right direction.”

Ireland’s recent record is impressive, with 23 wins in their last 25 Tests. However, England pushed South Africa, the reigning World Cup champions, to the limit in their semi-final loss last year. George believes this experience will serve them well against Ireland.

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