Ollie Lawrence: Win over Ireland was inspired by hurt from Scotland defeat

Ollie Lawrence has revealed that England’s stunning victory over Ireland was forged in the disappointment of their Calcutta Cup mauling at Murrayfield.

A 23-22 triumph clinched through Marcus Smith’s last-gasp drop goal means England will contest the Guinness Six Nations title on ‘Super Saturday’ when they face France in Lyon.

Ireland remain in the driving seat but the standout win of Steve Borthwick’s 20 Tests in charge means their dream of completing back to back Grand Slams is over.

All facets of England’s game came together on a captivating afternoon at Twickenham where their skills and intent were matched by a steely resolve and Lawrence admits the display was fuelled by their error-strewn mauling by Scotland in round three.

Marcus Smith kicks the winning drop-goal against Ireland
Marcus Smith kicks the winning drop-goal against Ireland (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We were really frustrated and disappointed that we didn’t put in our best performance up there. There was a lot of frustration in camp.

“We left a lot out there so our mindset coming into this game was that we’re playing against the best team in the world here. This is our home ground, let’s take it to them and bring the physicality and let’s have a go.

“Last week in training we worked a lot on our kick return and our counter attack, which is an important element of our game, but we didn’t really show it against Scotland.

“It was a shift in mindset – let’s shift the ball and have a go at these teams because we’ve got such good players but we need to utilise them.

“We got the balance right against Ireland that’s the reason we got the result we did.”

England were expected to be the latest victims of Ireland’s procession to becoming the first side since France in 1997 and 1998 to win successive Grand Slams, an outlook reflected in their startling odds of 4-1 underdogs.

Instead, they tore into Andy Farrell’s men from the start and never allowed their heads to drop even when James Lowe ran in what appeared to be a decisive 72nd-minute try for the champions.

“There was a lot of external noise that we did touch on throughout the week. A lot of focus was on trying to shut that up, but also trying to ignore it as much as we can,” Lawrence said.

“Because when you play well for England everyone is behind you and when you don’t get the result you want everyone can be on your back.

“As a team we tried to stay as close as we could and ignore that. Playing at home, against Ireland, showed we’re heading in the right direction.

“The title discussion will be outside noise. All we can do is go to France and try to win that game. That will be our focus for the week.

“We will probably look back and rue that result against Scotland. Fine margins, we didn’t perform that day but we did today so it’s a step forward.”

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