Ireland 0 UK 48
England maintained their run of Grand Slam collisions with France through a 48-0 win over Ireland in Cork but a lousy performance made the afternoon shine.
Simon Middleton’s side earned bonus points in the first half creating efforts for Sarah Beckett, Tatyana Heard, Ellie Kildunne, Marlie Packer and Morwena Talling, but they lost their way after that period.
Ireland had been beaten by Wales, France and Italy in the previous rounds but they made it difficult for England until collapsing in the final 10 minutes at Musgrave Park.
The home team’s fixture was overwhelming, but they became the first team at the 2023 Six Nations to prevent the Red Roses from surpassing the 50-point mark.
It wasn’t until the 71st minute that the second half stalemate was broken when Amber Reed came down from close range when pre-match fears of scoring 100 didn’t materialize.
Number eight Alex Matthews added two more attempts late in the game as the pressure build-up in the last 10 minutes took a toll on the home team’s defense.
For all the glaring omissions in the penultimate round, England still racked up a four-point five-point maximum as they clinched their 23rd straight win in the tournament.
Only France – which faces Wales in Grenoble on Sunday – can stop the World Cup runners-up from winning the Six Nations title for the fifth time in a row.
However, the victory came at a heavy price when captain Packer and supporter Hannah Botterman had to limp through injury in the first half.
Scoring sequence: 0-5 Try Beckett, 0-10 Try Listening, 0-15 Try Kildunne, Try 0-20 M Packer, 0-25 Try Talling, 0-27 Tuima con, 0-32 Try Reed, 0-34 Rowland con, 0 -39 Matthews try, 0-41 Rowland trick, 0-46 Matthews try, 0-48 Rowland trick.
Ireland: L delay; A Doyle, A Dalton (A McGann 53), V Irwin (A McGann 34-39), N Behan (M Deely 66); D O’Brien, M Scuffil-McCabe (A Hughes 64); L Djougang (K Buggy 28), N Jones (C Nielson 64), C Haney (S McGrath 77); N Fryday (captain), S Monaghan; B Hogan (HO’Connor 66), G Moore (J Brown 55), D Nic a Báird.
England: E Kildunne; A Dow, L Tuima (H Rowland 52), T Heard (A Reed 52), C MacDonald; H Aitchison, N Hunt (L Packer 64); H Botterman (M Carson 28), C Powell (L Davies 60), M Muir (S Bern 60), Z Aldcroft (D Burns 52), S Beckett, S Kabeya, M Packer (captain, M Talling 35), A Matthews .
Referee: L Jenner (New Zealand).