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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 25 September, 2018
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Watch: Three first-half tries give Ireland the dream start at Twickenham

Ringrose, Stander and Stockdale all crossed.

THE PERFECT START.

CJ Stander celebrates scoring their second try with teammates Ireland celebrate CJ Stander's try. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

A magnificent, towering high kick into the freezing London air from Johnny Sexton wasn’t dealt with by Anthony Watson under pressure from Rob Kearney, and Garry Ringrose was quickest to pounce on the lose ball and ground for his fifth international try.

Sexton struck the conversion sweetly and Ireland led 7-0.

Source: Six Nations Rugby/YouTube

Bundee Aki spilled on the far side when space had opened up, and Sexton pushed a penalty attempt from the tee.

But minutes later, Ireland were over again.

A Joe Schmidt set play executed to perfection. The dummy loop involving Sexton and Furlong was gorgeous as Aki scythed through, offloading inside for CJ Stander who had the power to barrel his way to the foot of the post.

14-0.

Source: Six Nations Rugby/YouTube

It ebbed and flowed. England hit back through Elliot Daly with Peter O’Mahony in the bin.

With blood streaming from his nose, Sexton was hauled off to be patched together.

And then Ireland struck, right on the stroke of half-time.

The forwards worked it around the fringes before Murray fired it out to Jacob Stockdale, the Ulster wunderkind. He chipped and chased, it came off his knee and nothing was going to stop him from getting it down.

Carbery nailed the touchline conversion.

21-5 at the break.

Source: Six Nations Rugby/YouTube

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Ryan Bailey

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