Ireland vs England player ratings: Peter O'Mahony returns in style as Maro Itoje struggles for the first time

Jack de Menezes
The Independent
England's players were heartbroken at the final whistle: Getty
England's players were heartbroken at the final whistle: Getty

England's winning run was finally brought to a close as their quest for consecutive Grand Slams ended in a 13-9 defeat by Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

The reigning RBS 6 Nations champions fell to a try by Iain Henderson and eight points from Johnny Sexton, denying them the 19th successive Test victory that would have eclipsed the record set by New Zealand last year.

A frenetic but one-sided first half gave way to a more tense rain-swept second period and while the scoreline painted the picture of a close encounter, Ireland were clear masters on a day when history beckoned for Eddie Jones' men.

England had been urged to embrace the occasion by Jones, who stated "greatness" would accompany the prize of back-to-back Grand Slams, but it was a rattled team that trailed 10-3 at half-time.

Possession read 75 per cent in Ireland's favour and visits to the home 22 were rare and brief, and they were fortunate to trail only to Henderson's converted try.

It was a different England to the team that flattened Scotland 61-21 seven days earlier to claim a second successive Six Nations title with a round to spare, panic sweeping through their ranks as they succumbed to the pressure of the occasion.

Once the exhilarating chaos of the first half had subsided, the champions settled and at times they hinted at a revival that would propel them past the All Blacks' milestone, but they never truly ignited as Jones endured his first loss since taking charge at Twickenham.

Ireland saved their best performance of the tournament for its climax, overcoming the late withdrawal of Jamie Heaslip through injury and absence of half-back general Conor Murray to ambush the Grand Slam march at its final hurdle.

Scroll through the gallery at the top of the page for the full Ireland vs England player ratings.

Additional reporting by PA.

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