JAMES Haskell was relieved his second-half sin-binning did not cost England the chance of an historic RBS 6 Nations victory over Ireland in Dublin yesterday - but he had feared it might.
Haskell was shown a yellow card for kicking the ball out of a ruck just as Ireland were beginning to crank up the pressure and Ronan O’Gara kicked the penalty to bring the scores level at 6-6.
The sin-binning proved to be a turning point - but in England’s favour because they won that 10-minute period 6-3 with Owen Farrell kicking two more penalties as they won 12-6.
“I think my life probably flashed before my eyes (when I was yellow carded),” Haskell said. “I thought if we lost the game I would have to run straight out of the stadium!
“I was disappointed it was a yellow card. I didn’t intentionally kick it but it was the third penalty in a row and someone was going to get it.
“The fact we won that period is credit to those on the field. I was just glad I got the opportunity to go back on. That victory was very big.”
England had not won a Six Nations game in Dublin for 10 years, since Martin Johnson’s team clinched the Grand Slam before going on to win the World Cup.