Sexton deserves key job for Lions - Woodward

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    20 Mar 2017     Getty Images

Having watched Sexton dictate terms in the Six Nations finale, Ireland's 13-9 win over England to end their run at the world record for most consecutive wins, Woodward said it had been 'brilliant' to see Sexton in such match-winning form.

He did enough to end any speculation who would have the job in New Zealand, he said in his column.


Woodward added that England had fallen 'well short' in their quest for a Grand Slam.

"In all honesty, England would have been very grateful to be only 10-3 down at half-time, they were really poor and the only part of their game that was functioning was their defence. Ireland might easily have been 20 points up and there could have been no complaints," he said.

Ireland at the moment were one of the best teams in their history and until Saturday they hadn't fired on all cylinders in the tournament.

The key had been the forward battle and Ireland's success had proved that England were not the same force when they were on the back foot.

Ireland's pack had hammered Ireland to gain 75 percent possession in the first half with a similar territorial dominance.

"Half-back partners Ben Youngs and George Ford can be devastating going forward but have not yet shown the same resourcefulness as others on the back foot," Woodward said.

"The line speed and ferocity of their defence was quite exceptional and kept England well in check. The Red Rose fans waited in vain for another late surge but it never came.

"The scoreline was close but Ireland never lost control of this game. It was their day and gloriously so," he said.