Two tries from centre Henry Slade and a man of the match performance from Mako Vunipola secured a 32-20 win for Eddie Jones’ team who now face France at Twickenham on Sunday.
Ireland went into the game as strong favourites on the back of their win over New Zealand in the autumn. The result emphasised the unpredictable nature of rugby where, like life and business, fortunes can change depending on any number of factors, seen or unseen.
Standard Sport has teamed up with QBE Business Insurance again to provide predictions for each round of matches every Friday during the Six Nations.
QBE Business Insurance has based its predictions on a mathematical formula created by a team of experts who help businesses anticipate the likelihood and impact of risks so that they can prepare for and manage them.
The computer model has simulated each game 10,000 times with an average score taken to find the final result. Actuaries inputted a wide range of rugby variables, including the number of tries, kicks and conversions scored by the teams involved.
The predictor suggests that England have a 58 per cent chance of winning the Six Nations, with a Grand Slam only 25 per cent likely with a tricky game against Wales in Cardiff still to come.
This weekend, it is a French side arriving in London in disarray after they gave up a 16-0 half-time lead last Friday before losing to the Welsh.
The predictor is forecasting a comfortable 30-16 win for England, but the French are the most unpredictable side in the world and could, however unlikely, still upset the form book.
QBE Insurance helps businesses, from start-ups and SMEs to multinationals, to identify, manage and insure their risks. For more information go to qbeeurope.com