A lucky bounce in the first half suggested Ireland may find fortune smiling on them like the blazing sun on Twickenham this afternoon.
Ireland’s first try, scored by Jordan Larmour after a fortuitous bounce sailed over Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly and Manu Tuilagi, gave Joe Schmidt‘s side a brief lead in the match with England. It quickly ran away from them, as Eddie Jones‘ men ran in eight tries to notch their largest win in terms of points or points difference over the men in green.
Read more: England player ratings vs Ireland as Eddie Jones’ side relish record victory
Defensive errors were frequent and Ireland were frequently outrucked at the breakdown. A harrowing defeat so close to a Rugby World Cup – even in the absence of Jonny Sexton and Joey Carbery – must take Ireland back to the drawing board in search of a way to win after they failed to secure even a basic platform in the game.
Ireland player ratings
15 Rob Kearney 5/10
Kicked returned well and cleverly engineered overlaps on the counter to begin with, but couldn’t bail his side out defensively.
14 Jordan Larmour 4/10
Right place and right time for the try, helped by the bounce of the ball. Then in the wrong place as Joe Cokanasiga shrugged his tackle for a return try. Some real defensive lapses as the game progressed – five missed tackles.
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13 Garry Ringrose 5/10
Struggled with English running lines and communication at times. Shrugged off more than once.
12 Bundee Aki 7/10
A lovely solo run for his try and his work in defence was not poor by any means. Eight made and none missed – the problems were mostly outside him.
11 Jacob Stockdale 4/10
Defensively poor throughout. Another chip and chase paid off for Larmour, not himself – but otherwise it was one to forget.
10 Ross Byrne 5/10
Never got in a position to control the game as his platform evaporated in front of him. He didn’t cope too well with the pressure either, and took the option to kick frequently.
9 Conor Murray 5/10
One forward pass was unfortunate and he looked dazed by an impact with Jonny May. He didn’t control the game from the base of a ruck going backwards – one way could have been to pin back the England wingers with deep kicks. Joe Cokanasiga in particular was stood quite far forward. Came back on after a head injury assessment but stayed off in the second half.
1 Cian Healy 5/10
Conceded a scrum penalty kicked by Farrell early in the first half, which seemed unlucky as Ireland seemed to win it. Left with an ankle injury early.
2 Rory Best (c) 4/10
Was stolen on his 5-metre line overthrowing his jumper – a cardinal sin. One of six lineouts lost of 15. A horrendous set piece showing.
3 Tadgh Furlong 6/10
Big in defence and one of Ireland’s better performers in the loose. Shame about the scrum.
4 Iain Henderson 5/10
Good on the stealing in the lineout on occasion, but his work around the park really lacked oomph. Barely made any metres with the ball.
5 Jean Kleyn 5/10
Put himself about well in the loose but his carrying was not very effective.
6 Peter O’Mahony 5/10
Not his usual performance. Seemed to buckle to the physicality England offered. Showed willing to take the ball on when others shied away from it, but he couldn’t spark in attack.
7 Josh van der Flier 6/10
Read more: England squad for Rugby World Cup 2019 – in full
Worked impressively hard in defence and really put himself about. 14 hits, no misses is a strong record – it’s a shame he wasn’t more effective going forward.
8 CJ Stander 4/10
Bizarrely peripheral. He tackled a lot but he had almost no impact on the match with no real carrying presence.
Devin Toner put in some good work and Luke McGrath’s four missed tackles must be noted. Otherwise, no-one really impacted the game or result in any major way.
Rugby World Cup key dates
- Group stages: 20 September – 13 October
- Quarter-finals: 19-20 October
- Semi-finals: 26-27 October
- 3rd/4th play-off: 1 November
- Final: 2 November