England ease past Ireland with powerful win at Twickenham
It is less than a month before England’s first fixture of that tournament, with Eddie Jones’ side facing Tonga on 22 September and following a win and a loss in their previous warm-up games this was an emphatic record victory.
England led 22-10 at half-time with tries from Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly and Manu Tuilagi while Ireland crossed through Jordan Larmour.
Second-half tries from Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Tom Curry, Cokanasiga and Luke Cowan-Dickie sealed a comprehensive win, with Ireland’s second try coming via Bundee Aki.
It was an opening half dominated by an impressive-looking England side who after a slow opening period troubled Ireland for the majority.
Two first half statistics told the story of that dominance, England carrying for 128 more metres than Ireland, while the visiting side missed 21 tackles compared to three from Farrell’s men.
That was due to a combination of England’s power players, but also the ability of a new-look back row combination to keep the side moving at pace as well as link forwards and backs.
HOW DID THE FIRST HALF UNFOLD?
Farrell sent over a penalty inside 10 minutes after a scrappy opening but it was Ireland who were first to cross.
Stockdale’s kick over the top of the England defence bounced back into the grateful arms of Larmour who gratefully dotted down, but despite a later Ross Byrne penalty it was the only time they rattled the hosts.
Jones’ side responded in emphatic fashion, Cokanasiga finishing off a fine team move with the ball slickly recycled through England’s backs which created an overlap on the right wing and the Bath man went over for a fourth try in seven Tests.
Byrne kicked Ireland ahead with a 25th minute penalty but it was short-lived – Daly going over on the right wing, again taking advantage of an overlap which this time was created with a combination of power and crisp handling.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) August 24, 2019
Man-of-the-match Tuilagi was over for a third England try, Vunipola picking up at the base of a 5m scrum, feeding Ben Youngs who released the giant centre to dart through.
ENGLAND COME FLYING OUT OF THE TRAPS
Despite temperatures that soared over 30 degrees, England continued at a ferocious pace.
Itoje was over after cutting a fine line through Ireland’s defence and Kruis crashed over on the 50th minute.
England went through multiple phases with both backs and forwards showing superb handling in contact and Curry scored after being released by his back row partner Sam Underhill – nicknamed by Jones the ‘kamikaze kids’ ahead of the match.
Their partnership adds to England’s options as Jones heads into the World Cup knowing they can offer the side a different dimension.
Cokanasiga spotted a gap and flew through Ireland’s midfield scoring a superb individual try that helped take England past 50 points.
And although Aki jinked over in the corner for a second Ireland try, England had the final say as Cowan-Dickie caught a loose Iine-out and went over unchallenged.
💫 England on cloud nine 💫
And @J_cokanasiga is getting greedy with another beauty ⚡️⚡️
An attacking clinic from England 👏👏
🌹 50-10 ☘️
With time to spare… pic.twitter.com/8ycYr2PG94
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) August 24, 2019
A vow of Jones when he started his tenure was to make Twickenham Stadium a fortress and he has been true to his word with the side losing just twice in 24 games.
And this was another vintage home performance in front of a sold out crowd who were treated to eight tries and some sparkling rugby.
They will hope to take that form up north when they host Italy at a new home venue with St James’ park staging the fixture against Italy on 6 September.
England – Tries: Cokanasiga 2, Daly, Tuilagi, Itoje, Kruis, Curry, Cowan-Dickie Cons: Farrell 5, Ford Pens: Farrell
Ireland – Tries: Larmour, Aki Cons: Byrne Pens: Byrne
England: Elliot Daly; Joe Cokanasiga, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell, Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler; Maro Itoje, George Kruis; Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, Mark Wilson, Willi Heinz, Piers Francis, Joe Marchant.
Ireland: R Kearney; Larmour, Ringrose, Aki, Stockdale; R Byrne, Murray; Healy, Best, Furlong, Henderson, Kleyn; O’Mahony, Van der Flier, Stander.
Replacements: Cronin, J McGrath, Porter, Toner, Beirne, L McGrath, Carty, Conway.