40 thoughts on “Rate the Match: England 13 v 10 Ireland

  1. GOOD result, Brown is a class act, also think that Care is getting the best out of the backs. Hope Billy V is ok, he was getting over the gain line with every carry. England should have out two more tries on England, wasted overlaps/space,

  2. Forget the mistakes, with the level of intensity they were inevitable. This was a classic that neither side deserved to lose, without doubt in my opinion a 9

  3. Mike Brown. I am so glad to have been wrong about him last autumn.
    Good to see Henry Thomas shut up his naysayers as well but there were too many missed opportunities. Twice we had an overlap on the right side, and twice we either ignored it or butchered it after shifting the ball too late. Had we capitalised on those positions we could have taken a sizeable chunk from their points difference. Without those, I can’t see us toppling Ireland at the top.

  4. Little matter of Wales to get past before you start worrying about points difference Tom ! Great match to watch & the right result to make an interesting last couple of games.

  5. That was the most important win since SL took over as Ireland have so much experience and talent.We can continue to develop and should be able to beat Wales.The players recognise they should have scored more tries so full marks for recognising we can do better.A great match and very pleasing to be English

  6. Good match, great result. Exciting but at times exciting because of the ineptness on display rather than the skill. At times. Best skill on display at times as well but England should have won by more, a few gimmes went begging due to some really, really bad backplay. However, they scored enough so that’s all that matters really. Championship now a bit more open and England still have chance for triple crown. Exciting.

  7. Having been critical of Lancaster after the France game it’s only fair I eat humble pie. Thought it was a brilliant piece of coaching shifting Launch to six and bringing on Attwood, that really helped Henry Thomas.
    Ben Morgan was great when he came on, launch was immense, a rival for man of the match imo, made some tackles he had no right getting too and the turnovers he got were key. Billy t got better as the game went on and ended in the plus. Yeah Jack made a few errors but I really rate him and will keep getting better. Does any remember a 10 being such a nuisance at the ruck as Owen was today? But for me he was lucky to avoid yellow.
    Bod had a good game, looked dangerous, hope his ankle is not too injured for him to play next week, he deserves his cap record. Kearney was just as good as Brown. Healy is a monster of a man and plays like it.
    Must say I’m really enjoying how tight the championship is this year.

  8. Is it just me that is getting irritated by armchair critics that bemoan lost opportunities or player mistakes? Rugby is inherently an imprecise game, the shape of the ball, the state of the pitch, a sudden gust of wind that sends a kick off course and most of all the interpretation of the laws by different referees. Just take a breath for a second and recognise that you have just watched a game where 40 or so men gave absolutely everything for our entertainment. I for one salute you all.

  9. If you don’t like people criticising aspects of a performance or game then maybe a sports blog isn’t for you. I think they probably have blogs somewhere where everyone just commends the players on giving their all. At international rugby level I expect more than fantastic effort, I expect it to be allied with skill and the ability to use a multiple man overlap to score a certain try. When I see such chances butchered I find it worth commenting on. What I don’t do is expect people to comment in the same way as me to such an extent that I’d feel the need to criticise them when they don’t.

  10. Excellent game all round. Brown superb, as was Kearney. England finally look too be developing a back three of real promise but Jonny May, will not ever get a better chance to score a first test try, was good overall but that was awful… Nowell made mistakes but looks to be ‘to the manor born.’ Really liking the look of him. Lawes and in particular Launchbury take a bow. 36 improved, Farrell, I think is England’s best option at FH for now (for now, please note)but is still a petulant brat. Someone needs to have a serious word with him. Shame Ford didn’t get on, looks a decent long term option.
    As for Ireland, they were so good as well. Rob Kearney excellent but does anyone else think Kearney Jr could do with an extra bit of pace? Feeling very sorry for BOD, did very little wrong on his final appearance against his arch foes but loses and gets injured. Gordon D’arcy is a rock defensively but sadly lacks the pace to seriously trouble international sides anymore. Ireland will need to start thinking about replacing him. Marshall in for Italy? Will add an extra dimension in attack and is not scared of getting stuck in in defence.

  11. Thought our wings looked like what they are. Very inexperienced. Made some mistakes, but they are worth sticking with.
    Overall humdinger of a game.
    Need to sort out backline communication for those overlaps. Nowell was jumping up and down and waving his hands on one!
    Locks were immense today as was Robshaw. Brown and Kearney were worth the admission on their own. Great game.
    England Wales with the possibility of the championship on the line and Wales improving. I start Wales as favourites.

  12. @staggy I agree re making Wales favourites. Woodward, interestingly claimed he thought England were firm favourites. Bizarre…I just hope it turns out to be something like this game.

  13. For me Launchbury was amazing. Just everywhere. This team is really impressing me. Strong resolve. EExperience and caps today counted for nought. Can’t wait for Wales.

    1. Absolutely right about Launchbury, what a machine he is. Brown was an obvious man of the match but Launchbury’s turnovers and that tap tackle were so important. What a serious Test Match that was.

  14. Delighted with that. Finding a way to win against quality opposition when you are getting stuffed at scrum time (and not taking all your opportunities) is a huge plus.

    I hope Billy V’s injury isn’t too bad. Morgan is a great deputy to call on, but not sure we’ve got any great options to take his place on the bench.

    Well done Henry Thomas! Thought he came through that test pretty well (much better than I was expecting) and sticking Attwood behind him (who really imposed himself physically) with Launchers moving to 6 was a good use of the bench and good coaching decision.

    Brown’s had some fine games recently, but this has to be the best of them, brilliant!

    Shame Ford will have to wait a bit longer for his first cap (still irritated that we didn’t cap him against Scotland) but not making changes for changes sake this time is understandable (and wise)

  15. Great match to watch, and a fantastic result. Was thinking at the end how bad it would be to lose this after losing the France game at the end, hopefully thats some lessons learned then. So many people really stepped up today.

    Still a bit sceptical of some of the ‘birth of a team’ stuff thats flying about. If we kick on and win the tournament maybe. But then, on the assumption we’re trying to build a team to challenge in 2015, even that work could be undone by getting hammered in New Zealand in the summer. We could look back at this game as a great symbolic moment. Or then again it could just as easily be (another?) false dawn.

    On Nowell I like him, there’s definitely something there, but just think he’s making too many mistakes. No better options at the moment so it’s his for the rest of the tournament, but at this point I don’t think he’s done enough to keep a fit Wade from getting his shot.

    1. There is absolutely zero guarantee that Wade is going to prove to be miles better than Nowell at international level. The step up from club level rugby is enormous, and it’s been the undoing of a great many promising looking players. Nowell has huge amounts of fight in him and is still getting settled into test rugby, very definitely worth continuing to work with him (though long term I see him as being the successor to Brown, the two have much in common but Brown is far more experienced). The same is true for May, though I’m sure he’ll be getting some stick from Brown for that “pass” and everyone for butchering two try chances. Wade and Yarde coming back will be very interesting.

  16. All the comments above about the wings have to remember these two are far from first choice. I rate May but when wade and yarde are fit they are much better finishers!

    1. All the talk of wingers and I think they’ve actually done better than people are suggesting. Two kids who’ve been thrown in to cover injuries and neither has really disgraced themselves. I’m glad they’re in the side and when Yarde and Wade come back we’ll have some real depth in those positions.

  17. Why are people criticising the wingers? The deficiency is clearly in the centres and arguably in attack Farrell

    1. …because May wasted two pretty easy chances to score, both of which Twelvetrees was involved in the build up to. One dropping the ball over the line, the other not going for the corner when he looked like he had a run into the line.

      1. … and Nowell made unforced errors and gave away a stupid penalty.

        Both offered plenty of good things too. and I feel Burrell’s direct lines and great defnsive work have made him a huge success story. If only they’d blooded him in the AIs rather than Tompkins.

  18. Lancaster was prepared. England should be looking to school any opposition at home ahead of the world cup, and Ireland had to make a statement of intent in case we (however unlikely) end up playing them in the world cup at Twickenham. They were in contention but that little toe poke to turn over possession at the end was the difference. I haven’t watched the Wales France game yet. I’ll check the highlights later but clearly it wasn’t as close as this. Epic game. I thought it might be but it sure did live up to expectations.

  19. Lawes and launchbury excellent again thought the latter may have won MoM but Brown was fantastic again. Still have a question mark over 12T, would like to see Eastmond there at some point and neither wing nailed their spot down again.

    A really good game and was glad to see Thomas do well along with Attwood. Honorable mention to Wilson too for not having a heart attack in the second half!!

  20. Both of the wings offer more than Ashton does. I’m satisfied with their performances so far. I think they are growing into the roles.

  21. I only watched the last 20 minutes. I couldn’t help think that Ireland was going to win until BOD left the pitch. He was still so dangerous with the ball in hand. I thought he had some magic left to pull out a score. But, England’s defense was superb.

    Ireland would be crazy to let him retire before the World Cup. I felt he was the best player on the pitch.

  22. What a terrific contest. Love the fact that England are getting used to taking games back when the opposition is in the ascendancy. Nowell has to be careful, his exuberance gave away a silly 3 points, on the flip side nice to have some edge/feisty characters in the team. Well done Wilson. Agree about 12t but maybe he’s a fine wine in the making. After all Greenwood grew into his England roll.

  23. A lot of positives, great result!

    Negatives are not finishing a few chances that we’ve had, seems to be a continuous problem. Other negative is the scrum, but we can put that down to Cole missing and Wilson being half fit against Healy in the form of his life, so not a long term worry.

    I think with Tuilagi, Wade and Yarde in that back line it is only going to bet better.

    Brown, Launchbury and Lawes superb.

    Care’s game management was as good as I’ve ever seen, and even his kicking was decent. Happy to be wrong about him on those fronts as no one has ever doubted the rest of his game.

    Farrell and 12Ts looked good to me. In particular 12Ts was much better than recent weeks. Really think he is the right may for the 12 shirt moving forward for England.

  24. A lot of criticism for the wingers, but they have very little experience at that level. They will grow into their shirts given time.

    Silly mistakes and ill-discipline from Farrell in the first half, (lucky to not see yellow in my opinion) and Nowell was lucky England calmed down and scored shortly after.

    Great game to watch. (I probably wouldn’t be saying that after an Ireland win though).

    Both teams gave everything.

    1. I don’t know about the comment about the great game if we lost, I would be happier to play like that and loose to Ireland than play the way we did and give the game to France.

      It was a thoroughly enjoyable encounter with some of the best defensive work I have seen in ages from both sides and this was emphasised by the two moments of magic needed for both tries.

  25. A lot of people saying they are happy with the wingers, and they are growing into their roles, but I still want to see Yard and Wade back in when fit. Nowell gets a little carried away with himself, and his inexperience has showed. May really needs to be finishing chances like that, because Wade or Yarde definitely would have. Yarde offers a little more physicality without losing too much pace, and Wade is just pure pace (and more power than people give him credit for). He will ghost through gaps that aren’t even there and destroy defences.
    12T has looked better, and topped the tackle count for the back line. I do think that Eastmond is getting better though, and he is lightning quick off the mark, and could put supporting runners into some serious space. See his assist from Bath game at the weekend and you’ll see what I mean.
    I think when fit a back line of Care, Farrell/Ford, Yarde, Eastmond, Burrell/Tuilagi, Wade, Brown would be my choice.

  26. Wingers, hmm. I watched Yarde play yesterday for London Irish and he did look very lively.

    As for the two incumbents, this is not so straightforward. May did indeed waste two opportunities to score, and I would be concerned by the second in particular as he clearly did not back himself, which is quite criminal for a winger – especially one with his pace.

    However, on the plus side, he is incredibly slippery, and it may be a moot point but I would question whether he is any slower than either Wade or Yarde, so I do think that he offers something extra in the wide channels.

    As for Nowell, I think that he may be the one more at risk from the returning Yarde. His strength is his ability to slip out of tackles, and his willingness to keep the ball moving, and I don’t believe that any of the other three (inc Wade here) have that handling instinct.

    On the positive side though, whilst we can question our wings, England are in a far better position than when they played a mis-firing Ashton, and out of position Brown on the wings. I believe we have four very viable options, with my personal choice (as of today) being May and Yarde.

    1. Nowell, yes, looked good to me. May – looked poor. The only “slipperiness” I saw was the dreaded running back/sideways that would have had most coaches and team mates screaming. A lot of players can dance around behind the gainline, it only matters if it then results in you ending up beyond it. That corner try he didn’t go for … criminal, just criminal.

        1. I agree to some extent about May, yes its Rugby Union 101 don’t run sideways but he did manage to get through by doing that a couple of times. Having said that will the likes of South Africa or New Zealand let him do that, no not really.

          May’s biggest irritation is his cutting inside when running a straight line is better, I counted two occasions he should of backed himself and he didn’t including the disallowed try.

          Nowell has grown in confidence and looked more assured than the France game.

          In my opinion if Yarde and Wade were both fit they wouldv’e fitted both wings with Brown at Fullback but having said that I would put Nowell, May and even Strettle ahead of Ashton.

      1. May had a poor game, no doubt. Yes he still made a lot of ground, yes he beat a lot of defenders, but he left 10-14 points out there so this outweighs all the positive contributions by far.

        This doesn’t make him a poor player however, he’s got a decent try scoring record in the prem, covers 11 & 13-15, and has the uncoachable attribute of exceptional pace (anyone who clocks 10.71 without having received any specialist 100m training is seriously rapid).

        We’ve only seen Yarde play one game against top level opposition (against Aus) where he was a bit ‘meh’, Wade (sadly and unfathomably) hasn’t yet been tested. Assuming Yarde gets another decent game in next week I would bring him in for Goode, this will at least pose you guys a much bigger challenge off the bench.

        1. I would say that after the weekend’s Prem action, that I would be tempted to bring in Watson for Goode. At least for the Italy game. Again serious pace, and he can cover wing and full back, which means you wouldn’t have to move Brown to wing instead.

          I would give Yarde at least one more game before putting him back with the squad.
          May running laterally behind the gain line against the Welsh back row and centres worries me. He got away with it against Ireland to a degree, but Warburton and Lydiate will be looking to put a stop to that pretty quickly.

          Not sure when Wade is due to be fit (obviously not 6 Nations), but when he is fit he needs to be involved with the squad straight away. He is England’s best talent on the wing, as is Tuilagi in the centre.

  27. Speaking of viable options, I believe that Thomas’ 10 minutes or so, proved a few doubters (like myself) wrong.

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