Six Nations 2020: England v Ireland Rate the Match

Conor Murray

What did you think of today’s match game between England and Ireland at Twickenham?

Which players performed well? What were the main talking points?

How does the result affect the outcome of the Six Nations Championship?

30 thoughts on “Six Nations 2020: England v Ireland Rate the Match

  1. Speaking as an Englishman, I’ll give it 7.
    The first game since the WC where we looked focused, played with a modicum of intelligence and intensity and kept it going for the duration. Better by far but still questions to be answered.

    1. The English forward pack won the game in the 1st half. I was surprised at the way the forwards went about their business of demolishing the Irish pack and then upsetting the backline, very little room for movement. Maybe Jones learned something from the smack the ‘BOKS gave them in the WC final, if you have a dominant pack you can win almost any game. One thing that surprised me was the lack of “SPEED” in the Irish backline. The ‘BOK backline has 3 or 4 guys who not disgrace a 50m sprint on an athletics track. Nothing like that from Ireland. A good win well deserved.

  2. Good 1st half, a rather tame 2nd.
    Overall a reasonable return with parts of our game in good order but missing a certain something.
    A game i never thought we’d lose, yet oddly was never gripped by it.

    1. Tries! Backline, like the fwds, still prefer to take contact as default means of attack. Works if they’re not held. Amor ought to get their running lines sorted sorted. Still tend to crab across & pass too soon & before committing enough defenders. Step in before releasing the wide men.. & try not to chuck it into touch!

  3. We left a try and a bonus point out there , that’s for sure.
    Following on from Steve’s comment, I don’t whether to be happy or just pleased. Ed’s dodged the bullet again so we’ll have more selection head scratchers to look forward too. Ewels is an eight! Who knew?

    1. We’ve won against a good side and thats enough reason to be pleased. But losing the 2nd half 7-12 and failing to even try and push on for a try BP arent things to be happy about. Just feel that we didnt push on after establishing control and didnt put the kind of score on that we should have been aiming for.

      1. Second half didn’t match first and therefore was a typically English performance of great encouragement but lacking consistency.Wales will provide serious opposition but win that and Italy away it will be a successful season but no more in my book

        1. I think Ireland are in a transitional phase Don.
          New coach, certain players who were stalwarts now feeling their age, not enough quality coming through maybe? I can’t see them being adrift for too long. They need to give Farrell snr time to settle in and pick “his” Ireland and they’ll be back on track.

          1. Mmm. Maybe, with ‘not enough quality coming through’? Also, this team has been constant & is still, Larmour & Doris (not Speed I hope?!) apart. Have to see I suppose.

  4. Game of two halves , thought England were accurate and intense in the first half – their pressure made Ireland cough up points. Could have been different it Sexton had bought his kicking boots and for that matter, his catching hands…

    Separately I felt the 2nd half went very flat, contributed to by the referees inability to get a grip on the scrum. The game lost momentum as a result and he should have stopped the clock while he spoke to the teams.

    A satisfying win though.

  5. Happy with the result, and a decent performance from the whole team.
    The set piece was strong throughout, and it was good to see Genge come on and win a scrim penalty on good field position. I agree with SCW that he should start. He’s really taken his game to another level. Lawes was immense, did well to step up and offer himself as a carrier.
    The back line functioned well too. Tuilagi provided the bulk and Ford pulled the strings. Daly had a decent game and JJ looked pretty comfortable on the wing. Need to build on this over the next two weeks ahead of Wales.

  6. Pleased with the win against what is a decent Irish side, but not a complete performance. More to come hopefully. Just think how well we would have played though with players actually playing in their club positions!?

    1. Wouldn’t necessarily assume the same result with different inputs. The players “out of position”, Lawes and JJ in particular, seemed to play quite well. The Ford Farrell axis also worked. England could’ve easily played worse with a different line up, who knows eh?

      1. Jake, sorry was being a bit tongue in cheek, however am not convinced that Ewels really added anything at 8, whereas Dombrandt or Simmonds would have been running at tired players, so not completely tongue in cheek…..

        1. Ah I do agree with you on that point. Was hoping Ben Earl would come on at 8 and provide that but unfortunately he didn’t get utilised until it was too late.
          Still, I thought the backrow was well balance and, as Don mentioned below, JJ acquitted himself well on the wing, moving infield in search of the ball.

    2. Ireland handed the game to England on a plate. Two lucky misfields in the dead ball area and Sexton’s uncharacteristic kicking. It could have been a different story at halftime. The Farrell / Stander incident was a farce!

      1. Well, it’s true that England got the rub of the green bounces. OTOH, they had to have been in the right area of the field, to do the ‘right’ things often enough to get the right results. However, to rely on chips as the main try source, should be of concern for them. If the bounces had been effectively dealt with as they ought to have been, then it would have been tougher for England. Also, as you point out, Sexton had a Joe Cocker. Nevertheless, England’s defence was like lightening. Snuffed Ireland’s backs. Farrell Snr must get his loose fwds into the game. Otherwise, slim pickings I think & his backs will continue to starve. Increasingly, Ireland look decent on paper only these days.

  7. I think that England out arm wrestled Ireland. Ireland lost the breakdown & so, in a play by numbers game, succumbed to England’s possession, territorial domination. They effed up the lucky (or unlucky?) bounces early on. Never recovered. A question is, is Sexton past his sell by? Almost single handedly sabotaged Ireland in the 1st 1/2. Missed a std touch down, goal shots, touch. You name it. One out runners? Why aren’t they banned? Ask Farrell Snr. Ireland may need an overhaul & I don’t know that Farrell Snr is the solution, rather than the problem. England played to their cultural strengths & beliefs. Will likely suffice for the 6N, as Wales, Italy will probably be blown down. However, this still all seems a far cry from ‘3 WC players for every posi & being the best team In the world’. Whilst England are on top in a match, they STILL have the propensity to run it up the guts, kick the points & to the wingers. For me, they still lack the will, or fundamental belief, to give it a lash through the backline. Hence, Tui is so important to England. Also, Billy at the coal face. When they’re absent, England overly miss them. England will probably win their remaining 6N fixtures. If this is their aim, then all is good & well. However, if they have aspirations to reach the top, then they’ll need to raise their ambitions. Perhaps they could look to the French in this regard. Ironically, JJ featured more than was expected. Anyone else, on either side, exceptional? More the usual collective for me.

  8. Glad the boys restored some pride. Felt collectively a good game. Frustrating we fell off the pace a bit in the 2nd half and deffo left a bonus point out there. Felt the ref should have taken a look with the TMO on a few occasions….namely Jonny May blatantly being obstructed as I think he was away with that kick through with his icarus heels! Also a few naughty clear outs by the Irish who were clearly frustrated. I remember one on Curry was a clear shoulder cheap shot charge. Remains to be seen if England can shake off the Jekyll and Hyde performances and deliver the same intensity against Wales.

    1. Yeah, James Ryan did seem to fly in a few times on players who didn’t need to be cleared out. Clearly rattled.
      The TMO had no hesitation in drawing Peyper’s attention to any indiscretion by England, yet didn’t even look at the Henshaw block. Seemed one-sided in that regard but then again, I am wearing the spectacles.

      1. Porter and Ryan were the worst culprits. All of it ignored by Jonker along with the clear take out of May
        And let’s not get into how Pepyer seems to believe the rules allow for punching an opposition player if they are doing something illegal
        See here for some wonderful Irish clear outs. All within the first 4 mins. Several players entering from the side of the ruck, at least two dangerous clear outs, one of them particularly bad. And Pepyer just stands there watching. I hope we see some citings. This type of thing is more dangerous than high tackles

        1. good clip Pab
          Did see some dodgy clearouts real time but those were 3 awful clearouts in quick succession on their own line that was a yellow card all day long if not more

        2. The one on 22 mins is a disgrace. Comes in full steam, out of camera shot, and crumples curry. I’m all for strong clear outs but that is too dangerous. Peyper should have had a word.
          The one on May, 39 mins, is just a cowardly cheap shot, on an outside back, who is on his knees and clearly not competing for the ball.

        3. Peyper has been a crap ref for years and my heart always sinks whenever England get him or Garces as we never get the rub of the green from either of them. Pretty well the first ruck on the Irish line, there are three of them offside or diving over the ball but he ignores it completely. That set the tone of his whole performance. Don’t think Marler has received enough credit. Absolutely rock solid against one of the best tight heads there is, and put himself about in the loose. Seems to be enjoying the game again, which is great to see. Sexton seems out of sorts and probably over the hill and was completely outplayed by Ford.

  9. ok i’m convince Eddie is just trolling us now
    Commentator: Lawes replaced by Ewels
    Me: ok so Ewels will be playing 6 then
    Commentator: looks like Ewels is packing down at 8 and Curry has switched to the blindside
    Me: oh FFS really
    Commentator: And it looks like Ben Earl is replacing Curry
    Me: ok so now Earl will go to 8 and Ewels switch to the blindside
    Commentator: Earl is playing flanker with Ewels still at 8
    Me: You’re effing kidding me

  10. Solid performance and pleased with the win, I accept Lawes had a great game and deserved Man of the Match but feel he was very much a lock playing at 6 and his work reflected that.

    England should’ve pushed for the bonus but I feel Peyper should’ve reviewed the absolutely cynical check in May which would’ve heralded try number 4.

    JJ also performed well on the wing but still not convinced by the our out of position players, One Swallow does not Make a Summer.

  11. Ok England were better than against France and Scotland but then that was a pretty low bar.
    Thought Ireland were very poor in the first half and once they upped their game in the second half it was a much more even game. Both Murray and Sexton were very poor. Still unconvinced by England and getting increasingly frustrated with the fascination with playing players out of position

  12. As mentioned after the Scotland game, some equilibrium restored. Not totally convincing and not at their best whilst little evidence of any ability to attack with fluency through the back-line (so as others have commented scant evidence of being world class)
    Looking at some of the young bloods (Thorley, Dombrandt, Ted Hill, Marcus Smith etc) might help in the long run as would a decent attack (to be developed sometime soon by their new attack coach)


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