The British Media React To England’s Stunning Win Over Ireland
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Beaten up and battered. That’s the general consensus following Ireland’s crushing defeat to England in their Six Nations opener yesterday evening at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Reminiscent of Ireland’s last defeat at home to New Zealand back in 2016, Joe Schmidt’s men didn’t have an answer to the physicality and intensity brought by Eddie Jones’s side who ran out 30-22 winners in the end.
And their media has been pretty blunt in their assessment,
“Ireland had no answer and it has been a while since we have said that,” former England boss Clive Woodward in his Daily Mail column.
“So hats off to Eddie, after a poor 2018, and his defensive coach John Mitchell, to go and win in a place where the All Blacks got seen off in the autumn series.”
“There were heroes all over the pitch but some of them were in the coaching box. From the start, England exposed Ireland playing Robbie Henshaw who was at full-back with their kicking game and that would have come from the brains’ trust.”
In the Telegraph, Mick Cleary says England were “bold and resilient” and says Irish minds will be pondering the “significance of such a thumping.”
“England were bold and resilient, clever of mind and teak-tough of body. These were the History Boys, the ones to thrillingly re-write that Red Rose ledger of gloom that had recorded only one win in Dublin in 15 years.
This was Ireland’s first Six Nations loss at home in six years, their first ever at home in the championship under Joe Schmidt. Dublin is not an easy place to come across sobering moments, but the sight of fans streaming from the stadium after Henry Slade scored his second try of the match in the 75th minute was enough to make Irish minds ponder the significance of such a thumping.”
In the Sun, England have been heralded as “red-hot favourites for the Championship”
“Swing Low – England are on a roll again and Red Rose will now be red-hot favourites for the Championship after hammering the Grand Slam holders on their own patch,” The Sun wrote
The Guardian’s Robert Kitson says Ireland are better suited as underdogs.
No grand slam this time, just the eerie thud of lofty Irish reputations crashing back down to earth. One bad result does not suddenly make Ireland a bad side but this was not a day to convince many neutrals the world’s second-best team were wearing green. Maybe that was the problem: given the choice between being the hunters or the hunted, Irish rugby players instinctively prefer the underdogs’ basket.”
And finally in the Sunday Times’ Stephen Jones probably rightfully gave the likes of Robbie Henshaw and Keith Earls 5/10 ratings. But his comments about Earls were bang out of order and down right ignorant.
“A fallible fish out of water. Ireland would have been better served with him in the midfield where he belonged,” he wrote regarding Henshaw’s performance at fullback
“Dragged off at half-time, at fault for the first England try and a stopgap at this level.” he said of Earls.
Tough reading for Irish Rugby fans.