Rugby

The English Media Reaction To England's Dublin Victory

The English Media Reaction To England's Dublin Victory

England's victory in Dublin on Saturday was the best display of Eddie Jones's tenure according to Clive Woodward.

"Ireland had no answer and it has been a while since we have said that," wrote 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."

The Guardian's Robert Kitson suggested that the title of favourites does not sit well with Irish teams.

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.

For the Telegraph, Mick Cleary highlighted the significance of the win for England. Irish exiting the Aviva with minutes to go did not go unnoticed.

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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 his player ratings for the game, the Sunday Times' Stephen Jones gave Robbie Henshaw, Keith Earls and Josh van der Flier all 5/10.

"A fallible fish out of water. Ireland would have been better served with him in the midfield where he belonged," he wrote of Henshaw.

And of Earls: "Dragged off at half-time, at fault for the first England try and a stopgap at this level."

He also summed up well how comprehensive an English victory it was.

"Ireland have not become any less than a great side all of a sudden, but it is difficult to remember a time when they looked like recovering this game. England’s defence pinned them to the back boards when they tried to run the ball and even a pack containing Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan was seriously beatable, and beaten. Scrum? Contact arrears? Midfield defence? You name it, England had it covered. The last we expected from their titanic day was a one-sided match. However, that is what we had."

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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