Rugby

The New Zealand Media Reaction To England's Defeat In Dublin

The New Zealand Media Reaction To England's Defeat In Dublin

The Irish enjoyment of England's Grand Slam hopes being crushed in Dublin on Saturday evening seems only to be matched by that of it 11,000 miles away.

In New Zealand, they are bathing in schadenfreude.

The New Zealand Herald's Chris Rattue penned a match report filled with pointed digs at Eddie Jones' team.

Eddie Jones' mob were back to their clunky habits in defeat against Ireland, their Six Nations campaign involving one mildly impressive scoreline against Scotland, where rugby is about as popular as Brexit.

Most of the ire appears to stem from the view that with their 18-game unbeaten run - which ended in Dublin - England were on the same rung as New Zealand on the rugby ladder. This is a view met with strong opposition.

No disrespect is intended, according to Rattue, for a 'stilted team' who 'can only play to their limited skill capacity'. He also quips that England only looked fluid 'when spotting a chance to hit Ireland's great No. 10 Johnny Sexton with late and high tackles, a tactic out of the rugby stone age'.

His best line, though, regarded the colour of England's attire.

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White is a great colour to wear for muscle-bound rugby people who want to look menacing. But it also looks a bit cringey when things go wrong. England were wrecking balls in chains. A lot of them looked like overstuffed plastic shopping bags in desperate need of a trolley.

There is also plenty of love for Ireland. Joe Schmidt's team are viewed as 'classy challengers' to New Zealand's crown. Though the rankings say differently, Ireland are seen as the world's second best team, playing with 'verve and guile'.

Mark Reason, for Stuff.co.nz, thought Saturday evening 'a terrifyingly brutal game' and one which exposed an England weakness.

It was a night that exposed the biggest flaw in England's game. When the heat is on, just as it was in Cardiff earlier in the Championship, Ben Youngs can fray at the edges. He was charged down early on and under pressure his kicking was not up to its usual standard. And the hesitancy in Youngs's pass put George Ford under pressure throughout the match.

Reason also felt England's targeting of Johnny Sexton was 'not attractive' but a happening which may have pleased All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.

England wanted to take Jonny Sexton out of the game. It was clearly a plan. James Haskell, Maro Itoje (twice) and replacement Tom Wood all smashed into Ireland's first five on the edge of lateness. No doubt Steve Hansen will be smiling through Sexton's pain. The more ferocious this game became, the greater the likelihood of the Lions being physically diminished.

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

See Also: The English Media Reaction To Ireland's Grand Slam-Destroying Performance

Watch: Brian O'Driscoll Enjoyed A Little Laugh At Eddie Jones' Expense On ITV

PJ Browne
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