You will not be able to wipe the smirk of Eddie Jones face all week after his England side did what no one thought possible, beating Ireland in Ireland.

England were a total different team from what we saw all of last year.

Ireland was simply outsmarted and outplayed with a brilliant display of defence that forced Ireland to make mistakes and put them on the back foot for most of the test match.

A lot of credit must go to John Mitchell and his defensive system which cause plenty of problems for Ireland. There was at stages were one thought England was on a thin line of being offside but you play to what you are allowed by the referees.

The other major difference between the two sides were Owen Farrell who played the best test we have seen in years form him.

His tactical kicking was on point and his distribution was just brilliant on the night.

He controlled the test from the first minute of the test and was the man of the match for me.

Ireland lost the contact and small battles and as we know in test rugby these small battles are important in these kind of test matches.

England was brutal in the collisions and it was just these collisions that force Ireland hands and gave two late tries to England.

This is a massive win for England and the first time they did so in Dublin since 2013.

England made the perfect start to the test with Johnny May going over in the corner from a brilliant pass from Farrell.

That gave them a 7-0 lead but suffered a setback a few minutes later when Tom Curry was send of with a yellow card after a late hit on Keith Earls.

Ireland made all the play in the time Curry was off the field but could not score any points.

Upon Curry return Ireland muscled over with Healy to get their first try on the board.

That gave Ireland the lead of 10-7 and it would be the last time Ireland led in the test match.

Three minutes later an error from Jacob Stockdale was pounced on by Daly, who scored England’s second try.

Farrell added the extras which gave the England a 14-10 lead and with another penalty before halftime gave England a 17-10 lead at the break.

The second half was much tighter as both side tried to get in the others half of the field.

We had to wait until the 55th minute for Sexton to kick a penalty after an illegal tackle from Sinckler.

May then found himself in space and booted the ball down field for Slade to out sprint everyone to score for England and extend the lead.

Farrell added another penalty in the 70th minute which gave his side a 25-13.

Ireland was then pinned down in their own twenty two and through brilliant defence yet again Slade intercept a pass from Sexton to get England bonus point try.

That sealed the result although Ireland did not surrender and just before full-time John Cooney crossed for a consolation try.

With this win England have not just laid the marker down for this years Six Nations but also send a message out to everyone for the World Cup later this year in Japan

The scorers:

For Ireland:
Try: Healy, Cooney
Cons: Sexton 2
Pens: Sexton 2

For England:
Tries: May, Daly, Slade 2
Cons: Farrell 3
Pens: Farrell 2
Yellow Card: Curry

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  1. The RWC is wide open – there are 8 sides that are quite capable of winning it. This must be the closest that test sides have ever been. SA,NZ, England, Ireland – nothing separating them. Oz, Wales, Scotland, Argy, France – nothing separating them.

    Problem is the NH sides have learnt Kiwi rugby know-how and nous from Schmidt, gatland – and now England with jones and Mitchell probably best coaching team on planet. Throw in a high-talent with a huge number of Boks and SA players – and they pretty much playing SH rugby with more money to get top class physios etc etc

    Still I think the Boks are best.

  2. Ireland reminded me of the Proteas – no Plan A in the first half – just try and bang through the flyhalve channel with the forwards. Then in the 2nd half – after watching the great kicking game from England – they tried some up and unders, but were extremely poor (like SA!). Like SA, the Irish forwards was probably better than the English, but the execution of the English backline was just too good. And John Mitchell certainly enhanced the defence of that Pommie side.

  3. @Jacques: Yip, will be interesting how Joe and Farell respond as coaches, and how they go into WC. Wales was also terrible this weekend, but I think France is actually far better that their results proclaim. If France can just cut-out their headless handling at times, they will be interesting (again!) come the WC.

  4. What I saw this weekend was that there is very little seperating the top 3 (NZ, Ire, Eng) and the ‘n it’s a bun fight between SA, Aus, Arg, Wales, France and Scotland for 4th spot.

    If SA want to be remotely competitive, they absolutely need to sort out the politics, and start selecting on merit, otherwise they have absolutely no chance of even reaching the semis.

  5. It’s all very sentimental having Kolisi as a captain and all the wonderful rainbow stuff etc etc, but it’s a travesty seeing players like Marcel Coetzee not being selected.

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