Ireland hammered by England in Rugby World Cup warm-up


England produced a dominant performance as they continued their preparations for the World Cup by hammering Ireland.

Eddie Jones’s side ran in eight tries at Twickenham to register their largest winning margin against the visitors.

Ireland crossed first through Jordan Larmour but Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly and Manu Tuilagi all scored as the hosts built a 12-point half-time lead.

England added further tries from Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Tom Curry, Cokanasiga and Luke Cowan-Dickie.

Jones got the response he would have been looking for after England were beaten by Wales in a lacklustre display last week.

In contrast, Ireland looked way off the pace set by the home side and missed the chance to overtake Wales at the top of the world rankings.

Cokanasiga’s well-made first set the standard in sweltering conditions, with full-back Daly crossing on the same flank before Tuilagi powered through the middle from close range.

Itoje capitalised on a loose Ireland line-out shortly after the break and the rampant hosts continued to increase their advantage as Kruis and Curry crossed in quick succession.

Cokanasiga’s converted second took the hosts to the 50-point mark as England laid down a marker with less than a month to go before their World Cup opener against Tonga in Japan.

Ireland centre Bundee Aki finished a well-taken solo consolation try, but England replacement Cowan-Dickie dived over late on to complete the hosts’ win.

Lots of work to do for Ireland

Ireland headed into the contest against England with just one warm-up fixture under their belts and even that victory over Italy a fortnight ago saw Joe Schmidt name an experimental side.

Despite that, the visitors started brightly when Larmour dived on a bouncing ball after England failed to gather a chip and chase from opposite wing Jacob Stockdale.

Schmidt, reluctant to risk Jonathan Sexton and without Joey Carbery through injury, handed a first Test start to rookie Ross Byrne and the fly-half was on target with the conversion before adding a penalty that re-established Ireland’s lead after 26 minutes.

Ireland still have to cut nine players from a current 40-man panel before they begin their World Cup against Scotland in Yokohama on 22 September, but few players did their hopes any favours from there on in at Twickenham.

As the visitors’ error count grew, so did England’s advantage and Ireland finished the match having conceded 19 turnovers and lost six of their 15 line-outs.

New Zealand-born centre Aki demonstrated the threat he poses when he sprinted over for Ireland’s second, but even that consolation was wiped out when they gifted Cowan-Dickie a try late on.

Ireland continue their World Cup preparation by facing Wales in Cardiff on 31 August and again in Dublin on 7 September.

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