August 14, 2022

ENGLAND 15-32 IRELAND

After 82 seconds, it was looking like Ireland would coast, but it was anything but. England fought their asses off and came close to winning a pulsating match.

Whatever plans both sides had for the contest were upturned after 82 seconds when England lock Charlie Ewels clattered into James Ryan. It was the end of both their games – Ryan went off with concussion while Ewels was red-carded.

Ireland went 3-0 up after that penalty and 8-0 when Josh van der Flier sent James Lowe away up the left wing. They could have had another, through Caelan Doris, but play was called back for a Garry Ringrose knock-on.

England then won a raft of scrum and maul penalties, to get back to only 8-6 down, only for Hugo Keenan to get over for a try. Just before the break, though, Marcus Smith got another penalty back.

Ireland had been error-strewn in the first half, but they got even worse in the second 40. England were pumped up beyond belief and celebrating every small win. Smith chipped over two penalties to make it 15-15 with 20 minutes to go.

Sexton was able to make it 18-15 when England conceded a penalty near their tryline. The game-breaker arrived on 73 minutes when Andrew Conway went close and Jack Conan followed up to crash over.

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The bonus point – scarcely deserved – came for Ireland when Finlay Bealham crashed over, late on.

Here’s how we rated both teams:

ENGLAND RATINGS

Ireland ratings

Freddie Steward – 6

Had a lot of pitch to cover and was scrambling as best he could. Stuck a couple of big tackles.

Max Malins – 6

Was all about his defence today, as got no real chance to get his mitts on the ball.

Joe Marchant – 7

Won his side a big penalty after a great kick-chase.

Henry Slade – 7

Another one that had little impact with carries, but defended excellently.

Jack Nowell – 8

Some shift from the winger-turned-emergency-flanker. Made some nice carries.

Marcus Smith – 7

Put up some lovely kicks for chases that won turnovers.

Harry Randall – 6

Some tough moments out there, but water off a duck’s back. Lively.

Ellis Genge – 9

Was a scrum menace today. Tortured Tadhg Furlong.

Jamie George – 8

Put in a huge hit to stop Sexton in his tracks.

Kyle Sinckler – 7

Was going and scrummaging well until he got sparked out.

Maro Itoje – 9

The guy was everywhere today. A real pain for the Irish.

Charlie Ewels – 3

Got his tackle technique all wrong and cannot blame fatigue as it happened so early in the game.

Courtney Lawes – 7

Tackled anything in green that moved, and tackled hard.

Tom Curry N/A

Went into the game carrying a knock, and only lasted 15 minutes.

Sam Simmonds – 8

Gobbled up Keenan to win his side a big turnover and attacking platform.

REPLACEMENTS

Alex Dombrandt (for Curry ’15) – 7

Will Stuart (for Sinckler ’37) – 8

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Ben Youngs (for Randall ’53) – 6


 

IRELAND RATINGS

Ireland ratings

Hugo Keenan – 9

Showed great attacking awareness for his try. Superb under the high balls, for the first 50 minutes, until England got after him and won two penalties from it.

Andrew Conway – 7

One beautiful spiral kick with the outside of his boot. Repeated the dose, later on, but then sliced one out to put his team under the pump.

Garry Ringrose – 6

Needlessly kicked away possession and spilled forward under pressure.

Bundee Aki – 5

Strangely mute outing. Little impact in attack or defence.

James Lowe – 8

Blazed over for an early try and had 112 metres made after only 30 minutes. Fourth try was all about this guy’s power.

Johnny Sexton – 6

Guilty of some loose kicks out of hand. Not his finest game in green but his last Six Nations outing at Twickenham ends with a win.

Jamison Gibson-Park – 7

Decided to quick-tap penalties when easy points were on offer. Quick-thinking did lead to two first half tries.

Cian Healy – 5

One early scrum win but was a tough watch after that. Missed three tackles.

Dan Sheehan – 6

Made a lot of early metres and stuck all his tackles, but was part of a front row that was very much second best.

Tadhg Furlong – 5

Had it hard going against Genge in the scrum. Carried well. A couple of loose handling moments.

Tadhg Beirne – 6

Fought and scrapped all evening, but not his greatest outing.

James Ryan N/A

Awaiting a hopefully positive update after another worrying concussion.

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Peter O’Mahony – 5

Stuck all 10 tackles but had little impact in the mini battles and with his carries.

Josh van der Flier – 6

Teed up Lowe for his try. Ran into a few brick walls.

Caelan Doris – 7

Won his side a big turnover, on 54 minutes. Almost had Murray away after great line-break.

REPLACEMENTS

Iain Henderson (for Ryan ‘2) – 6

On earlier than planned. Conceded some poor penalties. Fought like a demon.

Dave Kilcoyne (for Healy ’53) – 5

Rob Herring (for Sheehan ’53) – 6

Jack Conan (for O’Mahony ’60) – 7

Bashed over for late try.

Robbie Henshaw (for Aki ’66) – 8

Added some punch.

Conor Murray (for Gibson-Park ’69) – 7

Could not hang on to Doris offload.

Finlay Bealham (for Furlong ’73) – 8

Bagged the bonus point try.