Player Ratings: Shattered hopes
OPINION: As pointed out this week by Russ Petty on Twitter, the team that leads at half-time nearly always wins this fixture, and this game was all but over by the 40-minute mark.
It will be a wake up call for Andy Farrell and his charges. The men in green were utterly dominated.
Ian Cameron rates the Ireland players
15. JORDAN LARMOUR 4.5
A clear target of England’s kicking game, and the Eddie’s men shook plenty of the change out of Larmour. He’s a marvelous attacking talent but he doesn’t yet have the game-craft for Test rugby at fullback. Part of a back three that struggled aerially and positionally.
14. ANDREW CONWAY 6
He kept an in form but out of position Jonathan Joseph in check. Busy and positive, despite being on the backfoot. A collision with Daly’s hip left the Munsterman needing a HIA.
13. ROBBIE HENSHAW 5
Henshaw recorded his first Test try in the 2015 Six Nations triumph against England, and tends to play well against the men in white. He grabbed the 50th minute try that Ireland so desperately needed to stay in the game, but it was to be his lone highlight.
12. BUNDEE AKI 4.5
A favourite at 12 under Joe Schmidt and now Farrell, Aki’s stopping power in defence is a clearly a big draw for defence orientated coach. Yet he continues to cough up handling errors with some frequency. Tackles his heart out, but his lack of creativity and a meaningful passing game continues to stifle Ireland’s attacking ambition.
11. JACOB STOCKDALE 3.5
The Ulsterman needed only eight test appearances to run in 10 test tries, the fewest by any northern hemisphere Tier 1 player in the professional era. He shone in this fixture in 2018, his breakout year, but this was a very different Twickenham outing. Incredibly let the ball bounce in Ireland’s dead ball area, before being shouldered aside by a grateful Elliot Daly. Marked out of the game by an eager Jonny May.
10. JOHNNY SEXTON (CAPTAIN) 2
From the whistle England began repeatedly sending Manu Tuilagi down his channel. Things got worse when he fumbled an awkward bouncing ball to gift England’s their opening try. His hooked kick in front of the posts in the 14th minute seemed to suggest an unfolding nightmare and his missed conversion in the 51st minute confirmed it. One of Sexton’s worst-ever games in green.
9. CONOR MURRAY 4
His lengthy clearances proved a valuable release valve for Ireland in the opening exchanges, but his slow delivery and the odd box kick clanger sapped any chance Ireland had of igniting the contest.
1. CIAN HEALY 5
A huge early hit on Sam Underhill set the tone for the veteran loosehead, but sadly he left the field injured with 25 minutes on the clock.
2. ROB HERRING 5
Going to into this match Herring’s lineouts were impeccable, with a clean sweep of 19 from 19. He’s been quietly excellent in the setpiece for Ireland, but you fancy Farrell Snr wants to see more from him in the loose.
3. TADHG FURLONG 4
Gave away an early penalty against Joe Marler. It’s the rarest of rare things to see the tighthead lose collisions, but lose collisions he did. His workrate was up there but his wince as he left the field said it all. The game had passed him by.
4. DEVIN TONER 5
Drafted in late for Iain Henderson and was a beacon of security at the lineout. Presented for duty in defence. Hard to fault the big man.
5. JAMES RYAN 5.5
Super aggressive and his personal contest with Itoje, which spilled over at times, continues to be box office. However the Englishman took the spoils this time.
6. PETER O’MAHONY 6
A vital steal got Ireland out of jail when defending the line in the 21st minute. He fought all day long despite the game being beyond reach after the first 40 minutes.
7. JOSH VAN DER FLIER 4
VDF made his his debut in a 21-10 defeat by England in the Six Nations at Twickenham in 2016. Thoroughly outshone by Underhill here. A real threat over the ball and an effective tackler but collision winning isn’t a strength. Outgunned today.
8. CJ STANDER 6
Going into this round of the Six Nations the number eight had won more turnovers (5) than anyone else in the competition. It is England on this occasion that, quite literally, wanted to take the shirt off his back.
16. RONAN KELLEHER NA
Not on long enough to rate.
17. DAVE KILCOYNE 6
Came on for the injured Healy and carried really well. Gave as good as he got with Sinckler.
18. ANDREW PORTER 6
Mullered by Ellis Genge in a particularly gory scrum in the 59th minute. The Englishman got under his skin. Took his 82nd minute try well.
19. ULTAN DILLANE 5
It’s been a minute since he last played for Ireland, having featured just three times in 2019. Part of a second-half fightback.
20. CAELAN DORIS 6
Back from his 4-minute debut in round 1. A few tidy contributions.
21. JOHN COONEY 6
Had 25 minutes to try and turn around a burgeoning Irish shipwreck. Caught napping by Jonny May, with a strange refereeing decision ultimately saving his blushes. That said, Ireland were certainly more direct under Cooney and Byrne.
22. ROSS BYRNE 5.5
Threw a few questionable passes but Ireland were chasing the game and they were probably justifiable in that context.
23. KEITH EARLS 6
He came into the game needing just one try to go clear of Tommy Bowe as Ireland’s second top try scorer in Test rugby, behind Brian O’Driscoll (46). Largely left to spectating and a bit of house-keeping duties in the few minutes he had to impress.