Ireland Vs England Warm Up Match 2

Ireland were dismantled by England in the 2nd World Cup warm up fixture for Joe Schmidt’s men after a 29-10 win over Italy in Dublin 2 weeks ago. This was meant to be the game where Ireland stepped up preparations after the tough weeks of pre season in Carton House and at the National Sport Campus in Abbotstown.

They certainly didn’t seem to get the memo as they were ruthlessly beaten by an England side that seems hell bent on winning the big prize in Japan in early November. Yes Ireland may be slightly behind England in match terms but they have done similar amounts of training over the past few months.

Being beaten yesterday was one thing but to be dismantled and not really come up with any real answers even when the game was lost will be the most alarming problem for the playing squad and the coaches as they return to base to review and try and pick up the pieces after such an abject showing.

From an England perspective I go back almost 4 years to when Eddie Jones took on the England job and his stated aim was to win the World Cup in Japan he also said he would use the first 2 years to work on forward play and getting his forwards comfortable on the ball that stated aim has been achieved along with his hope to do similar with the backs over the final 2 years of his 4 year deal. This whole approach was scoffed at in some quarters but does now seem to be coming to fruition just as the World Cup comes into sharp focus.

Jones has Manu Tuilagi playing well after so many periods on the sidelines his decision not to put him on the scrap heap is reaping the reward of patience. With other men like Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph also in good form at the minute in time things do seem to be rosy in the garden for all in the England camp. He got his wish of having Sam Underhill and Tom Curry on the field of play and this combination worked a treat and nullified the trio of O Mahony, Van Der Flier and Stander.

Only 4 members of the Ireland extended squad has yet to see game time and will see game time in two games vs Wales in Cardiff and Dublin. After the defeat yesterday this squad will be shaken and will be looking for reasons for the manner of the defeat, it wasn’t just a defeat it was like a lamb being led to slaughter and can’t be good for confidence or put down as “one of those things”.

We are less than a month out from the opening World Cup game vs Scotland and time is running out for this squad to build up the confidence that is surely waning. The positive attitude that Joe Schmidt usually can muster after a loss was missing in the aftermath yesterday and he will know it is down to his players and coaches to make sure his final few weeks as Ireland head coach don’t end in a whimper.

As I have said several times when writing about this squad time again to circle the wagons and go again but I will honestly say the manner of the loss yesterday has me worried for the first time in Joe Schmidt’s 6 year tenure. I hope I am proven wrong but the signs really don’t look good 4 weeks out.

I will select the side I feel will try and restore lost confidence

15 Andrew Conway

14 Keith Earls

13 Gary Ringrose

12 Chris Farrell

11 Will Addison

10 Ross Byrne

9 Conor Murray

8 Jack Conan

7 Josh Van Der Flier

6 Peter O Mahony

5 James Ryan

4 Tadgh Beirne

3 John Ryan

2 Niall Scannell

1 Dave Kilcoyne

16 Sean Cronin

17 Jack Mc Grath

18 Tadgh Furlong

19 Devin Toner

20 Rhys Ruddock

21 Kieran Marmion

22 Jonathan Sexton

23 Robbie Henshaw

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