Sharp Irish backs, a dominating English scrum but Charlie Ewels seeing red, England-Ireland tops and flops (15-32).
Gibson-Park, Lowe and Keenan astute
They were the top three strikers during this match. Jamison Gibson-Park was also named man of the match. The scrum half is at the root of the action on the first try, but especially on the last pass on his team’s second attempt, after a huge inspiration. The number 9 has always wanted to set the rhythm and play the penalties quickly. James Lowe certainly the best striker of the day on the Irish side. He scored the first try after five minutes of play and gave his side the lead. The left winger constantly put his people forward with his sharp runs. Hugo Keenan was invaluable in the air, as first defender and first raiser. He always played fair. The rear came in perfectly to register the second attempt of his (37th), just before the break. A test that certainly determines the end result.
The left column of the XV de la Rose continued to roar in Twickenham this Saturday. Ellis Genge was unmanageable in the scrum, Tadhg Furlong radiated, yet was considered the best proper prop in the world. The Irish, too wrong (see elsewhere), were penalized six times in the scrum and the English left prop often had something to do with that. He, however, who was aided in these stages by Jack Nowell in the role of left flanker, was not replaced until the 67th minute.
They could have dived, they got up. The English, who were quickly outnumbered, took up the water during the first quarter of an hour. They are close to scoring a second try and a 13-0 from the 12th minute, but the Irish try is declared void for an attacker. Only the English never gave up during this encounter and took advantage of the feverishness of their opponents to come back little by little. In the first period they kept in touch with their opponents before equalizing on the hour thanks to a fifth penalty from Marcus Smith. They will eventually collapse at the end of the match, conceding two tries in five minutes.
Ewels, best Irishman of the day
We will be back for the thrill. The foul of Charlie Ewels, England’s second-line, ruled out after just 90 seconds of play. The England number 5 was guilty of a dangerous tackle on his vis-a-vis James Ryan, and a head to head shock. It is logically ruled out, after calling the video, by the French referee Mathieu Raynal. Irishman James Ryan left the field without ever returning. Not sure if Charlie Ewels touched a ball before hitting his opponent.
They arrived in England as the best offense, best scrum and most disciplined team of the tournament. The Irish only met one of their standards (four attempts). They were punished far too much during this encounter, often in their camp. 15 penalties were awarded, only nine of them in the first period. They left the English in the game when they could have folded the game quickly. Largely dominated in the scrum, Andy Farrell’s players conceded six penalties in this area alone.
Sexton is out of time
Ireland’s legendary fly-half returned as a starter at Twickenham. A complicated race for Jonathan Sexton, who has never been faster. The master player of Clover’s XV adapted his passes poorly, often slowing down attacks. An Irish team that had possession (56%) but struggled to keep their game in place like their number 10. Shortly after the hour Ireland pushed into the camp opposition and are very close to scoring another try. Jonny Sexton misses his pass for James Lowe. A ball intercepted by Freddie Steward who went against alone but the umpire returned in an error. Ireland misses the try and settles for the penalty. On the other hand, the striker was immaculate on foot. 12 points scored at foot and only one missed conversion (5/6).