The English Media React To Ireland’s Thrilling Win Over England At The Aviva
England may have left Dublin as Six Nations champions, but it was Ireland who walked away with the spoils.
After yesterday’s win over the old enemy, Ireland have now incredibly ended two world record 18-match winning sequences in the same season.
A try by Iain Henderson and eight points from Johnny Sexton were enough to give Ireland victory and deny England a 19th successive Test victory that would have eclipsed the record set by New Zealand last year.
Here’s how the English media reacted to Ireland’s heroics.
Writing for The Sunday Times, Stuart Barnes says Joe Schmidt showed he was the better coach.
Whereas England had nothing new to offer, Ireland had flipped around their game and England were made to look tactically second best, at times almost naïve.
It was a reminder that, for all the achievements under his reign, Jones is not the only coach of the highest quality operating in this hemisphere.
Players win and lose games, Jones and Schmidt insist as much, but the players go out with some sort of plan to put into effect. Put simply, Ireland had a superior plan, and on the day the superior coach.
The Telegraph’s Mick Cleary says the only Englishman with a smile on his face at the Aviva was Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell.
This was the real Ireland, the side that had also stopped the All Blacks on their 18-match winning streak, and it hurt England, hurt them deeply. What a hollow feeling it was as they were presented with the RBS Six Nations trophy, victors yet vanquished. This memory will live long with both sides.
Ireland have salvaged their own season, runners-up in the tournament while England have had a horrible reality check. They are champions but it will not feel that way. They were on the podium yet heart-broken. The only Englishman with a smile on his face was Andy Farrell, the Ireland defence coach and architect of an unbreakable green wall.
Tom Cary, also of The Telegraph, says Ireland can beat any team in the world in their day, but need to become a more consistent force.
On their day Ireland can beat any team in the world. They proved that at Soldier Field and again yesterday. But it feels sometimes as if they need the high-intensity occasion to really get up for it. Their win percentage since the World Cup hovers around the 50 per cent mark. Joe Schmidt’s team need to become a more consistent force, and perhaps find more ways to win, if they are going to become a consistent force at the top of world rugby and challenge for the 2019 World Cup.
The Guardian‘s Robert Kitson says the win didn’t surprise him too much.
A surprise? Perhaps not so much. This was the sixth time in their last seven Six Nations visits across the Irish Sea that England have fallen into the emerald flytrap. Ireland’s defeat in Cardiff had left them unable to win the title but it had failed to douse their spirit.
Whether it was the dreaded prospect of mid-table anonymity or simply the extra incentive of a looming Lions tour, this was another extraordinary, super-charged show of defiance, almost fit to sit alongside the All Black triumph in terms of intense satisfaction.
Andy Bull, also writing for The Guardian says England met their match on Satrday.
It was not so long ago that Jones was explaining his theory that England’s distinct advantage over most other sides is that they possess a rare combination of power, pace and skill. Other teams, he said, might have one or two of those qualities but England have all three. And, honed over the years, he hopes the mix will make them the best team in the world. But on Saturday they ran into a team every bit as powerful, every bit as quick and every bit as skilful.
The BBC’s Tom Fordyce was honest in his assessment of a game that made for difficult viewing from an England perspective.
“It was a horrible, chastening evening for Eddie Jones’ men, the first defeat of his reign coming with arguably the worst performance of his 18 matches in charge, although they at least have the consolation of retaining their Six Nations title.”
Andy Dunn in The Daily Mirror said there could be no arguing with the result.
“This is what can happen when it is more than just a match, more than just team versus team, more than just country versus country,”
“This is what can happen when pride demands a performance of fearsome intensity and courage from the men supposed to be the supporting cast.”