Stop the bleeding and reassure after two defeats, the English wanted to finish their competition on a positive note to Twickenham. But once again, Eddie Jones’s men sank, caught in the fight and far too messy. At the time of the balance sheet, this tournament seems to have plunged English rugby into a crisis, the first since 2015.
Ireland pushes England into crisis
We waited for the English reaction after two consecutive defeats. We had the right to a new Irish demonstration. The English have never been able to overturn a game that has quickly turned in favor of men in green. In the first period, there is simply nothing to say, as the Irish were above. Two tries conceded, and an inability to be really dangerous against a XV of Clover perfectly in place defensively. If the hinge suffered from the comparison with Murray and Sexton, the English forwards were a tone below their Irish counterparts. Healy, Best and especially Furlong put the first line down the line throughout the match.
With 16 points at half-time, Owen Farrell’s teammates failed to change the look of the match in the second act. Much too messy, they chained awkwardness near the opposing goal line and did not have the resources this afternoon to overthrow the XV Clover.
Eddie Jones’s changes have not changed anything
After the defeat at the Stade de France, the coach of England had been widely criticized in the press for his choices. Against Ireland, the Australian had decided to make strong choices. Exit Care, Ford, Cole, Launchbury, Eddie Jones redistributed the cards on this last game, so important for England.
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Changes that have not changed anything in this meeting. Eddie Jones did not find solutions especially in third-line where the association Haskell, Simmonds and Robshaw did not bring satisfaction. If the English reacted in the last minutes, the damage was already done.
The XV of the rose not realistic and once again caught in the commitment
It was also a reproach to the English against the Scots and the French. With very powerful players, Eddie Jones’s men had lost the battle of the rucks and had been eaten in the engagement. In the first half this afternoon, the Irish played at their hand, in their preferential pattern: conquering fronts and game launches perfectly worked. The second attempt perfectly shows the defensive largesse of His Majesty’s Soldiers.
Found in the line of advantage, the right Furlong pillar had time to feign the redoubled and find Aki inside. If the English tried to react in the second half, they once again stubborn on the Irish defensive curtain without ever succeeding to make the difference, except in the last minutes, once the score acquired.
The number: three consecutive losses in the tournament, a first since 2006 for the English
It was necessary to go back very far in the statistics to find trace of three defeats in a row of the English in the Tournament. In 2006, the team then coached by Robinson had lost its last three games against Scotland, France and Ireland. The English federation had decided to react by creating a manager position above the head coach. If we are not there yet, this statistic hurts our English friends. Because the certainties accumulated since the taking of office of Eddie Jones seem very far at the end of this Tournament 2018.
The question: to 1 year and a half of the World Cup, the English have lost all their certainties?
At the time of the record of England in this 2018 edition of the 6 Nations Tournament, concerns are more important than satisfactions. The certainty of a few months ago is far from today and England worries, let’s not be afraid to say it, to a year and a half of the World Cup. If one could speak of an accident against Scotland and a disappointment against France, it is now a fact: the English are in difficulties. In the game, in the commitment and in their ability to react in a chopper match.
Are the three defeats representative of the real level of English play? Against Ireland, the players of the rose seemed lost in a game system that showed all its limitations. However, Eddie Jones still has many months to find the solutions and not to know the same disappointment as his predecessor at the last World Cup