Ireland 29-10 England: What have we learned from the World Cup preparations?
Ireland's players celebrate Keith Earles' try
Ireland have stepped up their World Cup preparations and put pressure on an England team clearly lacking in confidence

Ireland scored five tries to convincingly beat England in a World Cup warm-up match in Dublin.

Vunipola’s red card adds to England’s woes

With Owen Farrell’s World Cup participation already in doubt, England manager Steve Borthwick faces further disciplinary turmoil this week following Billy Vunipola’s red card against Ireland.

Farrell’s Saracens teammate Vunipola was initially shown yellow for his heavy tackle on Andrew Porter in the second half, but was upgraded to red after a review.

Borthwick, who has not specifically commented on the Vunipola incident, now faces a critical week in his preparations with key players likely to lose part of England’s sure-to-dominate pool matches build-up to Saturday’s Test against Fiji at Twickenham.

With Vunipola the only seeded eighth in the England squad, A.J Possible six-match ban It will create a serious headache for Borthwick and his coaching staff.

Borthwick said “I hope we reach a conclusion on both issues this week and another week won’t go by. Once I have all the facts, I’ll deal with it.”

“We talked about how this testing week has been disrupted (because of the Farrell saga) and I need to adapt all week. It’s another challenge thrown at us.”

The stars align for Earl Centurion

Keith Earles celebrates scoring Ireland's fifth try against England
Veteran winger Keith Earles gave Irish fans a moment to savor when he capped his 100th cap with the last try of the match.

The most memorable moment of the match from an Irish perspective was undoubtedly the anguished roar let out by the crowd when Keith Earles crashed into the corner to seal Ireland’s victory and celebrate his 100th cap in style.

Aviva has been roaring all year, and with Ireland winning the Grand Slam on home soil in March, that really means something.

Earls, who has been on the Irish scene for 15 years and is hoping to make his fourth World Cup appearance, provided a tantalizing reminder of his wide end which included tries from Ireland’s first winger Mac Hansen. and James Lowe.

A hugely popular member of the squad, the Munster Earls became Ireland’s ninth captain on Saturday and gave Ireland their best ever World Cup send off when he took Bondi Ake’s pass into his stride and raised Aviva’s roof with his 36th international try.

“Obviously today’s story is very fitting for Keith to get his 100th cap and we made sure he did it with a W and he scored a Keith Earls style try in the corner which really made the day for everyone,” said Farrell.

Ireland still has a lot to offer

Saturday was a stark example of where Ireland and England find themselves three weeks into the World Cup.

As for Ireland, Farrell’s reign of nearly four years has been piling up to this point.

There have been plenty of trials and some bumps along the way, but everything we’ve seen in the past 12 months suggests this Irish team is capable of breaking new ground on France’s biggest stage.

Like all great teams, Farrell’s Ireland have mastered the art of securing wins from performances that don’t max out.

Saturday was another example of this. With 15 changes from the Italy game, Ireland looked rusty and disjointed, especially in the first half.

And just as he did after the win over Italy, Farrell used the word “clunky” in his assessment of the performance. But while England toiled, those in green found a way to score five tries and record their 12th successive Test win back in last year’s tour of New Zealand.

They continue to rack up wins, but it is clear from Farrell’s post-match comments that he feels his Ireland machine still has a lot to offer before reaching the pinnacle of their Six Nations victory over France or the Summer Test series last summer. Victory over all blacks.

“There was a little bit of everything: the good, the bad and the ugly,” Farrell said of his team’s show.

“I wasn’t very happy in the first half. We put them in a place where we can push a little bit harder and make it a little easier on ourselves but we haven’t started.

“I was really happy we found or got back in the game. I thought we scored some great tries.”

Borthwick faces the unenviable task of turning England’s fortunes around

England's players looked frustrated as the full-time whistle blew at the Aviva Stadium
England have now lost four of their last five matches since beating Wales in the Six Nations

As for England, less than a year into the Borthwick era, instead of rekindling confidence in their World Cup prospects after a disappointing Six Nations campaign, those warm-up matches only reinforced suspicions that heartbreak awaited them in France.

Discipline is clearly a hot topic, but England were often slow and predictable in Dublin as George Ford – making his first start since 2021 as Farrell’s replacement at fly-half – failed to seize a golden opportunity to build on his cameo in victory. by match. From the bench against Wales last week.

England have now lost four of their last five matches, conceding 20 tries and scoring just five goals. The road ahead looks bleak, but Borthwick is clearly in no mood to draw any damning judgments on his player’s efforts so far.

“While I am very disappointed with the result, the players kept fighting,” he said.

“I thought the players who came off the bench added on the pitch.

“Just before halftime at 7-3 we missed some chances and handed the ball over in the final third, so we couldn’t put enough pressure on them.

“When it was 15 on 15 it was a tight battle, unfortunately 15 on 15 didn’t stay.”

With Fiji arriving at Twickenham on Saturday, Borthwick faces the unenviable task of rejuvenating his squad ahead of launching their World Cup bid against Argentina on September 9.

Farrell is waiting for Sheehan to be updated as the casting approaches

This was, of course, Ireland’s last home tour before they travel to France, where Farrell will unveil his 33-man squad on August 28.

Farrell dropped five players from his squad over the weekend and said he was “almost done” with his 33-man squad following the win over England.

Ireland have had some minor injury concerns recently, but while Farrell said Jack Coonan, Ronan Keeler and Dave Kilcoyne would “definitely” be fit for the World Cup, it is not yet known the full extent of Dan Sheehan’s injury following Leinster Hooker’s injury. foot against England.

With Sheehan having a stellar 12 months for club and country and Kelleher lacking match sharpness, the former’s injury would be a worrying development ahead of facing Romania in their Group B opener on September 9.

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