Rugby guru explains how Ireland tore England’s defence to shreds
The simplest way to describe the contest (or no contest) between Ireland and England at the weekend was that one team knew what they were doing and one team did not. Or, to be kind to England, one team executed what they wanted to do and the other team did not (no prizes for guessing which is which).
This was plain to see for everyone watching in the opening ten minutes when Andy Farrell’s side sliced through England’s defence with complete ease to put Bundee Aki in under the posts. This was by no means an Ireland side firing on all cylinders, but they still made it look very easy indeed.
EK Rugby Analysis has dissected this try on X this week, and it shows what a well oiled machine Ireland are. Firstly, the video points out that it was an early pass from flyhalf Ross Byrne and another quick pass from Josh van der Flier. Now the word ‘quick’ has not been associated for England for four years in attack or defence unless the words ‘not’ or ‘far from’ are also in the sentence.
The next thing the video points out is that van der Flier, his inside option Tadhg Furlong and his outside option Peter O’Mahony are all running at gaps, as is backdoor option Aki. This shape meant that tighthead Will Stuart was dragged wide to cover Aki, while both Ellis Genge and Maro Itoje committed to van der Flier. The Ireland openside opted to shift the ball to outside man O’Mahony, but all three of his options would have been put through a gap. It was not flashy, but it was executed perfectly and Ireland got the try.
Contrast that play with England and the two teams are lightyears apart. Worse still for Steve Borthwick, he only has one game to try and fix it before the World Cup.
Take a look at the video:
— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) August 23, 2023