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Ireland’s World Cup preparations took a heavy knock after a record defeat to England at Twickenham with additional injury concerns emerging over Cian Healy and Conor Murray.
While it was a first run-out of the season for many of Joe Schmidt’s regulars, the performance was still nowhere near the level that the head coach would have expected 29 days out from the Pool A opener against Scotland in Japan.
The hosts had the benefit of two games against Wales in the previous fortnight but some of Ireland’s defending for the eight tries that England ran in was inexcusable.
Jordan Larmour’s fifth try in green and a Ross Byrne penalty had Ireland ahead until the 26th minute but once the damn burst it looked like Eddie Jones’ men could score at will.
Tries from Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly and man of the match Manu Tuilagi handed England a 22-10 half-time advantage and Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Tom Curry, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Cokanasiga again all piled on the misery in the sweltering heat of South-West London.
Bundee Aki’s late try proved of little consolation.
JOE SCHMIDT: ‘We anticipate that we can get better’
“We can be a lot better and we have to be a lot better,” captain Rory Best told Sky Sports.
“That’s not the standard we hold ourselves to. Quite frankly it’s hard to describe it without using a lot of profanity.
“We are going to have to look back [at the lineouts
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