Mako Vunipola England vs Ireland: Manu Tuilagi sparks eight-try thrashing as Irish melt in Twickenham heat

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England sent out an emphatic statement ahead of the Rugby World Cup by recording their largest victory over Ireland with an eight-try 57-15 rout at Twickenham.

In the sweltering conditions of south-west London that could yet prove to be the hottest August Bank Holiday weekend on record, Ireland melted in the heat as they found themselves outplayed and outpowered by what very much looks to be England’s first-choice side.

Manu Tuilagi was at his destructive best to not only score a try himself but prove a problem that the Irish defence simply couldn’t deal with, while Joe Cokanasiga bounced back from last weekend’s struggles against Wales to score twice and take his record to five tries in eight career matches.

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England took a healthy lead in at the break courtesy of Cokanasiga’s opener and ensuing scores from Elliot Daly and Tuilagi, but the floodgates well and truly opened in the second half as Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Tom Curry, Cokanasiga again and Luke Cowan-Dickie all crossed.

Cokanasiga has has to answer a fair few critics this week that included his own coach Eddie Jones, who challenged him to find a way through his second-season struggles after being exposed defensively in Cardiff last weekend. Those issues remained here as he rushed up on opposite man Jacob Stockdale, only to see the Ulster wing kick past him and allow a bobbling ball to set up Larmour for the try.

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