Mako Vunipola This is one astonishing constituent!
I might have to reduce my list of teams who can win the World Cup from six to five having witnessed Ireland’s 57-15 thrashing by England.
A knee-jerk reaction? Maybe, but the reasons Ireland should worry go beyond this one result.
Joe Schmidt did not seek to hide behind the fact that his team came into the game on the back of a heavy training camp, when interviewed after the match.
He knows that this accounted for some of the atypical inaccuracy in Ireland’s play, but it goes nowhere near to explaining all of it.
Irish fans will hope this was a blip, like Wales’ first warm-up game at Twickenham, but current problems are not current at all.
Ireland’s win/loss ratio since they beat the All Blacks last November is not disastrous but only a partisan would deny that they have not played anywhere near the standards they set then.
Their recent Six Nations campaign was underwhelming and the form of their international players in the subsequent European club competitions was similar.
Ireland were below par against England and listing the failures is easy – nearly everything. But doing so is not much help and, anyway, it is secondary to more important points.
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