Huge disappointment as England secure bonus point win in Aviva

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2 February 2019; Conor Murray, left, and Bundee Aki of Ireland following the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and England in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

England inflicted a heavy 32-20 defeat on Ireland this evening in the opening round of the 2019 Six Nations in the Aviva after a lacklustre display by the defending champions.

England began the game like a train, obviously attempting to stun the hosts early on.

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Their plan worked when Johnny May crossed the whitewash after only 90 seconds with Owen Farrell duly adding the extras.

Ireland responded in the 10th minute with a Johnny Sexton penalty.

England’s ferocity was borderline at times and Tom Curry’s late tackle on Keith earls earning him a sin bin in the 12th minute.

Ireland couldn’t make their man advantage count on the scoreboard but almost immediately on his reintroduction an Irish maul close to the line eventually resulted in Cian Healy dotting down.

Johnny Sexton converted to give Ireland the lead 10-7 on 24 minutes.

England replied on 29 minutes capitalising on a Jacob Stockdale mistake with Elliot Daly scoring the try, Farrell adding the extra two.

England came close on the stroke of extra time with Mako Vunipola crossing the try line but the score was ruled out due to a double movement.

An Owen Farrell penalty did push England ahead 17-10 on the stroke of half time to bring to close a bruising first 40 minutes.

The physicality levels didn’t dip in the second with both teams continuing to fight for every inch.

It took until the 53rd minute for the first score of the second half with a Johnny Sexton penalty closing the gap to four.

Owen Farrell misses a penalty on 59 to offer Ireland some respite as both teams failed to gain the upper hand.

On 65 minutes a well worked move from the scrum saw England cross over once again this time through Henry Slade to give England a 22-13 lead.

England’s impressive line speed was to the fore throughout and was evident in the 70th minute as they pushed Ireland into their own half before wining a penalty for Ireland holding on.

Farrell duly converted the penalty on half way to push their lead to twelve with 10imutes to go.

The misery was compounded on 75 minutes when Henry Slade intercepted a Johnny Sexton pass inside Ireland’s 22 to waltz over the line.

John Cooney did have a try for Ireland late on after a brilliant break by Sean Cronin but it was far little too late as England ran out 32-20 winners.

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