Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

England star Maro Itoje sidelined by knee injury

England star Maro Itoje sidelined by knee injury

England are level on points with Scotland at the top of the Six Nations table after claiming a four-try bonus-point victory in their opening match. Even for us, the last time we went to Murrayfield, we didn't get off the bus and we were 21-5 down at half-time.

Ireland started the defense of their Six Nations title at Dublin's Aviva Stadium as the world's form team, but were brought down to earth with a startling bump. England may have missed 28 tackles to Ireland's 13, but the ones they did make they conclusively won: they registered 48 dominant tackles - those which stop the opponent getting over the gain-line - to Ireland's eight.

Eddie Jones has been very unlucky in recent months with injuries to his star players, and Itoje becomes the latest victim.

"There are a lot of guys hurting at the moment and they will be looking for a way back in and I think the only was back in is to roll our sleeves up, show that resilience mentally that we are going to be have to be able demonstrate next Saturday".

"It's something that happened to us two years ago against the All Blacks - we got bullied here".

England's four tries to two victory sees them move above Wales - despite a record-breaking comeback from the men in red in Paris - and into third place.

"The intensity at which we played pleased me most", Jones said.

Schmidt admitted Ireland were outmuscled in the same way as during their last home defeat, the 21-9 loss to New Zealand in November 2016.

"They put in some really good hits and they seemed a bit more pumped than we were".

"That is a reality check about the physicality that will be required to be successful in this World Cup year", said Schmidt.

"We wanted to create space and kicking is one way to do that and the execution of our kicking and chasing was very good", Jones explained. "It's a challenge to all our confidence".

"I was going to go for the intercept but obviously Farrell's pass is one of the best in the game and it beat me".

"We probably didn't have the same physical edge that they did".

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