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How England's 'bullies' have learned to turn the screw on Ireland ahead of crunch clash at Twickenham

 

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Key performer: Ireland have struggled to quell Maro Itoje’s influence in recent battles with England

Key performer: Ireland have struggled to quell Maro Itoje’s influence in recent battles with England

Key performer: Ireland have struggled to quell Maro Itoje’s influence in recent battles with England

The emasculation of Irish rugby began at 4.45pm on Saturday, February 2, 2019 and lasted 91 seconds. In that short space of time, a ferocious England opening knocked Joe Schmidt's team off their perch. Eddie Jones' men finished the job, backed it up in August with a record win and then did the same to Andy Farrell's charges at Twickenham last February.

With Saracens continuing the theme in their meetings with Irish opposition, the balance of power has remained favourable to England and they are intent on keeping it that way when Ireland run out in London tomorrow.

In each of the matches, England have outmuscled the Irish pack and outthought their backs. Although Ireland scrummaged well in the Dublin game, their set-piece has creaked since. They've wilted in contact and lost the breakdown.


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