England crush Ireland to send out warning to Rugby World Cup rivals
England racked up tries through a Joe Cokanasiga double as well as Elliot Daly, Manu Tuilagi, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Tom Curry and Luke Cowan-Dickie
England combined slick passing and powerful running to hammer Ireland by a record 57-15 in brilliant London sunshine on Saturday, reminding their World Cup opponents of the threat they pose when firing on all cylinders.
England racked up tries through a Joe Cokanasiga double as well as Elliot Daly, Manu Tuilagi, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Tom Curry and Luke Cowan-Dickie as they overpowered the visitors up front and shredded their defence.
Coach Eddie Jones's selections were mainly vindicated, as the dual playmaker axis of George Ford and Owen Farrell, which powered the 18-match winning streak that began his tenure, returned to offer control and width.
A line-up that resembles Jones's likely starters dominated a similarly stacked Ireland side, with centre Tuilagi and the young flanking duo of Curry and Sam Underhill all impressing with less than a month until the World Cup begins.
A toothless and tired-looking Ireland were passengers for much of the match, despite scoring the game's first try from a Jacob Stockdale chip collected by Jordan Larmour and a late consolation for Bundee Aki.
Scotland record overdue win
In Scotland, Chris Harris's second-half try gave the hosts their first win in six Tests as they beat France 17-14 in a Rugby World Cup warm-up at Murrayfield.
Harris's effort and one from Sean Maitland at the end of the first-half saw the hosts bounce back from the 32-3 thrashing by Les Bleus last weekend.
Pleasing for head coach Gregor Townsend, who made 14 changes to the starting XV from the first match, was the way Scotland held the French scoreless in the second-half. Worryingly, however, Townsend lost three players to injuries: Tommy Seymour; Blade Thomson and Sam Skinner.
Things looked ominous for the Scots early on as Damian Penaud intercepted and ran half the length of the pitch to touch down in the second minute, but Laidlaw reduced the deficit shortly afterwards with a penalty.
The Scots showed much more enterprise than the previous clash, Sean Maitland making a great solo break deep into French territory but his good work was spoiled as the hosts conceded a penalty allowing the visitors to relieve the pressure.
An error by Finn Russell cost the Scots dearly a few minutes later. The fly-half failed to gather a high ball and when it came to Gael Fickou he saw an opening, burst through midfield, and passed to Penaud who ran it in.
Maitland had more joy though right at the end of the first-half as he went over for his 12th Test try after Russell found him out wide to send the hosts in at half-time trailing 14-10.
The Scots went ahead for the first time in the match on the hour mark as Laidlaw fed Harris and he crashed over.
The French offered little after with the Scots closing them down and extinguishing any hopes they had of just their fourth away win since the last World Cup.
Updated: August 25, 2019 03:13 PM