It’s bad news for England as Maro Itoje is ruled out

It’s bad news for England as Maro Itoje is ruled out

And the man behind their downfall on the opening weekend of the annual northern hemisphere tournament is known very well to Japanese rugby fans.

So what chance do Japan have of repeating the "Miracle of Brighton" against Ireland in Pool A in Shizuoka on September 28? 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.

"I think we're a very realistic group, we don't get ahead of ourselves. We've got to be able to start better". I think Billy (Vunipola) had offloaded it so we got caught off the mark and that's why I tried to solve a problem on my own but I got it completely wrong.

Itoje is crucial figure in England's pack and his power and work rate were key in subduing champions Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

"That was that in a nutshell, obviously there are other areas we want to look at but physically we know we can be there, we can be up at that level, we were just off and we've got to sort that out".

"That's the exciting thing, I think".

Itoje was sent for a scan on Sunday evening and it is understood that England's initial fears about his condition have been confirmed.

In terms of England's early try in the corner.

But England's backs, especially May, were unflappable under the bombardment they had spent the previous week preparing for in their camp in Portugal. "England were really good, especially in the air, they cleaned up in the air and we struggled to get in the contest".

He added: "With a game as attritional as that one, you've really got to allow sufficient recovery time".

"We couldn't assume we could rock up and just deliver a performance that they would accept".

Murray admitted that Ireland were dominated in the physical stakes, but is confident that they can rectify this going forward.

"They accepted nothing from us and gave us as little as possible and that's a credit to them".

Tries from Jonny May, Elliot Daly and a brace from Henry Slade earned England a bonus point win that few pundits saw coming before the game.

The irony was that such a ploy has become a signature of Ireland, with star wing Jacob Stockdale the main proponent. A little bit of a struggle to get front-foot ball but at times I thought we weathered the storm and got back into it, but they stayed in the fight. "It's a challenge to all our confidence".

But Jones had a warning for anyone seeking to write off Ireland prematurely. They're well coached, well drilled.



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