There were plenty of areas of the game in which England had superiority over Ireland on Sunday, but having looked over the numbers former Red Rose skipper Will Carling believes breakdown ferocity was key.
England of course won the Twickenham tussle in Round Three, prevailing 24-12 and scoring three tries to Ireland’s two.
MatchStats, Powered by AWS, enable deeper insight into key strategies, as Carling assess’ in his latest blog for Broadcast Sport.
“Always a bruising encounter with these two powerhouses, England won 67 rucks compared with Ireland’s 110, but this stat alone doesn’t tell the whole story,” writes Carling.
“Although Ireland won a lot of rucks, they also lost possession again and again – conceding 15 turnovers in the 80 minutes in fact.”
In the 2019 Championship, no team made as many dominant tackles as England, and that was the case on Sunday as 16% of their tackles were dominant.
Time and again, Ireland found themselves forced backwards as the likes of Courtney Lawes, Maro Itoje, Sam Underhill and Manu Tuilagi stopped carriers getting over the gain line.
What is noticeable about the graphic above is just how consistently England were able to make dominant tackles, all over the pitch.
Carling continued: “Wrecking balls like Sam Underhill and Joe Marler gave England 32 dominant tackles compared with Ireland’s eight, contributing six and three of these respectively. These resulted in three turnover tackles for the English, whereas Ireland managed none. The impact? Ireland could never really build momentum and flow in their attack.”