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Rugby News

Manu masterclass helps England to big win

A man-of-the-match performance from Manu Tuilagi has helped England to a 42-point, 57-15 win over Ireland in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match at Twickenham.

The Leicester Tigers centre was at his rampaging best, proving unstoppable for the Irish defence through the midfield helped along by another strong showing from his club-mate George Ford at fly-half.

The match also doubled as a return to international arena for fellow Tigers back Jonny May, who was making his first appearance of the warm-up fixtures ahead of the World Cup in Japan.

England were first to register points when Owen Farrell landed a penalty-goal in the 7th minute, before the visitors hit back with the first try of the game just two minutes later when Jordan Larmour trailed an awkwardly-bouncing kick through that popped up in to the Irish winger's hands for him to dive over.

Ross Byrne, who was filling in at fly-half for Jonny Sexton, added the conversion and saw Ireland lead by four-points (3-7) after ten minutes.

However, the lead was short-lived as England clicked in to gear and scored through Joe Cokanasiga crossed in the 13th minute to see the home side back in front by just one-point after Farrell missed the conversion attempt.

Byrne booted Ireland back in front, by two points, in the 26th minute with a penalty-goal and looked to be building some momentum.

But, it was not to be for the Irish side as England wrestled their way back in to the contest through their forwards before their attacking weapons out-wide began to run riot.

As the Twickenham clock ticked over past the half-hour mark, fullback Elliot Daly crossed for the home side's second on the end of an impressive build-up and then scored their third through Tuilagi after Tigers team-mate Ben Youngs found the centre with a perfectly timed pop pass after a strong scrum 5m out from the Irish try-line.

Farrell converted both scores before the half-time break to see his side take a twelve-point, 22-10 lead in to the changing rooms.

It didn't take long for England to find their way over for another try in the second-half when Maro Itoje snuck through to race away from 30m out and score under the posts, which Farrell converted, and the home side's lead was stretched to 19 points.

The pain didn't stop coming for Ireland as England added three more converted tries between the 50th and 70th minute marks, including a second for Cokanasiga to lead 50-10 with less than ten minutes remaining.

An impressive individual effort from Ireland centre Bundee Aki in the 73rd minute ensured the visitors didn't finish the second-half scoreless, before a mistake at the line-out by the Irish on their own line allowed Luke Cowan-Dickie to dive over untouched - in the same way the replacement hooker did against the Welsh a fortnight ago.

Leicester fly-half Ford converted the try to complete the scoring and 42-point victory for England.