Ireland will simply have too much for a struggling England side when the two clash in the Aviva on Saturday, at least according to Irish Times' Gerry Thornley.
England suffered their largest ever home defeat to France in the penultimate round of the Guinness Six Nations. Their 53-10 defeat to Les Bleus was the humiliation that Steve Borthwick certainly did not need at the start of his tenure as England head coach.
However, now he looks upon the prospect of travelling to Dublin, to face a team under Andy Farrell that is eying up a Grand Slam, in Johnny Sexton's final Six Nations game, on St Patrick’s Day weekend. The odds are firmly stacked against the visiting side.
For Gerry Thornley, there is simply too much stacking up against the English to see them as realistic contenders for the upset on Saturday.
Speaking on Wednesday Night Rugby, Thornley broke down what went wrong for England against France, and why they won't be able to fix it ahead of Saturday.
"What's going to hurt them the most about last Saturday was the way that they were so physically bullied," Thornley said. "When your front five is mangling the opposition front five, and you're going forward at a rate of knots off the scrum, [Gregoy Alldritt] looked brilliant again.
"I do think that England will have a huge emphasis on the physicality and defence. I just don't believe for a moment that it's going to last for 80 minutes.
"This Irish team are more skilful, they'll try to keep the ball in play for 40+ minutes and run the legs off them, and ultimately pull clear."
Ireland are just better
For Thornley, there is a list of evidence that suggests that Ireland, currently, are just better than England right now, and there is not much that Borthwick and co. can do about it.
"Ireland at the moment, and it's backed up by URC and Champions Cup results, have better players and better teams at the moment than the English do," Thornley said.
"So, they can bring all the fire and fury that they want, and they will, and they'll trouble Ireland at times. But Ireland will just have too much for them. Too much tempo, too many multi-phase attacks, too much versatility and variety in attack for them.
"They ultimately will struggle to live with that."
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