(Reuters) - England coach Eddie Jones was hailed by British media for orchestrating a tactical masterclass after their stunning upset victory over Six Nations champions Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
Jones’ resurgent England handed Ireland coach Joe Schmidt a first-ever home defeat in the championship with a resounding 32-20 victory that blew the tournament wide open on its opening weekend.
The Sunday Times led with the headline “England’s titanic triumph in Ireland”, saying Jones and his coaching staff “deserve the thanks of a grateful nation”, while “those on the field deserve thanks almost tending towards a fawning.”
England’s physicality came to the fore as they bullied Ireland all over the pitch at the Aviva Stadium.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, former Scotland and British and Irish Lions coach Ian McGeechan pointed out how “England caught the Irish cold by playing them at their own game.”
Jones’ side, he said, “put down a real marker for the rest of Six Nations campaign.”
“Ireland just could not get over the gainline,” McGeechan added. “Even someone like Tadhg Furlong, usually one of their strongest ball carriers, was being knocked back in the tackle.
“When that happens it creates a ripple effect for the rest of the team.”
Clive Woodward, who coached England to World Cup glory in 2003, hailed the result as “the biggest win for England under Eddie Jones and a real boost in what will be a massive year”, in his column in the Daily Mail.
“I can’t remember England playing better in his tenure. From one to 15, they were huge and Owen Farrell led the team brilliantly,” Woodward said.
“In a World Cup year this was a real line in the sand.”
The Observer echoed the theme of England’s performance laying down a marker for the World Cup in Japan later this year.
“This was it, then, the signature performance England needed, a statement of intent at the start of the World Cup year,” wrote reporter Andy Bull.
“It was their first match of 2019 and it will likely be the most important they play till the last comes around, sometime, someplace, in Japan in the autumn.
“It was proof England have a game that can beat the best team in Europe on their home turf, something even New Zealand failed to do the last time they tried.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis