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Itoje credits ‘Kamikaze Twins’ in Ireland success

Itoje credits ‘Kamikaze Twins’ in Ireland success

Itoje credits ‘Kamikaze Twins’ in Ireland success

Maro Itoje says his Player of the Match performance was a “reflection of the team’s work-rate” after England ran out 18-7 winners over Ireland at Twickenham.

The Saracens lock racked up 24 tackles and was pivotal in shutting out Ireland for long periods at a time, with victory over Andy Farrell’s men helping them take charge of Group A in the Autumn Nations Cup.

The 26-year-old started in the back row against Georgia last week but switched to second row for the visit of Ireland.

And the England talisman was quick to praise the players who came into the starting XV, highlighting flankers Tom Curry and Sam Underhill in his post-match comments.

“We have some incredibly physical players,” Itoje said. “The ‘Kamikaze Twins’ – Tom and Sam – helped lead the charge.

“Our forward pack were chopping guys and taking them backwards. It’s something we pride ourselves in and it was a decent display. It was a good performance.”

A pair of first-half tries from Jonny May gave the hosts a healthy lead at Twickenham before captain Owen Farrell slotted two penalties after the interval.

Replacement Jacob Stockdale scored late on for the visitors, but Ireland were largely unable to dent an impregnable England defence.

Itoje said: “The first half was really pleasing but in the second half we let Ireland back into the game and wrestled with them. We’ll take [the win] – we’re happy.

“I am just trying to do my part for the team. My performance is just a reflection of the team – I’m chuffed to be named man of the match but I’m happier with the win.”

England travel to Llanelili to face Wales for their final group-stage match next Saturday knowing a win would secure a game against the winners of Group B on Finals Weekend.

But Itoje is wary of the quality of opposition they will face at Parc y Scarlets, even with Wales only capturing one win in seven games.

“Wales are a quality side,” added Itoje. “Things haven’t been going their way recently, but we know their players and their quality.

“They love playing against England. It’s a big week next week but we’ll focus on that on Monday.

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