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Match-winner May ecstatic with English defensive display

Match-winner May ecstatic with English defensive display

Match-winner May ecstatic with English defensive display

England’s match-winner Jonny May was quick to give the plaudits to his teammates’ defensive display after a pulsating 18-7 Autumn Nations Cup victory over Ireland.

May’s first-half brace made all the difference in the Round 2 clash at Twickenham, with the fleet-footed winger stealing the show with a sprinkling of quality to touch down twice before the break.

At the other end, a heroic defensive performance kept Andy Farrell’s side at bay for much of the game, with Henry Slade among those to put his body on the line to keep Ireland scoreless until the dying stages.

Jacob Stockdale got a late consolation for the visitors, but the rigidity of the hosts’ rearguard action delighted May, as Ireland were held up time after time as they tried to get back into the game.

“Defence won us the game, the pack was outstanding. Credit to Ireland they’re a very tough side and they don’t give in, they showed some great character as well,” May said.

“Tries are funny things, they’re like buses, they come and go. I’m happy to get a couple but the most important thing is the basics of the game in Test match rugby.

“The defensive work, the high ball stuff, the coverage and communication, all the little selfless things. That’s what this team is about.

After an even start to the affair, May got the scoring underway 17 minutes in, as the winger latched onto a delicately weighted Owen Farrell kick to the corner, beating Hugo Keenan to the high ball to touch down.

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And just minutes later, the Gloucester man scored one of the best solo tries in recent memory, as he carved through on the English right in his own half, before kicking into the great expanse of pitch ahead.

The speedy winger won the foot race, before putting boot to ball again, which popped up perfectly into his arms under the posts.

It was the ideal way for the 30-year-old to draw level with Ben Cohen and Will Greenwood as England’s second-highest ever try-scorer, as he brought his tally up to 31 in the white shirt of his country.

Two penalties from Farrell extended the lead in the second half, before Stockdale eventually got the men in green on the scoreboard late in the game.

The victory leaves England top of Group A with nine points ahead of next weekend’s clash with Wales, while Ireland remain in second.



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