Ireland’s Six Nations defence began with a surprise defeat to England, as Joe Schmidt’s side fell to a thrilling 32-20 loss at the Aviva Stadium.
Schmidt tasted defeat at home in the Six Nations for the first time since taking over in February 2013, and Saturday’s loss was only his fifth defeat in 29 matches in charge of Ireland.
England began much the quicker side in a fiercely contested encounter, scoring after just 90 seconds as Elliot Daly finished a well-worked move to put Eddie Jones’ side ahead.
Ireland replied well and scored through Cian Healey after 25 minutes, but went into half time trailing 17-10 after Daly capitalised on Jacob Stockdale’s fumble for England’s second try of the game.
Johnny Sexton converted a penalty early in the second half to reduce England’s lead to just four points before Henry Slade scored two tries to put the game beyond doubt.
Ireland did manage to grab a consolation try through John Cooney but couldn’t secure a losing bonus point, as England secured their first victory in Dublin for six years.
Here’s how we rated the Irish performances.
Robbie Henshaw - 6
His positioning looked good playing in his preferred position, but his kicking let him down.
Keith Earls - 5
Substituted at half-time after failing to make much of an impact on the game – he may have been struggling after being on the receiving end of a late tackle, however.
Garry Ringrose - 6
Looked strong and dangerous in the midfield.
Bundee Aki - 5
Was second best in the battle against Manu Tuilagi and failed to create anything to unlock England.
Jacob Stockdale - 5
One of the standout performers of last season’s Six Nations but made a huge error for Daly’s try.
Johnny Sexton - 6
Reliable as ever with the boot, Sexton looked a threat in the first half but frustrated in the second.
Conor Murray - 5
A poor day for Ireland’s nine.
Cian Healy - 7
His try got Ireland back into the game following England’s fast start, and he battled well.
Rory Best - 5
Ireland’s captain looked under pressure at times and was almost at fault for an England try on the stroke of half time following a poor throw from a line-out, but Billy Vunipola was adjudged to have made a double movement.
Tadhg Furlong - 6
A strong contribution from the tight-head prop.
Devin Toner - 6
Another who looked strong before being forced off through injury.
James Ryan - 6
Ryan played a big role in the maul that led to Ireland’s first try and had a solid game.
Peter O'Mahony - 5
Put in a big shift but ultimately couldn’t make an impact on England’s line-out.
Josh van der Flier - 7
Another who put in a lot of effort, making countless tackles.
CJ Stander - 6
Similar to Flier, another who was strong in the tackle but his impact going forward was limited by England.