England are odds on to win the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup after dismantling Ireland 18-7.
Here the PA news agency examines five things we learned from a one-sided clash at Twickenham.
Battle of the finishers
The white wall
England turned defence into a offensive weapon through the sustained ferocity of their tackling. The statistics are remarkable – they made 238 hits to Ireland’s 72, with seven of them categorised as dominant. Irish runners made few dents on the line strung out before them and despite controlling territory and possession, they never looked remotely capable of winning. England have raised this element of their game to a new level.
Leading that staggering defensive effort was Maro Itoje, who made 24 tackles alone to edge May for the man-of-the-match award. The Saracens second row is always in the eye of the storm, his strength and high work rate marking him out as a player of towering influence. Once his leading rival for next year’s Lions series, James Ryan was mastered at Twickenham and the next assignment is Wales’ Alun Wyn Jones. Week by week Itoje mounts a compelling case to travel to South Africa as captain.