George reflects on brilliant win for England as Sarries stars impress in Six Nations
PUBLISHED: 17:30 04 February 2019
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Red Roses kicked off campaign with delightful success away to reigning champions
Saracens hooker Jamie George views England’s demolition of Ireland as a statement of intent as World Cup year was launched in stunning fashion at the Aviva Stadium.
A 32-20 victory delivered the most impressive result of the Eddie Jones era as the Guinness Six Nations champions - widely acclaimed as the game’s dominant force - were battered into submission.
One of the great days in English rugby history has lit up the route to Japan 2019 and while acknowledging the implications of the win, George is wary of making premature predictions.
“It was a big statement. It was probably the most enjoyable win I’ve had in an England jersey and potentially the most complete performance I’ve been a part of,” the Saracens hooker said.
“We were hugely confident going into the game and the way we played might have been a surprise to some people, but it wasn’t to us.
“We knew how important it was for us to start well and we built throughout the game off the back of that start.
“But we’re not thinking too much about the World Cup, we’re thinking about playing France next weekend. We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves.
“We must realise that we can’t just rest on that win, believing that because we’ve produced one good performance we’ll be winning the World Cup. We need to build on this.”
In the final quarter Ireland were reduced to a rabble as they fell to their first home Six Nations defeat since 2013, uncharacteristic errors made by half-back generals Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton summing up their collapse.
Mako Vunipola took the man of the match honours, but England were outstanding across the team and were driven on by the return from injury of Mako’s younger brother Billy and Manu Tuilagi.
Setting the tone for the afternoon was the long line-out throw straight to Tuilagi which enabled the Leicester centre to bulldoze forward as the prelude to Jonny May’s try after just 92 seconds.
“I just missed the throw terribly!” joked George, who was one of several players to produce their best England performance.
“It was always part of the plan. When you have the likes of Manu in midfield you just want to get the ball into his hands - skip out the middle man and give it straight to him from the line-out!”
Elsewhere, Saracens wing Liam Williams started at fullback for Wales in their thrilling 24-19 success away to France on Friday night.