Henry Slade felt England executed their game plan to perfection in a clinical 32-20 bonus-point victory over Six Nations champions Ireland in Dublin.
Centre Slade scored a second-half double after Jonny May touched down inside two minutes and Elliot Daly also went over in the first half at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Cian Healy touched down in the first half and John Cooney crossed right at the end, but last year’s Grand Slam winners’ run of 12 consecutive home victories – stretching back to November 2016 – came to a grinding halt.
Eddie Jones’ side were outstanding, Owen Farrell scoring 12 points from the tee as they made a huge statement and Slade said a brutal battle panned out just how they had planned.
How about this from @Sladey_10
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 2, 2019
He told ITV Sport: “It’s a great feeling to come here and get a win. Obviously they’re a top side, it’s a tough place to come and play, we had a lot of defending to do. Credit to the boys, we’ve put in a big shift in the last couple of weeks in camp.”
Slade added: “We had two weeks gearing up for this game and we knew exactly how we wanted to come and play. We executed it perfectly, the boys, one through to 23, put their bodies on the line defensively and it was a really enjoyable game to play in.”
Manu Tuilagi made his first start for almost five years alongside Slade, who hopes to continue his partnership with the Leicester Tigers powerhouse.
Slade said: “I really enjoyed it, it’s the first time I’ve had the chance to play with him. I’ve either been injured when he’s been fit or he’s been injured when I’ve been fit. Who knows, maybe it can carry on.”
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