Ireland have not beaten England since a 24-15 victory at Twickenham in March 2018; the two sides next meet in the final round of the 2021 Six Nations in Dublin; Conor Murray says: “I think lads in the dressing room will be dying to get another chance at this England team”
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 23/11/20 7:36am
Conor Murray says Ireland’s players are desperate for another crack at toppling Eddie Jones’ England after leaving Twickenham with “huge belief”.
Jones’ World Cup finalists continued their recent dominance over the Irish by easing to a convincing 18-7 Autumn Nations Cup success on Saturday.
Andy Farrell’s outclassed visitors never looked like preventing a fourth successive defeat to their rivals and must wait until the final round of the 2021 Six Nations in March for an opportunity to halt that run.
Scrum-half Murray, who came off the bench to be part of an improved second-half showing, is encouraged by the positive mood within Ireland’s camp and optimistic for the future.
“If we had taken one or two of our opportunities then the game is up in the air as to who gets the win,” said the 31-year-old.
“In terms of that alone, there’s belief, and in terms of the general feeling leaving Twickenham this time – having given away a couple of easy scores, if you will – then there’s huge belief (of beating England next time).
“And that’s without going into the feeling in the squad.
“There’s an unbelievable atmosphere in terms of growth and mindset and things like that, and the excitement of youth and experience.
“I think lads in the dressing room will be dying to get another chance at this England team.
“They’re a really good side and there’s a lot of respect there but I think we’ll be really eager to play them again.”
Experienced half-back Murray lost his starting spot to Jamison Gibson-Park for his country’s opening two Autumn Nations Cup games.
He replaced his New Zealand-born team-mate with half an hour to play on Saturday and helped Ireland post more points and greater possession than their hosts in the second half.
Despite being comfortably beaten overall, the Munster man felt Ireland gave a better account of themselves than on their previous two fruitless trips to London.
“In general, maybe they didn’t have to work as hard for their scores as we did for our opportunities,” he said.
“But watching on in the first half and then coming on, we felt a lot better than we have been at Twickenham before.
“There have been times before – let’s just say the last two times we’ve come here – and we’ve known what’s going to come our way in terms of line speed, in terms of the volume of their players and things like that, and their kicking game.
“I thought we dealt with it a lot better and I think we just boxed a little bit more clever.”
Eddie Jones has tipped Jonny May to surpass Rory Underwood as England’s top try scorer and believes the winger’s best is yet to come.
May scored twice in Saturday’s victory, the second a highlight-reel try that saw him travel virtually the entire length of Twickenham.
The 30-year-old is now joint second with Ben Cohen and Will Greenwood in England’s all-time list on 31, and Jones lauded May’s special talent.
“I don’t see why he can’t reach that total. He’s only going to get better and better. I think he’s going to be at his best when he’s about 32, 33,” Jones said.
“He’s 30 now so there’s no reason why he can’t keep scoring tries and being one of our most important players.
“He’s an incredible rugby player. What I’ve seen in that boy in the time I’ve been lucky enough to coach him has been outstanding.
“I’ve never seen a more professional player. He continues to get better, he gets faster, stronger, more elusive and his work off the ball is exceptional. He’s always looking for ways to get quicker.”
The Gloucester wing’s all-round game and the expectations placed upon him by the England coaching staff have been refined over the years.
Jones believes May has matured as a player as he has got older, becoming in the process an indispensable part of the England attacking armoury.
“Maybe when he was a bit younger he used to get a bit despondent when he didn’t score tries, now he knows that his role is much bigger than that,” Jones said.
“While tries are obviously cherished, they aren’t the things that dictate whether you’ve had a good game or not.”