The thing to watch in the England-Ireland game today was supposed to be the centers combination of Brad Barritt and Jonathan Joseph, but it was hard to pay much attention to them given the outstanding play of the wings.
Jonny May at left wing had two high-stepping tries into the corner in England’s 21-13 win, but one of them was called back because of a forward pass. Anthony Watson, on the right wing, gathered in a perfect kick from fly half George Ford and needed only to turn out of a tackle to touch down.
The Irish backs never had much room to run as the English defense covered across the field all day. The only Irish try came from second row and captain Paul O’Connell.
The centers were the 13th different combination in the middle of the back line under head coach Stuart Lancaster, reported Owen Slot in The Times of London this past week.
Did they solidify enough today to seal their places in the Rugby World Cup opener against Fiji on September 18? Joseph was more visible in the game than Barritt from our seats today in the Jude the Obscure pub in Oxford, but with so much glory shining from the wings, who was watching what went on inside them?