Rugby League World Cup 2013: England 42-0 Ireland

By Paul FletcherBBC Sport at the John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield
Highlights: England 42-0 Ireland

Winger Ryan Hall scored a first-half hat-trick as co-hosts England got their World Cup campaign up and running with an easy victory over Ireland.

England raced into a 30-0 lead after 24 minutes in front of a stadium record crowd of 24,375 in Huddersfield.

Tom Briscoe also touched down twice and Brett Ferres once as Steve McNamara's side scored six first-half tries.

England did not add to the score until Kallum Watkins finished a slick move and Rangi Chase completed the scoring.

The home side had lost 28-20 to favourites Australia in the opening match of the tournament and needed a good performance against a side who were comfortably defeated by Fiji in Rochdale on Monday.

They certainly delivered that in the opening quarter of the match, although it was difficult to assess quite how good they were against opponents who were vastly inferior in many areas.

At times Ireland were simply unable to cope with England's attacking threat, especially when McNamara's team endeavoured to keep the ball alive.

And with the Wolfhounds ending their Group A campaign with a match against Australia in Limerick next weekend, their chances of picking up any points appear extremely slim.

England will have a much sterner test of their credentials against Fiji in Hull next Saturday, and there is still plenty of scope for improvement after they failed to build upon their blistering start.

They took the lead in just the second minute, when a knock-on from Tyrone McCarthy ended with Leroy Cudjoe feeding Hall who touched down in the corner.

Ireland rallied briefly, enjoying some good field position and forcing a drop-out, but a knock-on from Rory Kostjasyn resulted in another try for Hall after 13 minutes and from that moment England ran away with the contest.

McNamara's team went on to score four tries in seven minutes, with Irish hands hardly touching the ball during that period.

Briscoe, playing on the right wing in place of the injured Josh Charnley, beat former Wigan player Pat Richards to a high kick from Salford-bound Chase and touched down after 17 minutes, with the try awarded by video referee Henry Perenara.

On the second tackle after the restart a break from NRL-bound Sam Tomkins sliced apart the porous Irish defence and the full-back passed for Briscoe to score again, with the Leeds winger cutting inside to leave skipper Kevin Sinfield with a simple conversion.

Hall completed his hat-trick after 20 minutes when England scored shortly after play restarted, although they were fortunate that Ben Westwood's forward pass midway through the move was not spotted by referee Thierry Alibert.

England were by now playing an expansive and confident brand of rugby against a beaten team and Ferres, playing on his home ground, touched down after Chase and the impressive Tomkins had combined.

The game was quickly becoming a procession but the Wolfhounds managed to get through to the break without conceding any more points.

And it was not until almost 15 minutes of the second-half had been played that England finally extended their advantage.

James Graham drove the ball towards the line and from the resulting play-the-ball Gareth Widdop kicked to the corner and Briscoe skilfully pushed the ball back infield for Watkins to touch down.

Tomkins had looked threatening with his elusive running throughout and his grubber kick after another jinking run was touched down by Chase for the final score of a one-sided contest.

England: Tomkins, Briscoe, Watkins, Cudjoe, Hall, Chase, Sinfield, Hill, Roby, G. Burgess, Ferres, Westwood, O'Loughlin. Replacements: Widdop, Ablett, T. Burgess, Graham.

Ireland: Mendeika, Blanch, Littler, Pewhairangi, Richards, Currie, Finn, White, Kostjasyn, Hasson, Finnigan, Allen, McCarthy. Replacements: Beswick, Ambler, Bridge, Mullally.

Attendance: 24,375

Referee: Thierry Alibert (France)

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