Dylan Hartley’s lineout darts have come under the microscope.
Over the last number of days, various commentators have agreed that Mike Brown’s try against Ireland illustrated England’s ability to both move the ball quickly and create overlaps in the outside channels.
After winning a lineout midway inside the Irish half, England kept the ball tight, attacking the short side before switching the ball across the field where they had a two man overlap.
The brute force of players such as Billy Vunipola and James Haskell in the immediate aftermath of the lineout, ultimately created the space for Brown to touch down.
However, while the try demonstrated the pace at which Eddie Jones wants his team to play, it also showed England’s cutting edge and most of all, their nous.
With the scores standing at 14-10 in favour of England at the hour mark, Dylan Hartley knew the importance of the next score, and how vital the lineout platform was in attaining it.
Therefore, instead of throwing down the middle of the line from the point of touch, Hartley took a step toward the England side of the lineout, allowing him throw straight into the arms of George Kruis and keeping it out of reach of the Irish poachers.
Although such a step falls outside of the rules, it shows that England are becoming clinical when scoring chances become available.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena