Ryan Hall helped himself to a first half hat-trick as the tournament co-hosts ran in eight tries in front of a stadium record crowd of 24,375 at the John Smith’s Stadium Huddersfield.
Ireland didn’t get off to the best start when they conceded a penalty inside 30 seconds for holding down in the tackle.
That gave England early field position, and although a one-on-one steal by Liam Finn put paid to the initial attack, a knock-on by Tyrone McCarthy presented England with the ball back 30 metres out. Rangi Chasebounced off a few tackles and found Leroy Cudjoe, who eventually put Ryan Hall in the corner for a walk in.
For the next 10 minutes, Ireland at least stuck with their opponents, and they applied a bit of pressure from the back of a few penalties, and a repeat set forced by Finn’s kick.
Off that error, Brett Ferres took a couple of men with him and then smartly offloaded to Cudjoe, who once again fed Hall for a try.
Cudjoe was involved in the build up to the third try, running inside at the line and finding James Roby and then Rangi Chase, whose kick to the corner caught out Pat Richards, allowing Tom Briscoe to score in the corner.
England then went on to register three further tries without the Irish even touching the ball.
Just two tackles after the kick-off, Sean O’Loughlin sent Tomkins flying away down the right, and he found Briscoe on his right shoulder, with the Leeds-bound winger strolling in for a try that was far too easy, making the score 20-0.
There was no respite for Ireland, as once again two tackles after the re-start, Kallum Watkins burst through on the far side. He found Ben Westwood on his inside, and while the Warrington man didn’t have the legs to finish it himself, he passed on to Sinfield, who moved the ball left for Ferres and Cudjoe to link up again to feed Hall for his hat-trick try.
Tomkins then popped up on the left hand side, flying away off Chase’s pop-up pass, and sending Ferres around the full-back for a try on his home ground.
That turned out to be the last of the scoring until 15 minutes in to the second half.
James Graham, controversially omitted from last weekend’s defeat to Australia, took the ball to the line to create space for substitute Gareth Widdop. His kick to the right was caught and pushed inside by Briscoe for his new Leeds team-mate Watkins to score.
In truth, the second half was largely a non-event as both sides went through the motions.
A regular Mexican wave went round the ground to keep the sell-out crowd entertained, although there was something more to cheer about, then Tomkins stabbed kick through was grounded by Chase for England‘s eighth try.
The closest Ireland got to scoring was when Damien Blanch fumbled Finn’s high kick with the line at his mercy, and it doesn’t get easier for Mark Aston’s men, who face Australia in Limerick next weekend.
(Photo courtesy of www.swpix.com)
England: Tomkins, Briscoe, Watkins, Cudjoe, Hall, Chase, Sinfield, Hill, Roby, G Burgess, Ferres, Westwood, O’Loughlin. Interchanges: Widdop, Ablett, T Burgess, Graham.
Scorers: Hall 3, Briscoe 2, Ferres, Watkins, Chase
Ireland: Mendeika, Blanch, Littler, Pewhairangi, Richards, Currie, Finn, White, Kostjasyn, Hasson, Finnigan, Allen, McCarthy. Interchanges: Beswick, Ambler, Bridge, Mullally.
Venue: John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield