The wing's double takes him joint second in England's all-time top try-scorers chart

Jonny May scores first-half brace against Ireland

Jonny May scored two first-half tries as England took control of Pool A in the Autumn Nations Cup by beating Ireland 18-7 at Twickenham.

Having not crossed the whitewash in his five previous Tests, the England wing did so twice in four minutes to give England a 12-0 half-time lead.

Owen Farrell added two penalties after the break before Jacob Stockdale helped Ireland avoid being nilled by crossing in the 74th minute following a Billy Burns chip.

May’s first try came in the 17th minute after England had put pressure on Ireland from a five-metre lineout. Maro Itoje won the lineout, England set the maul and while the ball went loose from Billy Vunipola it went backwards so the hosts could reset their attack.

Then when the ball was released to the backs, Owen Farrell put in a cross-field kick that May plucked out of the air ahead of Hugo Keenan.

Then just a few minutes later, an Ireland overthrow at a lineout ten metres from England’s line gave the hosts possession from which they launched a counter-attack by spreading the ball wide.

May broke the Irish defensive line on his own 22, kicked diagonally downfield, got ahead of Jamison Gibson Park to use his boot again and then beat Peter O’Mahony to regather the ball and touch down for his second. It was a brilliant individual try…

The 30-year-old’s first-half contribution didn’t end there. May also made a try-saving tackle on Keith Earls on the half-hour mark. The Ireland wing had darted around England’s defence but May chased back to tackle him five metres out.

Related: Jonny May’s top tips on how to counter-attack

It is the sixth time that May has scored two or more tries in an England match and his try double took his tally to 31 in 59 Tests. That means he is joint second with Ben Cohen and Will Greenwood in the England try-scoring charts. Rory Underwood remains out in front with 49 tries for England.

Watch match highlights here…

Eddie Jones was full of praise for May after the match, saying: “He’s obsessed by getting better. He’s a great role model for all players in the team. I remember watching him at the 2015 World Cup and at one stage he looked like he’d end up in Row K. Now he’s a serious finisher.”

England also top Pool A with two wins from their opening two Autumn Nations Cup matches.

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