A flat second half performance and the concession of soft tries were the foundation for England’s defeat of Ireland, according to scrum-half Conor Murray.

Joe Schmidt’s side, looking for a 13th successive home victory and a bright start to the defence of their Six Nations title, were overturned by Eddie Jones’ England who delivered a dominant performance at the Aviva Stadium.

Trailing 17-10 at the break, the visitors controlled the tempo and finished the stronger to ease to a 32-20 victory, with replacement John Cooney getting a consolation try at the death.

Murray says Jonny May’s second-minute try, and Elliot Daly’s effort on the half-hour after Jacob Stockdale couldn’t control the ball over his own deadline, was the catalyst for the loss.

"We started a bit slow and gave up a couple of soft tries," he said. "Against a team of England's quality, you're always going to be struggling.

If you look at the end of the game we started chasing and gave up another couple of soft scores

"Our start killed us against a team of England's quality. You can't come out here and start that slow and expect to win."

Having outscored the hosts in both halves, the scrum-half admits that he expected his team-mates to take the fight to England after the resumption.

"We steadied the ship a little bit and got back into it. The half-time chat was good, but for whatever reason, we were a little bit flat coming out again.

"It's not like us and very hard to put your finger on it, but against a side like England you can't afford to be flat."