This was always going to be a big ask for Ireland’s youngsters, with their creative backs (Paddy Jackson, Luke Marshall and Craig Gilroy) all playing for Ulster and their influential captain Niall Annett crocked so the score is not as bad as I’d feared.
Ireland U20 15
TRY: Shane Buckley, David Doyle
CON: JJ Hanrahan
PEN: JJ Hanrahan
England U20 46
TRY: Charlie Matthews, Ryan Mills, Matt Kvesic, Andy Short, Mike Haywood, Alex Gray
CON: George Ford (2)
PEN: George Ford (4)
Haven’t seen the match yet but you can read the report
here on the IRFU site. Unfortunately the report is no longer available, but we’ve found some details.
England drew first blood through the boot of Ford who slotted two early penalties to give the away side a 6-0 lead with eight minutes played before Ireland hit back with three points from JJ Hanrahan in a frenetic opening passage of play.
The first try came from England’s Matthews who went over in the corner after good work by Mako Vunipola and Henry Thomas.
Minutes after scoring Matthews was binned for a stamp and Ireland made their man advantage count, pushing a scrum over the line for Shane Buckley to score and Hanrahan convert to take the score to 10 – 11 in England’s favour.
However, a Ford penalty and a conversion of a try from Mills saw Ireland trailing 10 – 21 at half time.
England pulled away in the second half with Kvesic, Short, Haywood, and gray Gray all crossing to add to a further penalty from Ford.
Ireland’s only response was a try, out wide, from hooker David Doyle half way through the English onslaught.
Final score: Ireland 15 England 46.
England take the U20 Six Nations Championship and Grand Slam, Ireland now finish in a disappointing fourth place. It’s all doom and gloom for the Irish youngsters who were missing their key players for the two big home games against France and England.
It must be remembered that the U20’s were unbeaten on the road this season the only hiccup being last weeks draw against Wales, in a match I feel they could have and should have won if they had maintained their concentration. However, with so many of the youngsters involved at senior level in the weeks prior to that game I suppose some dis-orientation was inevitable.
IRELAND U20: Michael Sherlock (Leinster), Tiernan O’Halloran (Connacht), Alex Kelly (Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (Munster), Andrew Boyle (Leinster), Cathal Marsh (Leinster), Blane McIlroy (Ulster), James Tracy (Leinster), David Doyle (Leinster), Martin Moore (Leinster), Michael Kearney (Leinster), Daniel Qualter (Connacht), Shane Buckley (Munster), Aaron Conneely (Connacht), Jordi Murphy (Leinster) (capt). Replacements: James Rael (Munster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Cathal O’Flaherty (Munster), Stephen Lecky (Exiles), Mark Dolan (Connacht), Gareth Quinn McDonogh (Munster), Colm O’Shea (Leinster)
ENGLAND U20: Ben Ransom, Andy Short, Elliot Daly, Ryan Mills, Jonathan Joseph, George Ford, Chris Cook, Mako Vunipola, Mike Haywood, Henry Thomas, Joe Launchbury, Charlie Matthews, Matt Kvesic, Matt Everard, Alex Gray. Replacements: Rob Buchanan, Will Collier, Addison Lockley, Sam Jones, Dan Robson, Owen Farrell, Jamie Elliott.
2011 RBS U20 Six Nations Final Standings.
For those of you still to plan your summer holidays I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that this years IRB U20 Junior World Championship will be held in Italy centred on Treviso, Rovigo and Padova from 10 – 26th June.
Although Pool fixtures are still to be decided I believe that the Irish team are staying in Venice. Ulster should have a strong representation (depending on other commitments) with Niall Annett, Blane McIlroy, Craig Gilroy, Patrick Jackson, Luke Marshall and Iain Henderson all likely inclusions. The likes of Dave McGuigan, Conor Carey and Finlay Bealham should also be pushing for inclusion.
Fancy that wee trip myself and I’ll be posting more details as they become available.