We have an indepth look at the two teams ahead of this afternoon’s 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship 5th Place semi final match. Kick off is at 15:30 in Argentina, 19:30 in UK/IRE.
The match should be streamed live for those of us in the UK and will also be shown on EIR Sports.
Why is this match important?
Both teams will have gone into this competition with aspirations of a top four finish so you could argue that there will be a sense of disappointment in both camps with a 5th place play off. However, both teams still have plenty to play for.
Ireland will want to finish in the top six, at least, so they don’t devalue a Six Nations Grand Slam winning season and England will desperately want to rejuvenate a disappointing season, spoiled by indiscipline, and will feel they can push on in this competition following their defeat of Australia.
Of course, it’s also Ireland v England and both teams should have no problem getting up for this one.
Whoever wins this game is guaranteed a top six finish in the 5th place final against the winners of the other semi final between New Zealand and Wales.
What happened last time they met?
Ireland have a 2 – 0 advantage over England this season winning their Six Nations meeting 35 – 27 in Cork and, of course, Ireland won their opening pool match in this competition 42 – 26 on 4th June.
Ireland will be looking to record an unprecedented third straight victory over their English opponents who will be equally determined to make sure that doesn’t happen!
Will that match have any effect on this one?
A lot changes over a couple of rounds in this intense competition.
Ireland field only six players in their starting positions from the first round meeting in Dylan Tierney-Martin, Charlie Ryan, Azur Allison, Craig Casey, Jonathan Wren and Liam Turner.
England are able to field nine starters from that game in Joe Hayes, Joel Kpoku, Alex Coates, Aaron Hinkley, Manu Vunipola, Cameron Redpath, Fraser Dingwall, Ollie Sleightholme and Tom De Granville.
Ireland have called in seven replacement players, with three in the starting line up in their squad of 27 whereas England have only called in two replacements with one appearing in their starting line up in an overall squad of 25.
It’s difficult to say how much effect their earlier meeting will have in terms of player performance, however England will have a much better chance of a win if they can improve their on field discipline.
The two squads for this afternoon’s game are shown below.
|IRELAND U20||ENGLAND U20|
|1 Michael Milne UCD||1 Kai Owen Worcester Warriors|
|2 Dylan Tierney-Martin Corinthians||2 Will Capon Bristol Bears|
|3 Charlie Ward Clontarf||3 Joe Heyes Leicester Tigers|
|4 Charlie Ryan UCD||4 Joel Kpoku Saracens|
|5 Thomas Ahern Shannon||5 Alex Coles Northampton Saints|
|6 Ryan Baird Trinity College||6 Richard Capstick Exeter Chiefs|
|7 Ronan Watters St Mary’s College||7 Aaron Hinkley Gloucester Rugby|
|8 Azur Allison Ballymena||8 Ted Hill Worcester Warriors|
|9 Craig Casey Shannon||9 Sam Maunder Exeter Chiefs|
|10 Ben Healy Garryowen||10 Manu Vunipola Saracens|
|11 Jonathan Wren Cork Constitution||11 Josh Hodge Newcastle Falcons|
|12 David Ryan University College Dublin||12 Cameron Redpath Sale Sharks|
|13 Liam Turner Dublin University||13 Fraser Dingwall Northampton Saints|
|14 Aaron O’Sullivan UCD||14 Ollie Sleightholme Northampton Saints|
|15 Jake Flannery Cork Constitution||15 Tom De Glanville Bath Rugby|
|16 Declan Adamson Clontarf||16 Nic Dolly Sale Sharks|
|17 Josh Wycherley Young Munster||17 Olly Adkins Gloucester Rugby|
|18 Thomas Clarkson Dublin University||18 James Kenny Exeter Chiefs|
|19 John McKee Old Belvedere||19 Tom Willis Wasps|
|20 Brian Deeny Clontarf||20 Rusiate Tuima Exeter Chiefs|
|21 Niall Murray Connacht||21 Ollie Fox Bath Rugby|
|22 Luke Clohessy Shannon||22 Connor Doherty Sale Sharks|
|23 Tom Seabrook Gloucester Rugby|
|24 Rob Russell Dublin University||24 Luke James Sale Sharks|
|25 Colm Reilly Buccaneers||25 Ollie Hassell-Collins London Irish|
|26 Cormac Foley St Mary’s College|
|27 Angus Kernohan QUB|
|28 Max O’Reilly Dublin University|
What are the Irish Players Stats?
The stats for the Irish Players in this competition to date are shown below.
|13||Liam Turner||Dublin University||Leinster||3||240||0||0|
|11||Jonathan Wren||Cork Constitution||Munster||3||192||0||0|
|6||Ryan Baird||Dublin University||Leinster||3||174||1||5|
|7||Ronan Watters||St Mary’s College||Leinster||2||74||0||0|
|17||Josh Wycherley||Young Munster||Munster||3||167||0||0|
|18||Tom Clarkson||Dublin University||Leinster||3||194||0||0|
|19||John McKee||Old Belvedere||Leinster||2||71||0||0|
|24||Rob Russell||Dublin University||Leinster||2||136||1||5|
|26||Cormac Foley||St Mary’s College||Leinster||2||92||1||5|
|27||Angus Kernohan||Queen’s University||Ulster||3||200||0||0|
|28||Max O’Reilly**||Dublin University||Leinster||1||4||0||0|
Where are the key areas?
This game is going to be as much a psychological battle as a physical one and Ireland have had England’s number in this regard over the last two games with England’s indiscipline turning both matches decisively in Ireland’s favour.
The big question is whether England will try and outplay their opponents or try to dominate them physically by fair means or foul? Unfortunately, for the English, the latter has been their preference, very much to their detriment, and this Ireland team seem to prefer soaking up the pressure then attacking with almost laser like precision, seldom coming away from the red zone without points in the bag.
Who is going to win?
I had an uneasy feeling about the game against the Italians and Ireland came through that one with comparative ease, so I shouldn’t be that worried about saying that I also have an uneasy feeling about this one.
If England concentrate on playing rugby for the 80 minutes I’d say that England have the edge.
However, if Ireland can knock them off their stride, which is something they have done to all their opponents in all the games, apart from the last 20 minutes against Australia, then Ireland should win.