2018-19 England U20 International Rugby U20 Ireland U20 World Rugby U20 Championship

Ireland U20: Six try salvo stuns England.

Ireland recorded a 42 – 26 win against England on Tuesday evening in the opening round of the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship. 

Remarkably, it’s the first Pool win for Ireland since their 2016 campaign and it’s the first Pool defeat for England since 2015. 

Ireland (14) 42

TRY: Jake Flannery, Stewart Moore, David McCann (2), Ben Healy, John Hodnett

CON: Jake Flannery (2) Ben Healy (4)

England (13) 26

TRY: Ollie Sleightholme (2), Tom Seabrook

CON: Manu Vunipola 2

PEN: Manu Vunipola

England dominated the opening exchanges racing to a 0 – 10 lead through a penalty and conversion from Manu Vunipola to add to a Ollie Sleightholme try. 

However, the Six Nations Grand Slam Champions responded in typical fashion, making the most of their opportunities. A charge down by Charlie Ryan ended with Jake Flannery crossing for Ireland’s first try which he converted himself. 

Vunipola added a second penalty to push the score to 7 – 13 in England’s favour  but a piece of quick thinking from Stewart Moore saw Ireland take the lead for the first time. 

With England looking to clear from their own line Moore spotted that the ball had rolled back into the in-goal area and dove in to score a try. Flannery converted to give Ireland a 14 – 13 lead. 

England flanker Aaron Hinkley was yellow carded, for a high tackle on Angus Kernohan towards the end of the half but there was no further score and Ireland turned round defending a one point lead. 

The lead changed once again as Vunipola landed a penalty before Sleightholme scored his second try on resumption, the try going unconverted to leave England in front 14 – 21.

Vunipola was lucky to be only yellow carded moment’s later when he tried to take off Iwan Hughes head with his shoulder, the challenge ending Hughes’ game. 

Ireland made their numerical advantage count this time with two tries from David McCann, both converted by Hughes’ replacement Ben Healy, either side of an unconverted try from England’s Tom Seabrook

Pinpoint kicks to touch from Healy set up the Ireland line out on the 5-yard line both times for McCann to drive over. McCann’s second try gave Ireland the try bonus and Healy’s conversion pushed the score along to 28 – 26 in their favour.

A tense finale was denied us by further English indiscipline when replacement  hooker Alfie Barbeary was red carded after an astonishingly stupid clearout, lifting John Hodnett over his shoulder before dropping him on the ground. 

Ireland scored immediately, though somewhat fortunately, through Healy in the corner before Hodnett drove over from close range to seal the game. Healy converted both to cap a fine game. 

Ireland captain Charlie Ryan said:

We’re going to enjoy it today, review it and look forward to Australia. I’m really proud of everyone today, they put in a huge shift.

England captain Fraser Dingwall said:

We’re incredibly frustrated after that. I think after [half-time] we got the upper hand and we were hoping to take it away from them. Obviously today discipline is something that’s let us down, it has had a massive knock-on effect on the game. But it’s not the only area of the game that’s let us down.

It really was shocking indiscipline from England who could have had few complaints if they finished the game with 12 players rather than 14. 

Ireland to their credit refused to get involved. They chided and harassed their opponents and concentrated on the game. The forwards did really well with impressive displays from Charlie Ryan, Hodnett and Dylan Tierney-Martin

As for the Ulster players involved. 

Stewart Moore played a crucial part in the game with the timing of his try and looked to have formed a good partnership with Liam Turner in the centre before being replaced 49 minutes in.

David McCann combined well with Hodnett in the back row for an impressive paring, scoring  three tries between them. Subbed on the 73rd minute. 

Azur Allison didn’t get into the game going off to injury after 24 minutes. It didn’t look good and it could be his tournament over. 

Iwan Hughes looked busy in attack and looked to be playing a bigger part in the game before going off for concussion on the 49th minute.

Angus Kernohan put in a solid display in the back three. Didn’t get many opportunities going forward but worked hard in defence and took on a lot of the defensive duties following Hughes’ departure. 

Iwan Hughes15Tom De Glanville
Angus Kernohan14Ollie Sleightholme
Liam Turner13Fraser Dingwall
Stewart Moore12Cameron Redpath
Jonathan Wren11Tom Seabrook
Jake Flannery10Manu Vunipola
Craig Casey9Ollie Fox
Josh Wycherley1Olly Adkins
Dylan Tierney-Martin2Nic Dolly
Thomas Clarkson3Joe Heyes
Charlie Ryan4Joel Kpoku
Ryan Baird5Alex Coles
David McCann6Ted Hill
John Hodnett7Aaron Hinkley
Azur Allison8Tom Willis
Declan Adamson16Alfie Barbeary
Michael Milne17Kai Owen
Charlie Ward18Alfie Petch
Ronan Watters Richard Capstick
Niall Murray Rusiate Tuima
Ciaran Booth Arron Reed
Ben Healy Josh Hodge
Sean French  

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