Ireland recorded a 42 – 26 win against England on Tuesday evening in the opening round of the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship.
Ireland’s tries came from Jake Flannery, Stewart Moore, David McCann (2), Ben Healy and John Hodnett with Healy adding four second half conversions to add to two in the first half from Flannery.
Remarkably, it’s the first Pool win for Ireland since their 2016 campaign and it’s the first Pool defeat for England since 2015.
England dominated the opening exchanges racing to a 0 – 10 lead through a penalty and conversion from Vunipola to add to a 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 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 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 Healy, either side of an unconverted try from England’s 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 Barbeary was red carded after an astonishingly stupid clearout, lifting 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 Ryan, Hodnett and 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.
|IRELAND U20||ENGLAND U20|
|Iwan Hughes||15||Tom De Glanville|
|Angus Kernohan||14||Ollie Sleightholme|
|Liam Turner||13||Fraser Dingwall|
|Stewart Moore||12||Cameron Redpath|
|Jonathan Wren||11||Tom Seabrook|
|Jake Flannery||10||Manu Vunipola|
|Craig Casey||9||Ollie Fox|
|Josh Wycherley||1||Olly Adkins|
|Dylan Tierney-Martin||2||Nic Dolly|
|Thomas Clarkson||3||Joe Heyes|
|Charlie Ryan||4||Joel Kpoku|
|Ryan Baird||5||Alex Coles|
|David McCann||6||Ted Hill|
|John Hodnett||7||Aaron Hinkley|
|Azur Allison||8||Tom Willis|
|Declan Adamson||16||Alfie Barbeary|
|Michael Milne||17||Kai Owen|
|Charlie Ward||18||Alfie Petch|
|Ronan Watters||Richard Capstick|
|Niall Murray||Rusiate Tuima|
|Ciaran Booth||Arron Reed|
|Ben Healy||Josh Hodge|