I was just about to start my U20 Six Nations review when I noticed that I didn’t have a report up for Ireland’s Triple Crown winning game against England. I know we went straight into Schools Cup QF’s the next day and a lot of AIL and I meant to pick this up later. Amid the confusion of the coronavirus in Italy and match cancellations shortly after I must have forgotten.
I’ve backdated this brief write up so it slots in where it should have been, purely for historical record, and I must admit, with the Ulster lads doing well it was nice to revisit it.
ENGLAND (7) 31
TRY: George Hammond, Hugh Tizard, Theo Dan.
CON: George Barton (3).
IRELAND (29) 39
TRY: Alex Soroka, Hayden Hyde, Thomas Ahern (2), Ethan McIlroy, Max O’Reilly
CON: Jack Crowley (2), Tim Corkery.
PEN: Jack Crowley
We’d predicted an Ireland win with England much weakened due to a full Premiership program in the middle of the Six Nations. However, given their strength in depth, any England side at this level was going to be a handful.
A suttle shifting of the favourites tag had taken place during the build up, as England extolled the virtues of their opponents, but the Irish lads weren’t fooled and set about closing out the game fairly quickly in an impressive first half.
The early exchanges saw Ireland take the lead with a penalty from the boot of Jack Crowley but it didn’t last long as England flexed their traditional grunt up front as second row George Hammond powered over for the opening try, nine minutes in, George Barton converting.
Ireland came roaring back and driven on by a Man of the Match performance from David McCann they took them on with some style scoring four first half tries without reply.
Alex Soroka, in for the injured Mark Hernan, opened the try fest on the 19th minute stretching well to hit the whitewash with the ball. A marvelous piece of individual play from Ethan Mcilroy was next as his behind the back pass sent Hayden Hyde over for the second eight minutes later.
Ireland grabbed their third on the 35th minute with the impressive Thomas Aherne getting in on the act and McIlroy grabbed the bonus point try, deep into injury time, finishing of a period of sustained pressure in the England 22. Crowley added two conversions before going off for injury and, replacement Tim Corkery converted one to give a half time score of England 7 Ireland 29.
England made an attempt at a comeback in the second half with Hugh Tizard crossing early for a try, converted by Barton, but an unconverted try, five minutes later, from replacement Max O’Reilly maintained Ireland’s comfortable lead.
The tit for tat continued with England’s Theo Dan finding the line for england’s third, also converted, before Aherne wrapped it up the Triple Crown for Ireland with the final try of the evening.
Final score: England 21 Ireland 39
ENGLAND U20: Freddie Steward, Gabriel Hamer-Webb, Connor Doherty, Charlie Watson, Tom Roebuck, George Barton, Sam Maunder, Sam Crean, Theo Dan, Luke Green, Hugh Tizard, George Hammond, Richard Capstick, Josh Gray, Rusiate Tuima. Replacements: Ben Atkins, Emmanuel Iyogun, Harvey Beaton, Chunya Munga, Rob Farrar, Blake Boyland, Will Haydon-Wood, Max Ojomoh.
IRELAND U20: Oran McNulty, Ethan Mcilroy, Dan Kelly, Hayden Hyde, Andrew Smith, Jack Crowley, Lewis Finlay, Marcus Hanan, John McKee, Tom Clarkson, Thomas Ahern, Brian Deeny, Alex Soroka, Sean O’Brien, David McCann. Replacements: Tom Stewart, Harry Noonan, Charlie Ward, Joe McCarthy, Cian Prendergast, Ben Murphy, Tim Corkery, Max O’Reilly.