Ireland Wheelchair Rugby Team got their 6 Nations Campaign back on track with a 27 – 6 victory over England yesterday afternoon in Thiers, France. The result means that Ireland can now win the Triple Crown if they beat Scotland in their final match of the tournament this afternoon.
Ireland switched captaincy for this match to “birthday boy” Derek Murphy, who took the pith on his own to the applause of the partisan French crowd, and Ireland were immediately on the front foot only to have fumble a certain try due to a knock on.
However, the tone was set and with Ireland harassing the English at every opportunity the guys and gals in green opened their account with an early penalty. The Green Machine were on top in the scrum and lineout, losing only one scrum in the whole game, and after some slick passing Ireland winger Graham Merrigan went over for his 6th try of the tournament. The try was converted and Ireland led 10 – 0.
Shortly after James McCarthy got on the end of a lovely pop pass at pace to outstrip the defence and cross for Ireland’s second. McCarthy was rammed after scoring with a penalty restart awarded and Will Thornton converted the try and the penalty in quick succession to give Ireland a 20 – 0 lead.
England had their chances but missed their three penalty attempts and the teams turned round without further score.
Ireland returned to the field with an air of confidence but had to pull out all the stops to prevent England from getting on the score board. Unfortunately, for the English, the only time they broke through the Irish defence their winger dropped the ball in the act of scoring. There was no such mistake form Ireland’s Merrigan who scored his second of the night minutes later and Ireland looked home and hosed with the score reading 27 – 0 in their favour.
England reduced the defect with two late penalties but it was two little too late and Ireland held on reasonably comfortably to take the game 27 – 6 against a disappointing England.
Irish dominance in the set piece in both line and scrum laid the foundation for their win on a special night for Derek Murphy and all the Irish team. The victory was savoured by the Green Machine who applauded the sizeable crowd for their support with chants of Ireland, Ireland! reverberating around the arena.
Ireland used their full panel in this game with Padraic Hayes, Ken Caulfield, Derek Murphy and Bill Byrne having excellent games, rattling the English in attack and defence, and were instrumental in total suffocation.
In the other matches on Day 4 France remain unbeaten with a 59 – 16 victory against Wales and Scotland went down 11 – 37 to Italy.
The Irish team now return to Toulon where they face Scotland this afternoon for the Triple Crown. (Match kicks off today at 15:00 local time, 14:00 UK/IRE.)
Ireland Six Nations Squad: Nicky Hamill (Manager), Lisa Kelly (Coach), Will Thornton (Asst. Coach), Pat O’Neill, Graham Merrigan, Paddy Forbes, Bill Byrne, Raisa Carolan, Kenneth Caulfield, Padraic Hayes, Derek Murphy, James McCarthy (C).
|Tuesday 18th June||Moulins||France||23 – 18||Italy|
|Ireland||60 – 0||Wales|
|England||14 – 0||Scotland|
|Wednesday 19th June||Montlucon||France||75 – 6||Scotland|
|England||47 – 10||Wales|
|Italy||11 – 10||Ireland|
|Thursday 20th June||Randan||Scotland||0 – 15||Wales|
|France||26 – 19||Ireland|
|Italy||37 – 25||England|
|Friday 21st June||Thiers||France||59 – 16||Wales|
|England||27 – 6||Ireland|
|Italy||37 – 11||Scotland|
|Saturday 22 June||Moulins||Scotland||v||Ireland|
For more information please see Tournoi Six Nations Fauteuil page on Facebook, plus of course we’ll be bringing you regualr updates on The Front Row Union. <a href=”http://thefrontrowunion.com/2013/06/wheelchair-rugby-six-nations-championship-day-4/” >[more]</a>