A gritty defensive display from the Wolfhounds was enough to secure an 8 – 14 win against England Saxons at Kingsholm on Saturday evening.
The conditions and the thrown together nature of the teams for these matches ensured it was never going to be a classic but Ireland’s pinching of two soft tries by Leinster pairing Isaac Boss and Ian Madigan proved enough to give the Wolfhounds victory.
Boss exploited a huge defensive gap to stroll over in the fourth minute after dummying of the back of a scrum. Madigan added the extras and Ireland led 0 – 5.
Despite plying with the wind Ireland were pegged in their own half and, after spurring a few chances, England finally got on the scoreboard when Anthony Watson latched onto a Craig Gilroy fumble to sprint clear. Freddy burns missed the conversion leaving the score at 5 – 7.
Ireland nicked a second try moments later, this time Madigan catching the defence wrong footed with a quick tap and go at a penalty. The Leinster tyro added the extras to give a scoreboard reading England 5 Ireland 14 as the teams turned round at the break.
England continued to dominate possession in the second half but Ireland coped reasonably comfortably, leaking only a Burns penalty mid way through to take the score to 8 – 14.
A frantic finish from the English should have claimed the game but white line fever, and a committed Irish defence, got the better of them and Ireland held on to claim the win.
England Saxons: E Daly, A Watson, M Hopper, S Hill, C Sharples, F Burns, J Simpson, A Waller, J George, T Mercey, C Matthews, G Kruis, C Clark, L Wallace, D Ewers. Replacements: D Ward, N Catt, S Wilson, E Stooke, S Dickinson, D Lewis, H Slade, R Miller
Ireland Wolfhounds: Felix Jones, Fergus McFadden, Robbie Henshaw, Darren Cave, Craig Gilroy, Iin Madigan, Isaac Boss, David Kilcoyne, Rob Herring, Martin Moore, Iain Henderson, Dan Tuohy, Rhys Ruddock, Tommy O’Donnell, Robin Copeland. Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Jack McGrath, Stephen Archer, Robbie Diack, Jordy Murphy, Kieran Marmion, Ian Keatley, Simon Zebo.