England extracted revenge for their two defeats by Ireland this season by winning this 5th Place Semi Final 23 – 30 in the World Rugby U20 Championship at Club Old Resian, Rosario.
I don’t often get the chance to sit down and watch these matches as I’m usually away covering this competition, but with Argentina being a touch too far for The FRU coffers, I managed to catch most of the days games as they unfolded.
I’d enjoyed the match ups of New Zealand v Wales (exciting), Fiji v Georgia (entertaining ) and Australia v Argentina (awesome) as I sat down to watch South Africa v France on the TV and Ireland v England on the desktop. Perhaps I was spoilt by an absolutely fantastic Australian performance, but I found the Ireland v England game a little mundane and it really only sprang to life in the last ten minutes.
Up until then it was pretty much an arm wrestle, in appalling conditions, with England on top.
Ireland had enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in a first half that featured two yellow cards for English players Hill and Owen, both for high tackles. They weren’t the posturing, intent on doing damage, type of tackles of their first meeting, in this tournament, and England largely kept their discipline, somewhat turning the tables on Ireland by picking up easy points while Ireland laboured away.
Ireland’s Ben Healy and England’s Josh Hodge had swapped penalties to take the score to 6 – 6 just after the half hour mark. Hodge then made a decisive break to claim a try, which he converted, to give England a 6 – 13 lead as the teams changed ends, England really having done very little bar taking their chances.
Healy and Hodge again swapped penalties at the start of the second half and a well worked move sent Sam Maunder clear for England’s second try. Hodge converted to give England a 9 – 23 lead.
Ireland had been limp in attack and it got worse for the Irish youngsters as Dylan Tierney-Martin trudged off for a 10 minute break, for an over enthusiastic tackle, and it was hard to see where any Irish scores were going to come from bar the boot of Healy.
However, they raised themselves for one last effort and with ten minutes to go they worked a try for Jonathan Wren. Healy added the conversion to make it a seven point game and minutes later it was all square, at 23 all, as replacement No 8 Brian Deeny chased down his own charge down to score close to the posts for Healy to convert.
Unfortunately for Ireland, this was a more a composed England, than the one they met earlier in the tournament, and despite their third yellow card they controlled the ball for the remainder of the game working a last minute score from Tom Willis. Hodge, of course, converted giving a final score of Ireland 23 England 30.
England now go into the 5th Place Final against Wales on Saturday 22nd June with Ireland dropping to the 7th Place Final where they will face New Zealand, also on Saturday 22nd.
Starting teams and replacement used.
|IRELAND U20||ENGLAND U20|
|1 Michael Milne UCD||1 Kai Owen Worcester Warriors|
|2 Dylan Tierney-Martin Corinthians||2 Will Capon Bristol Bears|
|3 Charlie Ward Clontarf||3 Joe Heyes Leicester Tigers|
|4 Charlie Ryan UCD||4 Joel Kpoku Saracens|
|5 Thomas Ahern Shannon||5 Alex Coles Northampton Saints|
|6 Ryan Baird Trinity College, Dublin||6 Richard Capstick Exeter Chiefs|
|7 Ronan Watters St Mary’s College||7 Aaron Hinkley Gloucester Rugby|
|8 Azur Allison Ballymena||8 Ted Hill Worcester Warriors|
|9 Craig Casey Shannon||9 Sam Maunder Exeter Chiefs|
|10 Ben Healy Garryowen||10 Manu Vunipola Saracens|
|11 Jonathan Wren Cork Constitution||11 Josh Hodge Newcastle Falcons|
|12 David Ryan UCD||12 Cameron Redpath Sale Sharks|
|13 Liam Turner Dublin University||13 Fraser Dingwall Northampton Saints|
|14 Aaron O’Sullivan UCD||14 Ollie Sleightholme Northampton Saints|
|15 Jake Flannery Cork Constitution||15 Tom De Glanville Bath Rugby|
|16 Declan Adamson Clontarf||16 Nic Dolly Sale Sharks|
|17 Josh Wycherley Young Munster||17 Olly Adkins Gloucester Rugby|
|18 Thomas Clarkson Dublin University||18 James Kenny Exeter Chiefs|
|20 Brian Deeny Clontarf||19 Tom Willis Wasps|
|21 Niall Murray Connacht||20 Rusiate Tuima Exeter Chiefs|
|22 Luke Clohessy Shannon||21 Ollie Fox Bath Rugby|
|27 Angus Kernohan QUB||24 Luke James Sale Sharks|