England overpowered Ireland to claim the 2012 U20’s Six Nations. Ireland came into the contest with 4 wins out of 4 and looking to lift the trophy themselves. But it was England’s night at Adams Park in High Wycombe as they came flying out of the blocks.
Tries from Adam Watson on 5 minutes a brilliant back against the grain and then pace run in, converted by Tom Heathcote. Ireland did reduce the gap to 4 with a penalty on 14 minutes by Paddy Jackson, but England got their second try thanks to man of the match Dan Robsons dart and then pace to the line. The conversion was made and we went to 12-3. The half ended with Ireland down to 14 men and following a period of England running rather than kicking the points both sides traded penalties to go in at 15-6 half-time.
Ireland needed to score first in the second period if they were going to salvage the match, but it was England who got their third try as Marland Yarde ended a move with a close range power drive to go over and score 20-6. Ireland reduced the arrears to 20-9 as England started to give away penalties. It was all to little to late and as both sides changes personnel the game lost shape and faded to full time.
This was a great build up towards June and South Africa, but England will need to improve and tighten up in areas if they are to fulfil their potential and wrest the tropy from the Kiwis, to join the Six Nations.
England U20 20-9 Ireland U20
Tries: Watson, Robson, Yarde
Pens: Jackson 3
England Under 20: 15 Anthony Watson (London Irish), 14 Marland Yarde (London Irish), 13 Will Addison (Sale Sharks), 12 Ryan Mills (Gloucester Rugby), 11 Charlie Walker (Harlequins), 10 Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), 9 Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby), 1 Alec Hepburn (London Wasps), 2 Koree Britton (Gloucester Rugby), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), 4 Tom Price (Leicester Tigers), 5 Dom Barrow (Leeds Carnegie), 6 Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors), 7 Chris Walker (Leeds Carnegie) (C),
8 Jack Clifford (Harlequins).
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris (London Wasps), 17 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), 18 Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks), 19 George Merrick (Harlequins), 20 David Sisi (London Irish), 21 Ben Spencer (Saracens), 22 Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs), 23 Ben Ransom (Saracens).
Ireland U20: Shane Layden (Buccaneers/Connacht), Conor Finn (Buccaneers/Connacht), Chris Farrell (Dungannon/Ulster), JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster), Foster Horan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster) (capt), Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster), Des Merrey (Clontarf/Leinster), Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster), Kyle McCall (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Iain Henderson (Queen’s University/Ulster), Daniel Qualter (Buccaneers/Connacht), Conor Gilsenan (UCD/Leinster), Aaron Conneely (Corinthians/Connacht), Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster).
Replacements: Stuart Olding (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Leinster, Jordan Coghlan (UCD/Leinster), James Rael (Garryowen/Munster), Kieron Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht), Cathal Marsh (Dublin University/Leinster), Peter Reilly (Lansdowne/Leinster).