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Home > News > England U18 8 - Ireland U18 17
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Your News England U18 8 - Ireland U18 17
24
APR

England U18 had to settle for second place in the FIRA/AER Championship after losing 17-8 to a well organised Ireland side at the Stade Maurice Trelut in Tarbes, France.

England struggled with the wet conditions early on and found themselves 6-0 down with 15 minutes on the clock, after two successful penalties for the Irish.

Ireland missed several gilt-edged chances to extend their lead but were let down by basic mistakes near the England try line. Eventually their pressure did tell though, as flanker Dan Leavy touched down in the corner after 25 minutes.

England got onto the scoreboard with five minutes left of the 35-minute half when Exeter Chiefs fly half Henry Slade slotted a penalty between the posts from distance to take the score to 11-3 to Ireland at the break.

London Irish wing Anthony Watson went agonisingly close to scoring for England early into the second half, after jinking his way past a couple of defenders, but he was pushed into touch over the try line.

It took 25 minutes of the half before any points were scored, Ireland had missed two penalties previously, but scrum half Luke McGrath then slotted two more away to take the score to 17-3 with 10 minutes left on the clock.

England’s replacement flanker Joe Buckle then found himself in the sin-bin for repeat offences, leaving England with 14 men on the pitch for the remainder of the game.

But despite the man-disadvantage, England came back into the game. A strong burst forward from Harlequins No. 8 Jack Clifford opened things up for London Wasps prop Alec Hepburn to dive over in the corner to score.

Northampton Saints fly half Will Hooley missed the conversion from a tough angle, leaving England nine behind with minutes to play. It proved too little too late for Head Coach John Fletcher’s men, as Ireland held out to secure the title.

Speaking after the match, Fletcher was understandably disappointed, but praised the Irish approach:

“I’ve told the players in the changing room that Ireland did the basics better than what we did, it’s as simple as that. More of their players did their job better than our players, it’s not that complicated.

“The wet conditions made things tricky, but it was the same for both sides. Fair play to Ireland though, they were the better team and I thought that they deserved to win. They retained possession of the ball, they tackled well and they played territory at the right times.

“The bigger picture is that these types of games will undoubtedly stand the players in good stead in the future. It’s important that they learn from this, and from a player development point of view; win lose or draw, there’s always an opportunity to learn.

“The players are devastated, but in a few days, or a few weeks, hopefully they’ll look back, learn their lessons and be stronger for it.”

England scorers: Henry Slade 1P. Alec Hepburn 1T.

England U18 v Ireland team

Player (School) (Club)

15 Jack Nowell (Truro College) (Exeter Chiefs)

14 Anthony Watson (St George’s College) (London Irish)

13 Mark Jennings (Myerscough College) (Sale Sharks)

12 Sam Hill (Ivybridge College) (Exeter Chiefs)

11 Jack Arnott (Ivybridge College) (Exeter Chiefs)

10 Henry Slade (Plymouth College) (Exeter Chiefs)

9 Alex Day (St Joseph’s College) (Northampton Saints)

1 Alec Hepburn (Henley College) (London Wasps)

2 Nathan Morris (Sedbergh School) (London Wasps)

3 Danny Herriott (Moulton College) (Northampton Saints)

4 Tom Jubb (Oaklands College) (Saracens)

5 Dominic Barrow (Prince Henry’s Grammar School) (Leeds Carnegie)

6 David Sisi (St Paul’s Catholic College) (London Irish)

7 Matt Hankin (Haileybury College) (Saracens)

8 Jack Clifford (RGS Guildford) (Harlequins)

Replacements:

16 Max Crumpton (Oaklands College) (Saracens)

17 Tom Smallbone on for Danny Herriott 45 mins (Harrow School) (London Irish)

18 Scott Spurling on for Nathan Morris 40 mins (Harrow School) (Saracens)

19 Joe Robinson on for David Sisi 45 mins (Sedbergh School) (Newcastle Falcons)

20 Joe Buckle on for Matt Hankin (Bryanston) (Bath Rugby)

21 James Lightfoot-Brown on for Alex Day 38 mins (St. Paul's Catholic College) (London Irish)

22 Will Hooley on for Henry Slade 38 mins (The Leys School) (Northampton Saints)

23 Marcus Webber on for Jack Arnott 50 mins (Manchester Grammar) (Leeds Carnegie)

24 Tom Stephenson (Moulton College) (Northampton Saints)

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