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Home > News > England U20 beaten by Ireland U20
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Your News England U20 beaten by Ireland U20
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England U20 10 Ireland U20 25

England's bid for the Under 20 RBS 6 Nations title suffered a major setback when their unforced errors handed Ireland a famous victory at Kingsholm.

They dominated territory and had the opposing forwards on the rack for long spells but Ireland hung on gamely, stole the ball on the floor and in contact, and finished their chances with flair.

Two tries came from full back Andrew Conway with one for wing Darren Hudson. Fly half James McKinney added a penalty and two conversions and his replacement Brian Kingston made a decisive three-point contribution in the closing stages.

England were awarded a penalty try before the break with Freddie Burns adding the conversion to go with his early penalty.

Full back Jack Wallace (London Wasps), prop Lee Imiolek and number eight Alex Gray all come into the England starting line-up with Wallace winning his first cap, Imiolek (Sale Sharks) making his first start and Gray (Newcastle Falcons) returning after suspension.

England had gone into the game on top of the table after opening wins over Wales (41-14) and Italy (16-10) but suffered a 19-18 setback against Ireland last season and were wary of a side that hammered Italy 39-0 on the opening day of the campaign.

Any nerves were settled early on as they bossed the opening quarter and strung together some decent passages with May and Hurrell threatening down both flanks before Burns put them 3-0 up in the 15th minute.

But Ireland clung on and made the home side pay for errors with tries from full back Conway and wing Hudson.

Burns lost the ball in contact darting for the line and there was no-one at home as Ireland cleared with Conway outstripping the cover to touch down in the 20th minute.

Ireland were reduced to 14 men when Leinster flanker Dominic Ryan was sin-binned for killing the ball but added 10 more points through McKinney's penalty and Hudson's try after Jonny May's chip from inside his own 22 was picked off.

England rediscovered some composure and cranked up the momentum opting for lineouts and scrums rather than kick at goal, rewarded five minutes before the interval with a penalty try as they went for the pushover.

Ireland struck again a minute before the break, though, catching England short of numbers down the blind side with Conway's second try opening up a 22-10 lead.

Again, England dominated the opening stages of the second half without taking away any points and Nevin Spence beat tackles to get Ireland in the right half of the field before Wallace was yellow carded for a high tackle.

The score didn't change while he was off the field as Ireland were largely content to kick for territory and England nervously snatched at the half-chances that came their way before conceding a penalty five minutes from time that Kingston kicked to close out the win.

England U20: Jack Wallace (London Wasps); Will Hurrell (Leicester Tigers), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Tom Casson (Saracens), Jonny May (Hartpury Coll & Gloucester Rugby); Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby), Sam Harrison (Leicester Tigers); Lee Imiolek (Sale Sharks), Jamie George (Saracens), Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby), Danny Wright (Gloucester Rugby), Charlie Matthews (Loughborough Univ & Harlequins), Jackson Wray (Univ of Hertfordshire & Saracens), Jacob Rowan (Leeds Univ & Leeds Carnegie, captain), Alex Gray (Newcastle Falcons)

Replacements: Arthur Ellis (Royal Holloway & London Wasps) for George 73, Joe Marler (Harlequins) for Imiolek 50, Kieran Brookes (Northumbria Univ & Newcastle Falcons) for Knight 50, George Kruis (Saracens) for Wright 64, Jordi Pasqualin (Hartpury Coll & Gloucester Rugby) for Harrison 68, Jake Sharp (Saracens) for Burns 53, Christian Wade (St Mary's College & London Wasps) for May 58.

Yellow card: Wallace 59-69

Ireland U20: Andrew Conway (Blackrock Coll & Leinster); Darren Hudson (St Mary's Coll & Leinster), Brendan Macken (Blackrock Coll & Leinster), Nevin Spence (Ballynahinch & Ulster), Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution); James McKinney (Queen's Univ & Ulster), John Cooney (UCD & Leinster); Bryan Cagney (UCC & Muster), Niall Annett (Belfast Harlequins & Ulster), Jack O'Connell (Lansdowne & Leinster), David O'Callaghan (UCC & Munster), Ben Marshall (UCD & Leinster), Rhys Ruddock (UCD & Leinster, captain), Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne & Leinster), Patrick Butler (Shannon & Munster).

Replacements: Duncan Casey (Shannon & Munster) for Annett 68, Stewart Maguire (Old Belvedere & Leinster) for O'Connell 63, Brian Hayes (Cork Constitution & Munster) for Marshall 63, Robin O'Sullivan (Bective Rangers & Leinster), Michael Heaney (Belfast Harlequins & Ulster) for Cooney 67, Brian Kingston (Blackrock & Leinster) for McKinney 50, Eoin Griffin (Corinthians & Connacht) for Macken 79.

Yellow cards: Ryan 22-32, Zebo 79

Referee: Stefano Penne (FIR).

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