Sport Rugby

Saturday 20 September 2014

Ireland U-20's well beaten by England in Auckland

Ireland’s first ever U-20 World Cup semi-final ended in defeat this morning when they suffered a massive 42-15 point loss to England in Auckland.

Anita McSorley

Published 15/06/2014 | 14:27

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 15:  Henry Purdy of England fends against Ryan Foley of Ireland during the 2014 Junior World Championship Semi Final match between England and Ireland at QBE Stadium on June 15, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 15: Henry Purdy of England fends against Ryan Foley of Ireland during the 2014 Junior World Championship Semi Final match between England and Ireland at QBE Stadium on June 15, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Current champions England were ruthless in the first half, racing into a comfortable 34-3 lead by the 33rd minute.

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It was 20 minutes before Leinster’s Ross Byrne registered Ireland’s lone first-half score.

Ciaran Gaffney caught the English off guard with a quickly taken penalty that almost lead to a try. The winger’s run towards the try-line inspired his side and Byrne landed a penalty for a 13-3 scoreline.

Ireland were also unlucky when Captain Jack O’Donoghue was forced to go off due to injury before the break.

Mike Ruddock’s squad were much improved in the second half, outscoring England 12-8 over the closing 40 minutes.

Replacements Oisin Heffernan and Harrison Brewer made an immediate impact in the scrum and Ireland scored their opening try 10 minutes in when Byrne’s kick was dotted down by Garry Ringrose behind the posts. Byrne then converted the kick for a 37-10 scoreline.

Ireland's improvements were rewarded with a second try in the 68th minute. Good delivery across the back-line saw Brewer draw in two defenders before passing for Alex Wootton to step inside Howard Packman's tackle and score.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 15:  Alex Wootton of Ireland is tackled by Nathan Earle of England during the 2014 Junior World Championship Semi Final match between England and Ireland at QBE Stadium on June 15, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 15: Alex Wootton of Ireland is tackled by Nathan Earle of England during the 2014 Junior World Championship Semi Final match between England and Ireland at QBE Stadium on June 15, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Speaking after the game, Irish coach Mike Ruddock said that they simply could not match England.

"We spoke before the game about having to put on a world class defensive performance to compete with England - and whilst I am very proud of the boys, we simply could not match them.

"That is a very good, complete England team. Their experience is immense. I was very proud with how we dug in and kept battling, that was the plus point."

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