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U-20s dominate to secure Triple Crown

England 21 Ireland 39

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Hayden Hyde. Photo: Sportsfile

Hayden Hyde. Photo: Sportsfile

Hayden Hyde. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Ahern led the way with a brace of tries as the Irish U-20 side secured the Triple Crown and remain on course to retain their Six Nations grand slam.

The 6'9' lock from Waterford scored in either half as Noel McNamara's men blew England away at Franklin's Garden.

Ireland dominated the opening half and deservedly led 29-7 at the break.

A try from England lock George Hammond, after Jack Crowley had got Ireland off the mark with a penalty, was all the hosts had to show for the opening period.

A 19-phase move yielded the opening try for flanker Alex Soroka after 19 minutes, with excellent scrum-half Lewis Finlay timing the final pass perfectly to send him over.

Ireland pushed on and increased their lead after 27 minutes with another multi-phase move, which was finished by Hayden Hyde after brilliant offloads by flanker Sean O'Brien and winger Ethan McIlroy.

The Irish fans in the crowd of 6,844 had plenty to admire and a 12-phase move yielded a third try five minutes from the break with impressive full-back Oran McNulty, Hyde and McIlroy heavily involved in creating the opportunity which Ahern finished.

Crowley converted to make it 22-7 and Ireland finished the half in style when Hyde provided the final pass for McIlroy to end a 17-phase move with their fourth try, with the conversion giving them a 29-7 interval advantage.

England hit back after the restart with lock Hugh Tizard getting them back in contention when he scored after 46 minutes but Ireland, with skipper David McCann leading the way, responded for replacement Max O'Reilly to score.

That made it 34-14 after 52 minutes before a try from hooker Theo Dan four minutes later gave England hope but Ireland wrapped up an impressive win when McNulty made the metres after a turnover and Ahern was on hand to score his second of the night.


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