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As it happened: Ireland v England, World Rugby U20 Championship

The demanding schedule doesn’t ease off for Noel McNamara’s men in Argentina. This way for live updates.

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A very, very good evening rugby fans. The never-ending U20 World Cup is in its penultimate day and we’re training our gaze on the latest installment of Ireland v England.

While the semi-finals for the Championship itself continue on without the Grand Slam winners and the regular world finalists, Ireland and England will be playing for the right to meet Wales in the fifth-place play-off on finals day.

After Wales shocked New Zealand, this evening’s losers will meet the Baby Blacks on Finals Day.

Kick-off is due at 19.30 (eir Sport 1). So you have time to get home and get settled before these sides meet for a third time this year.

Here’s how the teams will line up this evening, 13 days after they met on the tournament’s opening day, when Ireland recorded a convincing 42-26 win.

Ireland U20s:

15. Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
14. Aaron O’Sullivan (UCD/Leinster)
13. Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster) (captain)
12. David Ryan (UCD/Leinster)
11. Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster)
10. Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster)
9. Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster)

1. Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster)
2. Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht)
3. Charlie Ward (Clontarf/Leinster)
4. Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
5. Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster)
6. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
7. Ronan Watters (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
8. Azur Allison (Ballymena/Ulster)


16. Declan Adamson (Clontarf/Leinster)
17. Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster)
18. Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster)
19. John McKee (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
20. Brian Deeny (Clontarf/Leinster)
21. Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht)
22. Luke Clohessy (Shannon/Munster)
24. Colm Reilly (Buccaneers/Connacht)
25. Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster)
26. Cormac Foley (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
27. Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University/Ulster)
28. Max O’Reilly (Dublin University/Leinster).

England U20s:

15. Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby)
14. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)
13. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)(captain)
12. Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)
11. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)
10. Manu Vunipola (Saracens)
9. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)

1. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)
2. Will Capon (Bristol Bears)
3. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
6. Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs)
7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
8. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors).


16. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks)
17. Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby)
18. James Kenny (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Tom Willis (Wasps Rugby)
20. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
21. Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie)
22. Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks)
23. Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby)
24. Luke James (Sale Sharks)
25. Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish). 

There’s the full-time whistle in the semi-final between Australia and Argentina. The Junior Wallabies march on to the final with an impressive 34-13 win despite a first-half red card for Louth-born scrum-half Michael McDonald.

The teams are making their way out for the anthems on a Rosario pitch that is cut to ribbons underfoot after a day of rotten weather.

Here we go then, no moaning about injuries or the pitch or tight turnarounds. Kick-off for round 4 comes from Manu Vunipola and Jake Flannery returns it with interest.

Ireland get the ball back and they show their intent on using the boot of Ben Healy. A tidy kick back down the shortside pins England on their 22.

The penalty goes England’s way on the resulting phase, however. Allison pinged for holding on in the tackle.

5 mins: Ireland doing well to put pressure on an English line-out to make it even more difficult for the young Saxons to create a platform.

Allison barrels forward, but is a little too quick to release his offload and the move is snaffled out.

6 mins: Good kick-chase pressure from Ireland on De Glanville and the penalty is given Ireland’s way on the edge of the 22.

For a second it sounds like there’s a plot twist as the TMO calls a halt. But it’s on Ted Hill for the potential tip tackle on Charlie Ryan.

Referee decides it’s a yellow card for the full England international.

Now, Ireland had a penalty on the 22, but after the TMO call the referee takes us back to halfway where the sin-bin incident happened.

Never mind, Healy bangs the ball up into the 22 and Ireland build off the line-out.

A very patient, forward-led attack from Ireland in England’s 22. They rack up 14 phases before an overzealous pillar comes through and takes out Casey.

This is a straightforward penalty by Healy’s standards.

England finally get some traction in the Ireland 22 thanks to a high hanging kick, but they knock it on.

The ball is only going to get slippier as this game wears on. Ireland making use of Healy’s boot, range is proving very effective at keeping England at arm’s reach.

PENALTY! Ireland 3 England 3 (Hodge ’16)

Just as I typed that, England force a penalty and Josh Hodge hits a brilliant 40-metre score.

We’ve mentioned it already, but it bears repeating. Ben Healy is putting a kicking masterclass together.

The latest is a gorgeous little dink over the top and into the corner. It’s almost a shame that it’s inconsequential because England run offside in defence and he can shoot at goal instead.

PENALTY! Ireland 6 England 3 ( Healy ’21)

Huge carry from Ryan Baird through the middle after a good take in the back-field by Flannery.

We know we’re risking tempting fate here, but McNamara’s men are handing out a lesson in how to play in torrid conditions. Gradually turning the screw, kicking in behind to build pressure bit by bit on England.

27 mins: TMO is checking a tackle from England’s Kai Owen on Michael Milne.

After a long bit of back and forth slow-mos, the officials seem to bargain down to a yellow card for the loosehead.

England are down to 14 for a second time.

Ben Healy takes aim with the penalty.

But, for the very first time in this tournament, he has missed off the tee.

He is human after all.

30 mins: And now a second error in a row for Healy to put a slight blot on his otherwise brilliant first half. The 10 spills a high hanging pill as it drops on halfway.

And the half-backs deemed guilty again by the ref as Casey is done for offside at the scrum.

Huge chance for Hodge to level a contest that has been heavily tilted Ireland’s way.

The rain keeps coming down in Rosario and, unfortunately, so do the balls from Irish hands.

England happily piling pressure on Ireland’s back-field. Flannery spills on this occasion and the black scrum provides an excellent platform for England to flash right-to-left across the field with De Glanville slipping away Hodge, who cuts in from the left to touch down. And then he walks back and nails the conversion.

TRY! Ireland 6 England 13 (Hodge ’37)

That was a brilliant try from the 14-man English side. Showing off their terrific handling skills which was a feature during their loss in the tournament opener.

England restored to 15 men for the closing stages of the half.

Ireland’s gameplan was ideal when the game was in the balance, but it can’t be easy to change the mindset to reeling in England.

HALF-TIME: Ireland 6 England 13


The teams are back out on the turnip field in Rosario.

Healy kicks off, deep into England’s half and they will hope to force errors from the men in black.

McNamara has switched out his props for the second 40, so Wycherley and Clarkson are in the game.

Charlie Ryan has been forced off for a HIA. So Niall Murray is on as a temporary sub.

Clarkson and Wycherley actually combined in that last set of phases and England stray offside again, so Healy has a chance to pull Ireland within four.

PENALTY! Ireland 9 England 16 (Hodge ’46)

The gap wasn’t within seven for long. England go straight up the other end and earn a chance for Hodge.

A scrappy game is fast losing what shape it had with replacements rolling in. 

Craig Casey of all people is guilty of an error now as he whips a pass across the dead ball line while trying to inject pace from a line-out five metres from the Ireland try-line.

The powerful English pack do their job in a scrum in front of the posts and Exeter scrum-half Sam Maunder snipes through the rubble and gets his hands over the line.

Hodge nails the conversion to put a full 14-point gap between the sides.

Ireland 9 England 23

Referee Ben Blain dishes out a yellow to Dylan Tierney Martin.

The hooker might be fortunate to get that shade as the TMO had advised that his forearm made direct contact with the neck.

But sure listen, the ref has given yellow for every TMO check today. Why change now?

Down a man, and possibly they’re best breakdown exponent, but Ireland rise from the mud cheering after stalling and turning over the latest English attack.

They may well end up on the losing side today, but this group is nothing if not gritty.

Ireland are back into a rhythm now. A nice set of phases brings them into the English 22 and when they run out of space Healy chips the ball behind England and they’ll throw from their own five.

The line-out misses its target, Ireland grab the loose ball at a second attempt and Josh Wycherley leads the battering ram for the whitewash.

That pressure ended in a knock on, but with Charlie Ryan having passed his HIA, Ireland’s line-out is a real weapon and they will go again from five metres out.

Oh dear. This time England get up and steal the throw… only to then knock on behind their own line.

Scrum green.

The scrum, as you might expect, is an utter mess when England are trying to disrupt and Ireland are trying to play off a mudpatch.

We go again.

Ireland get to go play now and Casey is standing well clear, just directing traffic as the big men line up to crash towards the line,

Held up is the call, but we have a TMO check coming.

There’s the finish. Healy flicks the ball to the short side wing and Wren cuts inside a tackler and dots down.

Suddenly, after another beauty of a kick from Healy, it’s a one-score game.

Ireland 16 England 23


This side just refuse to ever be counted out.

Deeny, who missed the initial squad through injury, charged down a kick after the restart and he had fresh enough legs to race all the way to the line.

Healy nails the conversion and this one is up for grabs.

Ireland 23 England 23

TMO having a look at Tuima’s high hit on Brian Deeny now.

My guess is that Blain will give a yellow card. It’s what he does.

Tuima’s shoulder hits Deeny in the face and rocks his head back sickeningly. But referee Blain has talked his way into a yellow card because he has been very keen to avoid a red all day.

75 mins: So a third yellow of the day for England, but they have possession here with just over five minutes on the clock.

And they win a round of kick tennis to pin Ireland 30 metres from their line. Pressure plays from here on in and Ireland cough up the line-out.

England piling on the pressure and up into the 20s on the phase count. 

Ireland beginning to soak tackles and England are well within range of a drop-goal, while any Irish error will open the door for another kind of score.

Ireland slow it up enough to force a scrum. 

It’s a good position for England though, nice an central with a chance to go either way if they get clean ball.

England think they’re over the line, but we go to  TMO check on the grounding just to make sure. 

Sale Sharks’ Luke James has made a big impact since coming into this game, a real powerhouse in the back-line and a big carry in the lead up to Tom Willis’ try here.

TRY! Ireland 23 England 28 (Willis ’80)

FULL-TIME Ireland 23 England 30

Hodge adds the extras to put a gloss on the final scoreline that betrays just how tight this match turned out to be after Ireland’s jaw-dropping 14-point turnaround.

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