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Dublin: 4 °C Saturday 29 February, 2020

England beat Ireland with last-gasp try in the cold November rain

The Autumn International is taking place at the Twickenham Stoop this afternoon.

Paula Fitzpatrick is tackled by England's Hannah Gallagher.
Paula Fitzpatrick is tackled by England's Hannah Gallagher.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

England 8

Ireland 3

A LATE TRY from Izzy Noel-Smith was enough for England to beat Ireland by five points in their Autumn International at the Twickenham Stoop this afternoon.

In atrocious weather conditions at the new home of English women’s rugby, Niamh Briggs’ side found themselves on the back foot for most of the opening period.

However, despite a number of half chances for England, their only score of the half came from the boot of Lauren Cattell after ten minutes when Ireland were penalised for offside.

The hosts had an opportunity to double their advantage on 31 minutes but chose instead to kick for the corner only to see Ireland steal the lineout ensuring the score remained 3-0 at the break.

Ireland started the second half the brighter of the two sides and captain Niamh Briggs was presented with a difficult chance to level the scores early on but her penalty sailed wide right.

As the visitors continued to pile on the pressure near the English line, Emma Croker was shown a yellow card but Ireland failed to take advantage of their numerical advantage.

Briggs was presented with another chance to tie the game when Elaine Anthony was taken out in the air at a lineout and this time made no mistake to level things up with eight minutes to play.

However, just two minutes from time, England again took the decision to kick for the corner and this time they executed the maul to perfection allowing Izzy Noel-Smith to cross the whitewash for the winning score.

Scorers for England
Try: Izzy Noel-Smith
Pen: Lauren Cattell
Scorers for Ireland
Pen: Niamh Briggs

Ireland XV

15. Niamh Briggs (C)
14. Jeamie Deacon
13. Aine Donnelly
12. Jackie Shiels
11. Mairead Coyne
10. Sene Naoupu
9. Larissa Muldoon

1. Ruth O’Reilly
2. Cliodhna Moloney
3. Ailis Egan
4. Elaine Anthony
5. Ciara Cooney
6. Sophie Spence
7. Paula Fitzpatrick
8. Heather O’Brien

16. Zoe Grattage
17. Fiona Reidy
18. Fiona O’Brien
19. Katie Norris
20. Lindsay Peat
21. Mary Healy
22. Nora Stapleton
23. Claire McLaughlin

England XV

15. Sarah Mckenna
14. Katie Mason
13. Lauren Cattell
12. Ceri Large
11. Charlotte Clapp
10. Emily Scott
9. La toya Mason

1. Rochelle Clarke
2. Emma Croker
3. Justine Lucas
4. Tamara Taylor
5. Abbie Scott
6. Hannah Gallagher
7. Marlie Packer
8. Sarah Hunter (C)

16. Amy Cokayne
17. Vickii Cornborough
18. Heather Kerr
19. Harriet Millar-Mills
20. Izzy Noel-Smith
21. Leanne Riley
21. Rachel Lund
22. Ruth Laybourn

Ulster’s opener is off after postponement of all European rugby games in France

Hot water bottles and blankets aplenty on the Connacht bench in Siberia this morning

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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