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Dublin: 13°C Sunday 16 May 2021
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As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this evening’s game. E-mail paul@thescore.ie,tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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England Saxons 23-17 Ireland Wolfhounds

Hello, and welcome to our livebog, as Ireland Wolfhounds take on England Saxons.

This should be a fascinating encounter and a chance for some players on the periphery of the main Irish squad to show Declan Kidney what they can do.

And we’re off…

Here are the lineups:

England Saxons: D Armitage (London Irish); U Monye (Harlequins), M Hopper (Harlequins), B Twelvetrees (Leicester), M Banahan (Bath); F Burns (Gloucester), B Spencer (Saracens); M Mullan (Worcester), J Gray (Harlequins), P Doran-Jones (Northampton), M Garvey (London Irish), G Robson (Harlequins), J Gaskell (Sale, captain), A Saull (Saracens), T Waldrom (Leicester).

Replacements: C Brooker (Harlequins), R Harden (Gloucester), K Myall (Sale), T Johnson (Exeter), P Hodgson (London Irish), R Lamb (Northampton), J May (Gloucester).

Ireland Wolfhounds: Gavin Duffy (Connacht), David Kearney (Leinster), Eoin O’Malley (Leinster), Nevin Spence (Ulster), Simon Zebo (Munster), Ian Keatley (Munster), Isaac Boss (Leinster), Brett Wilkinson (Connacht), Damien Varley (Munster), Stephen Archer (Munster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster), Mike McCarthy (Connacht), John Muldoon (Connacht), Chris Henry (Ulster) capt, Rhys Ruddock (Leinster)

Replacements: Mike Sherry (Munster), Ronan Loughney (Connacht), Devin Toner (Leinster), Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), Tomas O’Leary (Munster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Denis Hurley (Munster)

3-0 to England: Gloucester’s Freddie Burns gives England the lead, kicking comfortably over the posts from distance.

Meanwhile, Keatley kicks straight out of play from the re-start. Not the most assured of starts from Ireland.

TRY FOR ENGLAND!

Poor from Ireland. An England drive from the line-out allows Spencer to collect the ball and exploit a gap in the Ireland defence and extend England’s advantage, running in under the posts. A straightforward conversion under the posts makes it 10-0.

Ireland have cause for complaint though, as the referee doesn’t notice Isaac Boss being taken out off the ball, thereby creating the gap for Spencer to run into.

Ireland were unlucky there. Simon Zebo narrowly missed out on crossing over, thanks to a try-saving tackle.

TRY FOR IRELAND!

10-5: Good patient play from Ireland allows them to score a try following a sustained attack. O’Malley plays a lovely offload to the onrushing David Kearney who charges over the England line despite the best efforts of the opposition defence. The conversion attempt from Keatley is poor, as he strikes  a relatively easy kick well wide.

England are on the attack and deep into opposition territory, but some excellent Irish defence enables them to clear into touch. It’s been a very entertaining contest thus far.

Keatley has looked a bit nervous with his kicking. His latest attempt literally bounces on the touchline before going out of play. He got away with that.

Ireland have recovered well since their awful start, but just as I’m typing, they sloppily concede possession in the England 22, allowing their opponents to clear and subsequently win a scrum inside the Ireland half.

MISSED PENALTY! Burns slices his kick from distance – that’s a let-off for Ireland.

HALF TIME: ENGLAND 10-5 IRELAND

Ireland have performed adequately, without ever really getting out of second gear. They will argue, however, that they shouldn’t be behind, given the contentious nature of the English try.

Not sure anyone in particular will have impressed Declan Kidney, although Kearney and O’Malley combined very impressively for the visitors’ try.

The second half has begun…

Much better from Keatley, who produces excellent kick into the corner and out into touch in the English 22.

The second half has been far less frantic than the previous forty minutes so far, with both sides looking slightly more organised and less error-prone.

Ian Madigan has replaced Ian Keatley, while Isaac Boss come off for Tomás O’Leary.

TRY FOR ENGLAND!

England score yet another fortuitous try, as an attempted kick deflects off an Irish player and falls to Thomas Waldrom, who runs in under post and produces an Ashton-esque swan dive as he crosses over. He won’t score an easier try than that over the course of his career. The conversion makes it 17-5.

TRY FOR IRELAND!

17-12: O’Leary collects the ball deep into English territory and swiftly darts through three English tackles to touch down. Madigan, meanwhile, gets the easy conversion to bring Ireland right back into this game.

O’Leary has looked like a man with a point to prove since his introduction. Does his redemption begin here?

Meanwhile Devin Toner has replaced Mike McCarthy.

Freddie Burns kicks a penalty woefully wide, as England miss the opportunity to take an eight-point lead – it could turn out to be a pivotal moment in the game.

20-12 to England: This time, Burns makes no mistake with the penalty and England have victory in sight.

23-12 to England: Burns gets another simple conversion. Ireland need a miracle now.

All in all, despite scoring two fine tries as well as conceding two fortuitous ones, Eric Elwood’s men probably don’t deserve anything from this game.

England have been superior in the scrum, in addition to being clinical in attack, taking full advantage of most of their opportunities.

TRY FOR IRELAND!

23-17: Simon Zebo outpaces his marker to score a consolation try for Ireland, while Madigan misses a tough conversion opportunity.

Meanwhile, George Robson gets the man of the match award.

FULL TIME: ENGLAND 23-17 IRELAND

The likes of David Kearney, Eoin O’Malley and Tomás O’Leary will have done themselves no harm with their performances, but in truth, no one really stood out for Ireland.

Okay, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading and commenting. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and don’t forget that we’ll be liveblogging some more tomorrow, as Arsenal take on Aston Villa in the FA Cup.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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