Irish crack under England pressure

England 42 Ireland 15

Irish crack under England pressure

As expected England’s greater physicality was central in determining the outcome and try as hard and as enthusiastically as they did, Ireland were no match for an English side set to contest their third final in four years.

Ireland did extremely well to reach the semi-finals given that their two original choices as captain, Dan Leavy and Sean O’Brien, missed out because of injury while Waterford’s Jack O’Donoghue, who took over the responsibility with admirable success, took a heavy knock just before the interval and was forced off.

England are a massive side, just like their final opponents, and even though O’Donoghue is 6 ft 2 ins tall and tips the scales at over 15 stone, he was lighter than several members of the England back line. As for the battle up front, the physical contrast was stark. Rugby Union has already become a game for big men and on this evidence, that trend isn’t about to change any time soon.

The “consolation” prize, if such it could be so described, is a play-off on Friday next for 3rd and 4th place against host nation New Zealand who lost a magnificent second semi-final to a last minute try by South Africa. Coach Mike Ruddock accepted the final result as a fair reflection of the trend of the game but was encouraged by a much improved second half display in which Ireland outscored England (12-8) and two tries to one.

“England went at us from the start and we were basically chasing the game from the off,” admitted O’Donoghue. “It was difficult to get go forward ball and we struggled there. It’s great for us to get this far and hopefully we can go on to the next game and drive it home.”

However, the game was won and lost in the opening 40 minutes after which England led by 34-3. An early drop goal by Howard Packman was followed by the first of five England tries as Harlequins’ Harry Sloan sliced his way over at the posts before Billy Burns added the conversion. Further England scores followed from Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Howard Packman and Tom Woostencroft.

O’Donoghue’s departure did little to help Ireland’s cause but after Packman had stretched his side’s advantage to 37-3 with a drop goal, Ireland picked up the pace and were rewarded with a very smart try behind the posts when centre Gary Ringrose. Out-half Ross Byrne converted. A second Ireland try followed from Garryowen wing Alex Wootton who produced a delightful sidestep to score in the corner after a fine piece of work by replacement Harrison Brewer, a son of former All Black great Mike.

ENGLAND: A Morris (Bedford Blues); H Packman (Northampton Saints), N Tompkins (Saracens) , H Sloan (Harlequins), N Earle (Saracens); B Burns (Gloucester), H Taylor (Loughborough Univ); D Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton), T Woolstencroft (Bath), P, Hill (Leeds Cqrnegie), M Itoje (Saracens) capt, C Ewels (Bath), R Moriarty (Gloucester), G Jones (London Wasps), J Chisholm (Harlequins).

Replacements: C Braley (Bristol) for Taylor (47 mins), A Lundberg (London Wasps) for Hobbs-Awoyemi, J Walker (Leeds Carnegie) for Woolstencroft (both 51), J Conlon (Exeter Chiefs) for Moriarty, H Purdy (Leicester Tigers) for Tompkins, H Rudkin (Leicester Tigers) for Hill (all 66), S Olver (Northampton Saints) for Burns (67), H Thompson-Stringer (Saracens) for Itoje (77).

IRELAND: C Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster); C Gaffney (Galwegians/Connacht), G Rimgrose (UCCD/Leinster), D Goggin (Young Munster/Munster), A Wootton (Garryowen/Munster); R Byrne (UCD/Leinster), N McCarthy (UCD/Leinster); P Dooley (Lansdowne/Leinster), M Abbott (Cork Con/Munster), R Burke (Cork Con/Munster), S Gardiner (Lansdowne/Leinster), R Moloney (UCD/Leinster), P Timmins (UCD/Leinster), F Taggart (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), J O’Donoghue (UL Bohemian/Munster) capt.

Replacements: R Moloney (Buccaneers/Connacht) for O’Donoghue (38 mins), H Brewer (Terenure College/Leinster) for Goggin, O Heffernan (Lansdowne/Leinster) for Burke, D Donnellan (UCD/Leinster) for Abbott (all half-time), R Foley (Cork Constitution/Munster) for McCarthy, C McKeon (Lansdowne/Leinster) for Byrne (both 61), D Coulson (Lansdowne/Leinster) for Dooley (67), D Moloney (Cork Constitution/Munster) for Gardiner (77).

Referee: A Gardner (Australia).

More in this section

CourtsRugbyPlace: AucklandPlace: QBE StadiumPlace: AustraliaPerson: Dan LeavyPerson: Sean O’BrienPerson: Jack O’DonoghuePerson: O’DonoghuePerson: Mike RuddockPerson: Howard PackmanPerson: Harry SloanPerson: Billy BurnsPerson: Danny Hobbs-AwoyemiPerson: Tom WoostencroftPerson: PackmanPerson: Gary RingrosePerson: Ross ByrnePerson: GarryowenPerson: Alex WoottonPerson: Harrison BrewerPerson: MikePerson: H PackmanPerson: N TompkinsPerson: H SloanPerson: N EarlePerson: B BurnsPerson: H TaylorPerson: D Hobbs-AwoyemiPerson: T WoolstencroftPerson: PPerson: HillPerson: M ItojePerson: C EwelsPerson: R MoriartyPerson: G JonesPerson: J ChisholmPerson: C BraleyPerson: TaylorPerson: HobbsPerson: J WalkerPerson: WoolstencroftPerson: J ConlonPerson: MoriartyPerson: H PurdyPerson: TompkinsPerson: H RudkinPerson: S OlverPerson: BurnsPerson: H Thompson-StringerPerson: ItojePerson: KelleherPerson: G RimgrosePerson: D GogginPerson: A WoottonPerson: R ByrnePerson: N McCarthyPerson: P DooleyPerson: M AbbottPerson: R BurkePerson: S GardinerPerson: R MoloneyPerson: P TimminsPerson: F TaggartPerson: J O’DonoghuePerson: H BrewerPerson: GogginPerson: O HeffernanPerson: BurkePerson: D DonnellanPerson: AbbottPerson: R FoleyPerson: McCarthyPerson: C McKeonPerson: ByrnePerson: D CoulsonPerson: DooleyPerson: D MoloneyPerson: GardinerPerson: A GardnerEvent: Junior World CupOrganisation: EnglandOrganisation: IrelandOrganisation: WaterfordOrganisation: Rugby UnionOrganisation: New ZealandOrganisation: South AfricaOrganisation: Harlequins’Organisation: All BlackOrganisation: Bedford BluesOrganisation: Northampton SaintsOrganisation: SaracensOrganisation: HarlequinsOrganisation: GloucesterOrganisation: Loughborough UnivOrganisation: NorthamptonOrganisation: BathOrganisation: Leeds CqrnegieOrganisation: London WaspsOrganisation: BristolOrganisation: Leeds CarnegieOrganisation: Exeter ChiefsOrganisation: Leicester TigersOrganisation: LansdowneOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: ConnachtOrganisation: UCCDOrganisation: Young MunsterOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: GarryowenOrganisation: UCDOrganisation: Cork ConOrganisation: Belfast HarlequinsOrganisation: UlsterOrganisation: UL BohemianOrganisation: BuccaneersOrganisation: Terenure CollegeOrganisation: Cork Constitution
Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox