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England U20 secure memorable Grand Slam win

19 March 2011

  • Grand Slam secured for England U20 side in Athlone
  • Tries from Matthews, Mills, Kvesic, Short, Hawyood and Gray

Ireland U20 15 England U20 46

England U20 win the Grand Slam

Photo: Getty Images

England U20 secured their first 6 Nations Grand Slam win since 2008 with a comprehensive six try 46-15 victory against Ireland in Athlone.

Tries from Harlequins lock Charlie Matthews, Gloucester Rugby centre Ryan Mills, Worcester Warriors pair Matt Kvesic and Andy Short, Northampton Saints hooker Mike Haywood and Newcastle Falcons No. 8 and Captain Alex Gray secured the win.

Leicester Tigers fly half George Ford added four penalties and two conversions.

England drew first blood through the boot of Ford who slotted two early penalties to give the away side a 6-0 lead with eight minutes played before Ireland hit back with three points of their own in a frenetic opening passage of play.

Jonathan Joseph spilled a glorious chance to give England the opening try after 25 minutes, dropping a pass metres away from the line when clean through. But the deadlock was broken after a special moment for the forward pack who combined with the precision of any good back line.

England U20 pair George Ford (R) and Owen Farrell

Photo: Getty Images

A wonderful break forward from Bristol Rugby No. 1 Mako Vunipola was offloaded to his front row partner, Sale Sharks’ Henry Thomas, who held off one challenge before offloading to lock Matthews who dived over in the corner.

Minutes after scoring his try, Matthews was sinbinned for a stamp and Ireland made their man advantage count, pushing a scrum over the line for a converted try. The hosts were then just one point within England at 11-10, but Rob Hunter’s side, still down to 14, added 10 points to the scoreboard before the break.

First Joe Launchbury came close to scoring for England, but his effort was not given by the third match official who deemed Matt Everard to have been offside in the build up.

Shortly afterward, Ford converted a penalty and then Mills made a nice break through the heart of the Irish back line to touch down for his first try of the competition to make the score 21-10 at the break.

England U20 win the Grand Slam

Photo: Getty Images

England started the second half at pace, scoring two quick tries as Ireland struggled to cope.

Kvesic barged his way over after a nice line break from Bath Rugby scrum half Chris Cook who passed to Ford who moved the ball on to the Worcester Warriors man.

Haywood then burrowed over the line for his first try in an England shirt to make the score 36-10.

Ireland gave themselves a small lifeline not long after when hooker David Doyle scored out on the wing but England hit back with two more late tries from Short and Gray to secure a memorable victory and the 6 Nations title.

England side v Ireland:

15) Ben Ransom
14) Andy Short
13) Elliot Daly
12) Ryan Mills
11) Jonathan Joseph
10) George Ford
9) Chris Cook
1) Mako Vunipola
2) Mike Haywood
3) Henry Thomas
4) Joe Launchbury
5) Charlie Matthews
6) Matt Kvesic
7) Matt Everard
8) Alex Gray

Replacements:

16) Rob Buchanan on for Mike Haywood 52 mins
17) Will Collier on for Mako Vunipola 65 mins
18) Addison Lockley on for Joe Launchbury 75 mins
19) Sam Jones on for Matt Everard 62 mins
20) Dan Robson on for Chris Cook 60 mins
21) Owen Farrell on for Ryan Mills 45 mins
22) Jamie Elliott on for Jonathan Joseph 30 mins

 

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