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Player Ratings As Ireland U20s Smash England In World Cup Opener

Player Ratings As Ireland U20s Smash England In World Cup Opener
By Kevin Beirne

Ireland U20s recorded a famous win in their first game of this year's U20 Rugby World Cup with a 42-26 win over England.

Here is how we rated everyone.

15. Iwan Hughes - 5

Didn’t look comfortable at 15. Failed to take an easy kick in his own 22 in the first half and then took a terrible angle after England broke through early in the second half just before England scored their second try.

14. Angus Kernohan - 6

The Irish wingers had little to do today and Kernohan struggled to get himself into the game. He will be frustrated with the fact England scored from first phase down his wing early in the second half.

13. Liam Turner - 7

Made some fun little bursts but this wasn’t a game where Ireland were relying on their backs. Will have plenty to do on Saturday against Australia and will need to organise his defence better than he did tonight but still showed enough to give himself plenty to be happy with.

12. Stewart Moore - 8

Some really intelligent play in the first half gave Ireland their first lead of the day. Linked well with Turner in the midfield and more than justified his selection in the midfield.

11. Jonathan Wren - 7

Was given no chances to show what he can do but still managed to manufacture some for himself. Defended well and reacted brilliantly to stop a late England try once the game opened up a bit more.


10. Jake Flannery - 7

Scored the try to get Ireland a foothold in the first half and kicked all of his conversions well. Shifted back to fullback in the second half and looked to enjoy the freedom a bit more, though his handling still let him down at times.

9. Craig Casey - 8

His passing was crisp but Ireland could have done with him slowing things down in the first half as play was a bit disjointed. But controlled his pack well and showed tremendous creativity to get in the face of his opponents. He carries like a man half a foot taller than he actually is.

1. Josh Wycherley - 8

The Corkman wasn’t as effective in the loose as he may have wanted but he still did all of the little things well. Was unlucky to not get a scrum penalty early in the half when the ref decided instead to reset the scrum but put in a shift and a half once more.


2. Dylan Tierney-Martin - 9

A huge turnover on the half-hour mark after Flannery missed touch from inside his own in-goal area gave Ireland some breathing room. The Connacht man was everywhere, disrupting English ball and carrying powerfully. And isn’t it nice to see an Irish hooker who can hit his targets in the line out?

3. Thomas Clarkson - 7

Gave away a scrum penalty deep in the England 22 to allow them to relieve the pressure midway through the first half but other than that he carried well and covered more ground than you could reasonably expect from a tighthead.

4. Charlie Ryan - 8

His charge down was crucial after England ran out to a 10-0 lead as it gave Ireland the platform from which to recover. Led by example throughout, putting his body on the line for his teammates.


5. Ryan Baird - 8

A real nuisance in the line out and an explosive ball-carrier when given the chance. Looks to be developing an exciting partnership with Ryan in the second row.

6. David McCann - 8

Finished brilliantly from close range twice when Ireland badly needed to score. Stepped up to the mark against a tough English side and didn’t shirk any responsibility.

7. John Hodnett - 9

Showed early on that he can be a nuisance at the breakdown. Didn’t really get going with ball in hand like we saw during the Six Nations except for one big carry in the second half but was crucial to Ireland in the absence of his two back row partners from the spring. Deserved his try at the end.


8. Azur Allison - 6

His day only lasted 25 minutes as he limped off the pitch. Allison has been desperately unlucky with injuries and didn’t really get a chance today to show why he is so dangerous.

Replacements - 10

One of the big question marks hanging over Ireland heading into this tournament was their depth but the replacements were fantastic today.

Ben Healy was superb in at 10 and could start there at the weekend while Ronan Watters in the back row and Sean French on the wing both had moments of magic off the bench.

Read More: How To Watch Ireland At The U20 Rugby World Cup

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