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Three Standout Performances From The Ireland U20s Magnificent Win Over England

Three Standout Performances From The Ireland U20s Magnificent Win Over England
By Brett Igoe

South Africa, Wales, Georgia, and Ireland all triumphed in the U20s Summer Series' last round of pool matches. Ireland produced a magnificent performance to overcome England 37-36 via 4 tries and a 52m last minute penalty from standout out half Same Prendergast. Ireland had undergone significant change from the team that defeated England in March, and after a dominant first 10 minutes in which England jumped out to an early 14-point lead, Ireland settled in and played some solid attacking rugby.

Despite the win, Ireland finished bottom of Pool A and  now face Scotland in the 7th/8th place play-off this Tuesday 12th July in their final game in Italy.

What the Stats said

As this series has gone on, this Ireland squad has started to seem more at ease in attack. Their fast-paced, multi-phased style of play put England's defence under a lot of strain. Ireland was able to manoeuvre England players despite the fact that they were physically bigger because to some cunning patterns and a fast-paced game.

Although it appears that England's selection strategy is to choose the biggest players, they are having trouble adapting to the style of game they are trying to play, and Ireland benefited from England's 19 handling mistakes.

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Ireland continued to show they are technically better around the breakdown with their ability to produce quicker ruck ball than England.

With 9 tries in the game, both teams struggled with their defence system with Ireland missing 18 tackles resulting in England scoring 6 tries. 

Ireland’s 22m attack was impressive as they were better than England at gaining points for each entry into the England 22. 

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 Stats source: sixnations.com/

Individual performances 

Irish No. 8 Lorcan McLoughlin (Ulster) had a fantastic game, leading the ball carrying statistics with 16 carries thanks to his high work rate. He displayed excellent agility and turn of speed to get Fionn Gibbons away  for Ireland's first try With a total of 12 tackles, he was Ireland's top defender and used some powerful tackles to intimidate the English backrow.

Sam Prendergast (Leinster) demonstrated his talent once again with a successful performance. He shown enormous maturity and confidence by stepping up in the face of extreme pressure and converting a 52-meter penalty to give Ireland the victory. On the night, he kicked 3 conversions and 3 penalties. His pass to Dylan O’Grady that resulted in a penalty try (for a high tackle), was a thing of beauty and one we hope to see in the future for his province. 

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Other standouts on the night were Patrick Campbell and Reuban Crothers who again both showed their class and experience in what was a memorable night for these young men. 

Ireland’s next game v Scotland U-20s, 7th place play-off  on Tuesday, 12th July, (12pm Irish time). Scotland lost to Georgia 55-17 in their last pool game to finish bottom of Pool B. 

It can be watched on the Six Nations Under-20s YouTube channel.

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