Ireland Wolfhounds hang on to beat England Saxons

Ireland Wolfhounds held off a late charge from England Saxons to win 8-14 at Kingsholm in Gloucester on Saturday evening.

Bath wing Anthony Watson scored England’s only try, while Gloucester’s
Freddie Burns added a penalty, but Ireland struck twice – first through
scrum half Isaac Boss and then fly half Ian Madigan.

Despite having over 60 per cent possession during the game England couldn’t
capitalise, although they came close to a second try in the dying moments through
impressive Wasps centre Elliot Daly.

The Saxons fielded a youthful line-up with only eight caps-worth of senior
international experience in the shape of Gloucester’s Charlie Sharples
(four caps) and Freddie Burns (three), and Wasps’ scrum half Joe Simpson.

They were looking for a third successive win over Ireland after tight wins
in Exeter and Galway in the previous two seasons but trailed early on. The Wolfhounds
drove close-range lineout and Boss broke round the back of the maul to elude
two tacklers with Madigan’s conversion putting them 7-0 up in the fifth
minute.

The Saxons retained plenty of possession but it took them 20 minutes to strike
back with Watson pouncing on an Irish error. He was pressing up on Darren Cave
and when the ball ricocheted away off the centre’s chest the Bath wing
accelerated away from 50 metres to score.

burns’ conversion effort hit the post though and the Wolfhounds produced
another piece of quick-witted work on the half-hour.

Madigan’s tapped penalty was followed by a twist over the line and the
Leinster fly half converted his own try for a 14-5 lead his side held at the
break.

The Saxons had a stiff breeze at their backs in the second half and dominated
territory after that but the closest they came to reducing the deficit was when
Burns hit the left-hand upright from 30 metres out.

The arrival of Northampton Saints No.8 Sam Dickinson added some more momentum
and his powerful carrying set up the position for Burns to kick a first penalty
on the hour to leave his side trailing by six points going into the final quarter.

Some quick hands freed up Elliot Daly with five to go but the former England
Under 20 international was stopped just short of the line, and he had another
chance in the final play but was held up just short before Burns made a dive
for the corner but it wasn’t to be.

England Saxons now look ahead to next Friday when they take on Scotland A.

Final Score England Saxons 8 (5) Ireland A 14 (14)

Scorers

England Saxons
Tries – Watson
Pen -Burns
Con –
Drop –

Ireland A
Tries – Boss, Madigan
Pen – Madigan (2)
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials

Referee : Ian Davies
Attendance :8,200

Teams

England Saxons

15 Daly ,14 Watson ,13 Hopper ,12 Hill ,11 Sharples ,10 Burns ,9 Simpson ,1 A Waller ,2 George ,3 Mercey ,4 Matthews ,5 Kruis ,6 Clark ,7 Wallace ,8 Ewers ,

Replacements : 16 Ward ,17 Catt ,18 Wilson ,19 Stooke ,20 Dickinson ,21 Lewis ,22 Slade ,23 Miller

Ireland A Wolfhounds

15 Jones ,14 McFadden ,13 Henshaw ,12 Cave ,11 Gilroy ,10 Madigan ,9 Boss ,1 Kilcoyne ,2 Herring ,3 Moore ,4 Henderson ,5 Tuohy ,6 Ruddock ,7 O’Donnell ,8 Copeland ,

Replacements : 16 Strauss ,17 McGrath ,18 Archer ,19 Diack ,20 Murphy ,21 Marmion ,22 Keatley ,23 Zebo

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