The Ireland Under-19s (sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers) avenged their Six Nations defeat by England as they won their IRB U-19 World Championship opener in Dubai on Wednesday evening.
IRB U-19 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: DIVISION A: Wednesday, April 5
IRELAND U-19 17 ENGLAND U-19 16, Exiles RFC, Dubai
Scorers: Ireland: Try: Keith Earls: Pens: Brian Collins 4
England: Try: Adam Powell; Con: Daniel Cipriani; Pens: Cipriani 3
Ireland rallied from 13-3 behind at one stage to claim a superb victory over England in a tense Division A clash at Dubai Exiles Rugby Club.
In front of a packed main stand, Ireland took revenge for a 32-9 defeat last month by their rivals in the Six Nations in London, thanks to a committed performance in defence and the rock-solid kicking of Brian Collins, who landed four crucial penalties.
England made the stronger start and established a 6-0 lead thanks to two penalties from out-half Daniel Cipriani before Collins put his side on the board with his first kick in the 24th-minute.
Captain Adam Powell then showed good strength to bash his way over the line for a try, which put England 11-3 ahead. Cipriani's conversion establishing a handy 13-3 advantage at the break.
However Ireland stepped up a gear and hauled themselves back into the game with a huge forward effort. Relentless pressure forced England to give away a string of penalties, while their discipline also slipped with prop Matthew Mullan and full back David Doherty being sin-binned, reducing the side to 13 men at one stage.
...Ireland's Ian Keatley hands off David Tait of England...
Collins needed no second invitation to land three successive penalties to make it 13-12 in England's favour, before Cipriani added a third penalty to give the English a little breathing space. Ireland, led superbly well by David Pollock, were not finished and with six minutes to go, centre Keith Earls was worked over for a match-winning try wide on the right.
England still had chances to steal it, but the superbly committed Irish defence held firm for a memorable win. England must now regroup ahead of their match with Argentina at Sharjah Wanderers on Sunday, while Ireland take on France at the Exiles on the same afternoon (kick-off 3.00pm Irish time).
TIME LINE: 2 minutes - England penalty: Daniel Cipriani - 0-3; 10 mins - England penalty: Daniel Cipriani - 0-6; 24 mins - Ireland penalty: Brian Collins - 3-6; 29 mins - England try: Adam Powell - 3-11; conversion: Daniel Cipriani - 3-13; Half time - Ireland 3 England 13; 53 mins - Ireland penalty: Brian Collins - 6-13; 55 mins - Ireland penalty: Brian Collins - 9-13; 59 mins - Ireland penalty: Brian Collins - 12-13; 65 mins - England penalty: Daniel Cipriani - 12-16; 69 mins - Ireland try: Keith Earls - 17-16; conversion: missed by Brian Collins - 17-16; Full time - Ireland 17 England 16
Ireland U-19: Sean Carey (St. Joseph's College, Garbally); Shane Monahan (Dublin University), Keith Earls (St. Munchin's College), Ian Keatley (University College Dublin), Michael Barker (Queens University Belfast); Brian Collins (Castleknock College), Paul O'Donohue (Belvedere College); Cian Healy (Belvedere College), Gerard Slattery (St. Munchin's College), James Gethings (Gonzaga College), Thomas Anderson (Queens University Belfast) Conor McInerney (University College Dublin), Tommy O'Donnell (UL Bohemians), David Pollock (Queens University Belfast) (capt), Kevin Sheahan (University College Dublin).
Replacements used: Andrew Browne (Galwegians) for O'Donnell (21-35 mins), Ruaidhri Murphy (Castleknock College) for Gethings (53), Browne for Anderson (70). Not used: David Gilchrist (University College Dublin), Jonathan Graham (Ballynahinch), Richard Sweeney (University College Dublin), Tom Walsh (Castleknock College), Aidan Wynne (Blackrock College), David Drake (Instonians RFC), Niall O'Connor (Limavady Grammar School), Ivan Dineen (Christian Brothers College Cork), Ian Whitten (Queens University Belfast).
England U-19: David Doherty (Leeds Tykes); Oliver Dodge (Leicester Tigers), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Adam Powell (Saracens), Jordan Turner-Hall (NEC Harlequins); Daniel Cipriani (London Wasps & Whitgift), Danny Care (Leeds Tykes), Matthew Mullan (Worcester Warriors), Jordan Page (Leeds Tykes), Tom Mercey (Saracens), David Attwood (Bristol Rugby & Bristol Uni), Sam McDonald (Worcester Warriors), Alex Shaw (Leicester Tigers), Andy Saull (Saracens & Bancrofts School), David Tait (Sale Sharks).
Replacements used: Charles Beech for Attwood (51-56 mins). Not used: Ross McMillan (Nottingham), Daniel Cole (Leicester Tigers), Hugo Ellis (London Wasps & St. Benedict's), Iain Grieve (Bristol Rugby), Richard Bolt (Exeter Chiefs & SWERA), Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors), Adam Greendale (Leeds Tykes & Hymers College), Joseph Simpson (London Wasps & St. Benedict's), Selorm Kuadey (Sale Sharks), Ben Thomas (Saracens).
Sin Bin: S McDonald (England) (20 mins), M Mullan (England) (46), D Doherty (England) (53).
Referee: Willie Roos (South Africa)
**Match report and match photos courtesy of the IRB Media Centre**