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Irish Universities Triumph At Belfield

Irish Universities Triumph At Belfield

UCD duo Fergus McFadden and Vasily Artemiev both struck for late tries on their home patch of Belfield as the Irish Universities side came out on top, winning 21-10 against their English counterparts on Friday.



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Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Michael Hastings, Fergus McFadden, Vasily Artemiev; Cons: Jeremy Manning 2, Johnny Watt
England: Try: Mark Siddons; Con: Rob Cooke; Pen: Cooke

The Irish side, coached by Dublin University’s Tony Smeeth, had to come from behind to beat the visitors in a game which marked Munster out-half Jeremy Manning’s debut for Ireland on the international stage.

The former New Zealand Schoolboy international converted Michael Hastings’ 28th-minute try, which saw the Trinity student fly up in support to dot down, after the English had gone in front thanks to a 13th-minute penalty from their number 10 Rob Cooke.

Ireland’s lead was short-lived however – the visitors, who showed their strength at set piece time, took a 10-7 lead into the break as lock Mark Siddons got on the end of an excellently-worked lineout maul to cross for his side’s only try, which Cooke added the extras to.

Slowly but surely the more experienced Irish side took control and a big effort in the final quarter saw them pick off two converted tries to seal the win. The first arrived when UCC flanker Barry O’Mahony battled bravely at the breakdown and won turnover ball which was ferried out to centre McFadden who finished with aplomb.

Manning converted that score and the finish touching was added by pacy Russian-born winger Artemiev who managed to ground the ball despite the best defensive efforts of Liam Lonnergan. Trinity’s Johnny Watt made it a seven-pointer and it was job done for the Universities XV.