The Ireland ‘A’ team suffered a 34-12 Barclays Churchill Cup defeat at the hands of England Saxons in Toronto on Saturday, with the result sending Allen Clarke’s side into a plate final against Argentina ‘A’ next weekend.
Munster centre Keith Earls helped himself to two tries in the first half. Earls brilliantly sliced through the English midfield for his first after 10 minutes, establishing a 5-0 lead for Ireland ‘A’.
His second, which saw him scoot in from the right wing, brought Allen Clarke’s men back level at 12-12 but an Ugo Monye try in first half injury-time saw the Saxons go in at the break with a 17-12 advantage.
The humidity got to both teams as the game wore on and Scottish referee Andy Macpherson wisely opted for regular water breaks.
But despite a committed effort from both backs and forwards and those who came on off the replacements bench, Ireland ‘A’ lost their way in the second half.
The Saxons clinically struck for four more tries with full-back Nick Abendanon topping off his man-of-the-match award by pinching the final touchdown in injury-time.
To purchase tickets for the 2008 Barclays Churchill Cup finals day at Toyota Park in Chicago next Saturday, please click here.
The matches on the day will be USA v Canada, Argentina ‘A’ v Ireland ‘A’ and the cup final will be contested between England Saxons and Scotland ‘A’.
Watch brief highlights of the Ireland ‘A’ v England Saxons Churchill Cup game here.
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