6 U20 NATIONS – The U20s have taken their cues from their elders. Ireland achieved another grand slam on Sunday, this time in the under-20s. The Irish beat England with the offensive bonus 36 to 24. France is guaranteed to finish second in this tournament.
Ireland is insatiable regardless of the age of the players. After the grand slam of Jonathan Sexton’s partners, Ireland U20 in turn achieved a clear round in the Tournament. Against England, the Irish were scared late in the game, but won by a score of 36 to 24, with the attacking bonus. By a twist of fate, they took 27 points in the league, just like their elders.
As in the Aviva Stadium, the match was hung to win this precious success. Faced with the English eager to redeem themselves after the heavy defeat at home last Friday, the first period was very close, with the two nations going battle for battle. At the break, Clover’s XV led by a short head, 12 to 7.
A second Grand Slam in a row
But the second half started in ideal fashion for the partners of a Sam Prendergast at the helm. After a try denied to the Rose’s XV, Cork’s fence ignited on the property’s third try, allowing them to take a ten-point lead. Then came the final blow with a logical red card for an uncontrolled tackle from Monty Bradbury. Ireland took the opportunity to take off, leading 31 to 10 ten minutes from time. When the English came back to seven points with five minutes remaining, Fintan Gunne, the scrum half who played at Leinster, completed the victory for his team with two minutes remaining.
He and his partners could cheer, with the grand slam just won. It is the second year in a row that the Irish U20s have delivered this capital performance. Before their match in Oyonnax against Wales, France is already guaranteed second in the league.