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Ireland and England play all-time classic U20 World Cup match

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Saturday Jun 24, 2023

Six Nations rivals England, and Ireland couldn’t be separated in their opening game of the World Rugby U20 championship.

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Unusually much heralded Ireland flyhalf Sam Prendergast had an off day from the kicking tee, landing just two from six.

Prendergast did score a brilliant try, however, and to put a positive spin on it for Ireland, their flyhalf is unlikely to have such an off day again, given his pedigree.

Ireland led 15 – 10 at halftime, with Prendergast having missed all three conversions.

England, on the flipside, took the fight to their fancied opponents, with captain Lewis Chessum putting in a world-class performance.

The Red Roses would take the lead early in the second half as they etched out a two-score lead.

They struggled to hold off Ireland for too long as powerful backrow Ruadhan Quinn brought the men in green back into the fixture. Receiving a pinpoint crossfield kick from scrumhalf Fintan Gunne.

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Ireland would flex their muscles once again as centres Hugh Cooney and John Devine combined to nudge Ireland more than a score ahead.

Unfortunately for Ireland, Cooney would be shown a red card for a completely mistimed tackle that saw him come off second-best on all fronts.

Impressive England flyhalf Connor Slevin continued his fine run of form from the kicking tee to bring his side back within seven points.

Substitute Jacob Cusick would score what proved to be the final try of the match, which Slevin converted to bring the scores level at 34 – 34.

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England would lay siege to the Irish line as the final whistle drew closer but couldn’t quite crack the 14-man Irish defensive live.

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