Ireland Under-20s captain Charlie Ryan hailed his side’s work rate as they kicked off their World Rugby U20 Championship campaign in Argentina with a 42-26 bonus point win over England.
England took an early lead through an Ollie Sleightholme try and eight points from Manu Vunipola but Ireland fought back strongly and tries from Jake Flannery and centre Stewart Moore gave them a 14-13 half-time lead.
Despite a second try for Sleightholme and a Tom Seabrook effort England were then made to pay for their ill-discipline, as Aaron Hinkley and Vunipola were sent to the sinbin for dangerous tackles and Alfie Barbeary shown a red-card for an illegal challenge, with David McCann scoring twice before Ben Healy and John Hodnett added further tries to seal Ireland’s win.
What a contest! Under-20s Six Nations Grand Slam Champions @IrishRugby got their Under-20s World Championships campaign off to a winning start by winning an enthralling game against Six Nations rivals @EnglandRugby! What was your verdict on a superb game? https://t.co/TvqX8mLRgT
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) June 4, 2019
“We’re delighted with the win. We’re going to enjoy today, review it and look forward to Australia on Saturday,” said Ryan.
“There’s four more games to go. It was a super game to play in, I’m privileged to be a part of it and really happy with the performance from the boys.
“Really proud of everyone out on the pitch. They put in a huge shift but we have plenty of things to improve on.
“We’ll analyse Australia, who had a good win themselves against Italy, and just keep the heads on and keep working hard.”
It was the perfect start to the tournament for Ireland and their second victory over England this year, having triumphed 35-27 on the opening night of the Six Nations in February.
England captain Fraser Dingwall, meanwhile, was left to rue how his side let their advantage slip through errors and ill-discipline.
He said: “We’re incredibly frustrated after that. I think after [half-time] we got the upper hand and we were hoping to take it away from them.
“Obviously today discipline is something that’s let us down, it has had a massive knock-on effect on the game. But it’s not the only area of the game that’s let us down.”
Ireland next face Australia in Pool B on Saturday with England in action against Italy.
Wales face France and Scotland have the daunting task of an encounter with New Zealand.