Planet Rugby

England get job done in Dublin

27th August 2011 16:33

Share:

Delon Armitage scoring for England against Ireland wing Tommy Bowe

England's second: Delon Armitage

Ireland will go into the Rugby World Cup without a warm-up Test win to their name after they fell to a gritty England side 20-9 on Saturday.

Defeat means Ireland have lost all four of their pre-tournament matches, with the World Cup just a fortnight away. What makes things worse will have been the sight of David Wallace carried off with what appeared to be a serious injury.

England, who had lost their last three matches against Ireland, most recently a 24-8 defeat in March that cost the Six Nations champions a Grand Slam, had their hosts by two tries to nil.

Manu Tuilagi and Delon Armitage both crossed while 2003 World Cup-winning fly-half Jonny Wilkinson landed all four of his kicks.

Ireland, who'd lost to Scotland and twice been beaten by France in their previous warm-ups, had to make do with three first-half penalties.

England started boldly with flanker Hendre Fourie, a late change after a calf strain ruled out Nick Easter, charging into Ireland's 22 and they only had to wait five minutes for a try.

James Haskell, switched to number eight in Easter's absence, broke off a scrum before stand-in skipper Mike Tindall released fellow centre Tuilagi.

The Samoa-born powerhouse, half of England's thirteenth midfield combination in Martin Johnson's 35 Tests in charge, rounded opposite number Keith Earls.

Wilkinson converted and England, beaten 19-9 last time out by Wales, were 7-0 in front before veteran outside-half O'Gara got Ireland on the board.

But a Wilkinson penalty, awarded when returning England prop Andrew Sheridan forced the Ireland scrum to stand up, restored the visitors' seven-point lead.

Ireland though were starting to test England's defence but a promising 20th minute move ended with Wallace, whose pain was immediately evident, being bundled into touch by Tuilagi and then carried from the field on a stretcher.

An attacking line-out deep into England territory on the half-hour almost cost Ireland dear when hooker Jerry Flannery overthrew and Tuilagi regathered the loose ball.

Tuilagi set off on a 70 metre run but he was denied a try thanks to a brilliant tackle by Leicester team-mate and Ireland full-back Geordan Murphy.

The ensuing attack floundered with lock Courtney Lawes passing the ball into touch and England turned round 13-9 in front.

Ireland could have taken the lead early in the second half when England wing Chris Ashton was yellow-carded for going off his feet at a ruck.

But O'Gara missed for the first time in four attempts when his kick came back off the post.

It was an error that proved all the more costly minutes later when England scored their second try despite being down to fourteen men.

From a scrum, the ball was worked left and Tindall's grubber-kick was seized upon by substitute Armitage.

Wilkinson, England's record points scorer, made light of a difficult conversion from out on the left to give his side breathing space at 20-9.

As rain lashed down and both sides emptied their benches, the game became increasingly scrappy.

England begin their bid for a third straight World Cup final appearance against Argentina while Ireland's opening pool opponents are the United States, coached by former Ireland handler Eddie O'Sullivan.

Rugby Union betting odds

The scorers:

For Ireland:
Pen: O'Gara 3

For England:
Tries: Tuilagi, Armitage
Con: Wilkinson 2
Pen: Wilkinson 2

Ireland: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 David Wallace, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Jerry Flannery, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Tom Court , 18 Donnacha Ryan, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Conor Murray, 21 Jonathan Sexton, 22 Fergus McFadden.

England: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Mike Tindall (capt), 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 James Haskell, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Simon Shaw, 19 Tom Palmer, 20 Joe Simpson, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Delon Armitage.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Tim Hayes (Wales)
Television match official: Giulio De Santis (Italy)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Preview
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs Lions17:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs Tasman19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615