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
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs SaleExeter vs Sale Preview
Bath vs WorcesterBath vs Worcester Preview
Wasps vs GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Preview
Waratahs vs BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Preview
Sharks vs CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Preview
Stormers vs LionsStormers vs Lions Preview
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers2064
4Bath1959
5Harlequins2058