Planet Rugby

Wolfhounds edge England Saxons

25th January 2014 18:44

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Iain Henderson England Saxons v Ireland Wolfhounds

Tight battle: Iain Henderson rises highest at a line-out

The Irish Wolfhounds outscored England Saxons two tries to one to win 14-8 in Saturday's clash at Kingsholm in Gloucester.

Wolfhounds fly-half Ian Madigan proved the hero for the visitors as his superior goal-kicking and and opportunist first-half try proved the difference between the sides in a hard-fought battle.

The 24-year-old Leinster pivot scored both his conversion attempts, while his Gloucester counterpart Burns hit the posts with first a conversion and then a penalty.

Bath wing Anthony Watson scored England's only try but Ireland led 14-5 at the intervak thanks to tries from Leinster scrum-half Isaac Boss and then Madigan.

Despite having over 60 per cent possession during the game England couldn't capitilise, although they came close to a second try in the dying moments through impressive Wasps centre Elliot Daly.

The Saxons were looking for a third successive win over Ireland after tight wins in Exeter and Galway in the previous two seasons but trailed early on.

The Wolfhounds drove from a close-range line-out and Boss broke round the back of the maul to elude two tacklers with Madigan's conversion putting them 7-0 up in the fifth minute.

The Saxons retained plenty of possession but it took them 20 minutes to strike back with Watson pouncing on an Irish error. He was pressing up on Darren Cave and when the ball ricocheted away off the centre's chest the Bath wing accelerated away from 50 metres to score.

Burns's conversion effort hit the post though and the Wolfhounds produced another piece of quick-witted work on the half-hour.

Madigan's tapped penalty was followed by a twist over the line and the Leinster fly-half converted his own try for a 14-5 lead his side held at the break.

The Saxons had a stiff breeze at their backs in the second half and dominated territory after that but the closest they came to reducing the deficit was when Burns hit the left-hand upright from 30 metres out.

The arrival of Northampton Saints number eight Sam Dickinson added some more momentum and his powerful carrying set up the position for Burns to kick a first penalty on the hour to leave his side trailing by six points going into the final quarter.

Some quick hands freed up Elliot Daly with five to go but the former England Under 20 international was stopped just short of the line, and he had another chance in the final play but was held up just short before Burns made a dive for the corner but it wasn't to be.

England Saxons now look ahead to next Friday when they take on Scotland A.

The scorers:

For England Saxons:
Try: Watson
Pen: Burns

For Irish Wolfhounds :
Tries: Boss, Madigan
Cons: Madigan 2

England Saxons: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Charlie Sharples, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Calum Clark (c), 5 George Kruis, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Jamie George, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Sam Dickinson, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Rob Miller

Irish Wolfhounds: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Darren Cave, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Rhys Ruddock (c), 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Martin Moore, 2 Rob Herring, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Simon Zebo.

Date: Saturday, January 25
Venue: Kingsholm, Gloucester
Kickoff: 17:00 GMTReferee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Davies (Wales), Jon Mason (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

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