Dublin delight for Perkins

PUBLISHED: 17:01 03 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:01 03 March 2015

Former Coopers pupil George Perkins helped England under-20s beat Ireland (pic: Adam Nurkiewicz/The RFU Collection)

Former Coopers pupil George Perkins helped England under-20s beat Ireland (pic: Adam Nurkiewicz/The RFU Collection)

2014 The RFU Collection

Under-20 Six Nations: Ireland 14 England 19

Upminster’s George Perkins and England top the Under-20 Six Nations table after a hard-fought win against Ireland in Dublin.

Second-half tries from Piers O’Conor and Joe Marchant set England on their way, while James Mitchell added nine crucial points with the boot.

Head Coach Jon Callard said: “I’m hugely proud of the lads – they put in an excellent performance and fully deserved the win.

“Ireland were physical and they were a constant threat throughout, but we showed real character and I’m delighted with the way we held firm and got the victory.”

After both sides missed early penalties, Ireland drew first blood after 13 minutes when fly-half Ross Byrne sent one between the posts for 3-0.

With 20 minutes on the clock Byrne doubled the lead from in front of the sticks to make it 6-0 before Mitchell cut the deficit in half.

England were reduced to 14 men when Will Owen was sent to the sin-bin and Byrne made it 9-3 in front of the posts.

But England ended the half strongly and Mitchell made it 9-6 as Ireland had Lorcan Dow sent to the bin.

England brought O’Conor on for Aaron Morris at the break and the impact was immediate.

Three minutes into the second half O’Conor gathered a loose Byrne kick and turned on the afterburners to score in the corner to make it 11-9 to England.

Ireland hit back and regained the lead when Stephen Fitzgerald scored in the corner for 14-11.

But a third Mitchell penalty levelled the game up before Marchant stepped inside his man to score a matchwinning try – his fifth score of the competition.

Captain Charlie Ewels said: “This was a huge game and to come out of it with a win is massive for us. Ireland came out of the blocks and had a pretty vocal home crowd behind them, but credit to our boys, we stuck at it and ground out the win.

“We knew we were in for a tough game, and even when we managed to get ahead we knew that we couldn’t let up because Ireland kept pushing.”

Ireland – Try: Stephen Fitzgerald. Pens: Ross Byrne (3).

England – Tries: Piers O’Conor, Joe Marchant. Pens: James Mitchell (3).

England: 15 Aaron Moris (Saracens); 14 George Perkins (Saracens); 13 Joe Marchant (Harlequins); 12 Nick Tompkins (Saracens); 11 Howard Packman (Northampton Saints); 10 Oliver Bryant (Leicester Tigers); 9 James Mitchell (Sale Sharks); 1 Ellis Genge (Bristol Rugby); 2 Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie); 3 Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks); 4 Kieran Treadwell (Harlequins); 5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, captain); 6 Joe Batley (Gloucester Rugby); 7 Will Owen (Leicester Tigers); 8 James Chisholm (Harlequins). Replacements: 16 Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs); 17 Seb Adeniran-Olule (Harlequins); 18 Paul Hill (Yorkshire Carnegie); 19 Charlie Beckett (Leicester Tigers); 20 Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs); 21 Will Homer (Bath Rugby); 22 Piers O’Conor (Wasps Rugby); 23 Tom Howe (Wasps Rugby).

Fixtures, March 13 (5.30pm): England U20 v Scotland U20 (Darlington Mowden Park, Darlington); March 20 (7.55pm): England U20 v France U20 (American Express Community Stadium, Brighton).

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