11th June 2012, 20:53
England hammer 12-men Ireland
By Ryan Gould at the Racecourse Ground
England Students kicked off the Four Nations tournament in Wrexham with a big win over the Irish, 58-12. Ireland didn’t give themselves much of a chance though as Joe Taylor was sent off after just seven minutes.
After the dismissal, the current champions of the competition took complete dominance with Jack Powley getting the ball rolling as scoring goes; he was set up by Dean Chapman who was mightily impressive.
Jack Powley went from scorer to provider next, sending Sam Blainey over following a break and then Connor Farrell inflicted more pain on the Irish when he crashed over underneath the posts.
Ireland did create a few chances to try and pull back the deficit, the best to note being from a Danny O’Reagan kick that was floated to the corner. Callum Muliceen contested for the ball, but knocked on in-goal.
Hamish Locke went over for Englands fourth as he broke from deep and had too much pace for the covering defenders, seeing several of them off before he reached the whitewash.
Both Greg Scott and Pat Toft went over for scores underneath the uprights, and there was also enough time for Liam Thompson to add another on the hooter as he dived over in the corner.
That took England into a comfortable looking 34-0 lead at the break, and Ireland had minimal chance of reviving that scoreline. The determination was there though as they recorded two tries of their own in the second half and only conceded 24 points.
It was them who also started the scoring after the interval with Muliceen showing great power and leg drive down the left wing to out-muscle the England tacklers.
The English came back at them with three tries in 15 minutes though, Hamish Locke grabbing the first of those, which was also his second of the evening. The second came through Deon Chapman in what was a remarkable try for a second rower.
Matt Bradley squeezed through a gap and sent Chapman down the wing. He showed blistering pace to stay out of reach of the onrushing Welsh defenders and scored in the corner. The last of that treble came on the hour mark when Fairhead hit the defensive line and offloaded to Thompson, who ran in from close range.
J J Baird grabbed a second Irish try, which turned out to be a mere consolation as it was Evan Simmons who rounded off the scoring with two late tries for England.
England will be more than pleased with this victory, but will possibly look to improve on their defensive display after letting in two tries to a side with 12 men. They next face Scotland at the Racecourse Ground this coming Wednesday, their opponents are on the back of a 74-4 thumping against Wales. Ireland will therefore face Wales, in what is a hard game to predict.
You can't judge the Irish fairly on this evenings performance with 12 men for around 77 minutes. Wales have to prepare for what could happen, with Ireland still hoping to push the other sides right to the end.
Tries: Powley 8, Blainey 12, Farrell 21, Locke 23, 45, Scott 32, Toft 36, Thompson 40, 60, Chapman 49, Simons 75, 80.
Goals: Hynes 3/7, Fairhead 2/5
11.J J Baird
Tries: Muliceen 43, J J Baird 72
Goals: Savage 2/2