Chiefs trio suffer U20s defeat to Ireland

eng u20s ireland.jpg

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs trio Alfie Petch, Richard Capstick and Rus Tuima all featured as England lost their opening game of the World Rugby Under-20s Championship, beaten 42-26 by Ireland in Sante Fe, Argentina.

England trailed by a point at half-time despite Ollie Sleightholme’s early try and eight points from the boot of Manu Vunipola, Ireland responded with converted scores from Jake Flannery and Stewart Moore.

A second try for Sleightholme and one for Tom Seabrook got England back in front but Ireland sealed victory with two converted David McCann tries and one for Ben Healy and John Hodnett.

The side will next take on Italy on Saturday (KO 7.30pm BST) in Sante Fe before ending their Pool B campaign against Australia on 12 June.

"It was a really good game of rugby until the last 20 minutes when we lost two players and that was always going to make things difficult against a good team such as Ireland," said head coach Steve Bates. "After starting the second half so well, those two cards really hurt and swung the momentum back in Ireland’s favour but I have to say the Ireland team took their opportunities and played really well.

"I thought we scored some good tries, but we gave away some silly tries which is disappointing. My message to the players was there is a lot more rugby to play. We can either feel sorry for ourselves and go into our shells or we can stick together and go out in the next game against Italy and put in a really good performance which does us justice.

"We can’t dwell too much on today, we have to learn the lessons and move on very quickly because we have another game in a matter of days and we have to bounce back and give ourselves the best chance of qualifying for the semi-finals by winning the next two games and winning them as well as we can."

England U20s v Ireland

15. Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby)
14. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)
13. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, capt)
12. Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)
11. Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby)
10. Manu Vunipola (Saracens)
9. Ollie Fox (Bath Rugby)
1. Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby)
2. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks)
3. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
6. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
8. Tom Willis (Wasps)


16. Alfie Barbeary (Wasps) 
17. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)
18. Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Will Capon (Bristol Bears)
20. James Kenny (Exeter Chiefs)
21. Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs)
22. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
23. Josh Basham (Newcastle Falcons)
24. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)
25. Luke James (Sale Sharks)
26. Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks)
27. Arron Reed (Sale Sharks)
28. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)

England U20 fixtures

4 June: England U20s 26-42 Ireland U20s

8 June: England U20s v Italy U20s (KO 7.30pm BST), live on World Rugby platforms.

12 June: England U20s v Australia U20s (KO 7.30pm BST), live on World Rugby platforms.

Knockout stages on Monday, 17 June and finals day on Saturday, 22 June, live on ITV.

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