England deny brave Ireland in thrilling finale
The Ireland Schools came within eight minutes of beating an all-powerful England in an adrenaline-fuelled contest at Donnybrook yesterday, eventually going down 29-12.
Ireland had the temerity to snatch the lead in the 56th minute when outstanding flanker Daniel Leavy fed loose-head prop Edward Byrne for a superbly worked try, converted by wing Mark Roche, for a 12-10 lead.
England left wing Anthony Watson opened the scoring when he popped up on the other side of the field to take Sam Hill's pass to the line in the 15th minute. Fly-half Will Holley converted.
Ireland's only second-season player at this level, scrum-half Luke McGrath, sniped the blindside unnoticed for a sharp try to narrow the gap to two points at the break.
England's Hooley stretched it to five with a 37th minute penalty.
After Ireland moved in front, England drove on mercilessly for full-back Jack Nowell to find top gear into the right corner. Replacement Henry Slade converted from the touchline. Then tries from replacement scrum-half James Lightfoot-Brown and centre Mark Jennings killed the game.