Imagine Rugby Blogs

England Sign Off With A Win

Revenge for Six Nations defeat for Johnson's side

Posted Aug 31, 2011 by Chris White

Matt Banahan resists a tackle from Jamie Heaslip shortly before he picks up an injury

With just two weeks until the World Cup and with their squad already finalised, it was time for some of those named in the 30-man party to nail down a starting spot in the side, and for England there were plenty who showed that they’re hungry enough to fight for a place in Martin Johnson’s team.

An early try from Manu Tuilagi set England on their way to a 20-9 win at the Aviva Stadium, just five months after a defeat in the Six Nations stopped them winning the Grand Slam.

After some good work from James Haskell, England moved the ball out of the scrum and wide to Tuilagi who beat Keith Earls and touched down to give the visitors an early lead that Jonny Wilkinson converted. Ireland replied soon after with a penalty from Ronan O’Gara but two from Wilkinson extended England’s lead to 13-9 at the break, with O’Gara adding two more penalties.

England stretched their lead early in the second half, despite Chris Ashton being in the sin-bin, when Delon Armitage collected Mike Tindall’s kick and touched down with Wilkinson adding the extras to move the lead to 20-9, which was how it was to remain despite several penalty attempts from both sides.

It wasn’t all good news for England, as they lost Mark Cueto and Hendre Fourie to injury within the first 20 minutes, and Ireland were also hampered by the losses of David Wallace who was stretchered off with a knee problem and Jamie Heaslip was also replaced, again in the first half.

England now travel to the southern hemisphere and play their first game against Argentina on 10th September, while Ireland will have to regroup before their match with America a day later.

Ireland team vs England: 15 Murphy, 14 Bowe, 13 Earls, 12 D’Arcy, 11 Trimble, 10 O’Gara, 9 Reddan; 1 Healy, 2 Flannery, 3 Ross, 4 O’Callaghan, 5 O’Connell, 6 Ferris, 7 Wallace, 8 Heaslip.

Replacements: Best, Court, Ryan, Leamy, Murray, Sexton, McFadden

England team vs Ireland: 15 Foden, 14 Ashton, 13 Tuilagi, 12 Tindall, 11 Cueto, 10 Wilkinson, 9 Wigglesworth; 1 Sheridan, 2 Thompson, 3 Cole, 4 Deacon, 5 Lawes, 6 Croft, 7 Fourie, 8 Haskell.

Replacements: Hartley, Stevens, Shaw, Palmer, Flood, Armitage, Simpson.

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