U20 6 Nations: Ireland secure Grand Slam while England and France also win

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Coach Logic

Ireland sealed the Grand Slam in the U20 6 Nations on Friday night with a 26-17 victory over Wales in Colwyn Bay.

 

Ireland had already sealed the title with a round to spare, but travelled to Wales eager to finish the campaign off perfectly, sealed the Grand Slam that will send them into the World Rugby U20 Championships in Argentina this summer as one of the favourites.

 

Their campaign got off to a stunning start, a 35-27 victory over a loaded England side in Cork before a 24-5 defeat of Scotland at Meggetland.

 

Round 3 saw the Irish travel to Italy for a 34-14 victory, while Wales’ 11-10 defeat of England made them Ireland’s likely closest challengers.

 

However in Round 4 Ireland secured the title when Scotland stunning Wales and Ireland beat the reigning champions, France, in an absolute thriller, 31-29.

 

That meant that on Friday the Grand Slam was all that mattered. They were made to work for it though, at half time Wales led 10-7, with eight to go the Irish were still behind, 17-14.

 

However in those final eight minutes the character of this magnificent Irish side shone through as they crossed the line through replacement scrum half Colm Reilly to take a 19-17 lead. As the clock moved into the red the men in green then scored the try that confirmed the Grand Slam with tighthead prop Thomas Clarkson crashing over to cue the celebrations, Jake Flannery converting to leave the final score at 26-17 in Ireland’s favour.

 

France meanwhile confirmed second place after winning a real thriller in Italy 35-31. The reining World Champions have had an up and down tournament, beat Wales, Scotland, and Italy but losing to England and Ireland. Italy meanwhile have probably been slightly brighter than results suggest and look to be very much on the up.

 

England rounded their campaign in style, a comprehensive 45-7 defeat of Scotland that included a try for Alfie Barbeary, who is still a pupil at Bloxham School. It has been a strange tournament for England, who will be particularly happy with their defeat of France in Round 2 but will no doubt be disappointed to have lost at the death to Wales the following round. Scotland, meanwhile, have had another tough year, though the round 4 defeat of Wales was a high point.

 

For all six teams the World Rugby U20 Championships are the next stop on the horizon, taking place in Argentina this June France will be defending the title the won on home soil last year, but after such a strong performance in the Six Nations Ireland might just be eyeing up another charge to the final as they had in 2016.

 

Do not forget though that England have been in the last six finals in a row, indeed of the eleven tournaments they have been in nine finals. Wales will also fancy a real crack. They reached the final in 2013 and would love another crack at the main semi finals.

 

U20 6 Nations Round 5 Results:

 

England 45-7 Scotland

Italy 31-35 France

Wales 17-26 Ireland

 

U20 6 Nations Final Table:

 

 

Pos Team W D L BPs Points
1 Ireland 5 0 0 6 26
2 France 3 0 2 5 17
3 England 3 0 2 4 16
4 Wales 2 0 3 2 10
5 Italy 1 0 4 3 7
6 Scotland 1 0 4 2 6

 

Previous Rounds:

 

Round 4

 

England 35-10 Italy

Ireland 31-29 France

Scotland 27-20 Wales

 

Round 3

France 42-27 Scotland

Italy 14-34 Ireland

Wales 11-10 England

 

Round 2

England 31-19 France

Italy 12-42 Wales

Scotland 5-24 Ireland

 

Round 1

France 32-10 Wales

Ireland 35-27 England

Scotland 22-32 Italy

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