More Grand Slam glory for Ireland as under-20s go back to back in the Six Nations

Irish Mirror   19/03/2023 20:04

IRELAND......36 ENGLAND.....24

Brian Gleeson hailed Ireland's under-20s as "warriors" after back to back Grand Slams were secured at Musgrave Park this evening.

Gleeson, 19, scored two tries in a man of the match display at the packed Cork venue as Richie Murphy's side held off England's challenge to claim the glory.

The former underage Tipperary hurler said Ireland had to dig deep to secure the victory as the Red Rose staged a dramatic late comeback.

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But it was more good news for Irish rugby on the back of Saturday's senior Grand Slam triumph. For the 20s, it is a third clean sweep in the championship in just five years.

"That's just the team we are," said Gleeson. "We always talk about putting your foot on their throat and being relentless, and I felt we did that at times.

"We said at the start of this tournament that everyone would have to be warriors, every single one of us - and we showed that today and throughout the campaign. So, delighted."

Like in the senior Test on Saturday, England were reduced to 14 men when out-half Monty Bradbury was red carded in the 53rd minute, and then to 13 for a time and Ireland looked home and hosed as they led 31-10 on the half hour.

But England stayed in the contest and two tries in six minutes for the visitors left seven points between the sides with four minutes remaining.

However sniping scrum-half Fintan Gunne got over for a 79th minute try - Ireland's sixth in the wet conditions - and that was the cue for the celebrations to begin.

Ireland's Fintan Gunne and George Hadden celebrate after Brian Gleeson scores a try from the maul

"It's unbelievable, first of all the atmosphere here in sold out Musgrave Park, you can't ask for better than that," added giant back row Gleeson.

"We were shaky enough towards the end but listen to that crowd, it was unbelievable and that's why we can do this.

"We knew we had to start strong because England are such a strong side and although they lost to France last week, it wasn't a true reflection of the game."

Ireland head coach Murphy said: "Big games like these are all about winning and we managed to get over the line, it's very satisfying.

"We're really delighted, we were brave and ambitious and we'll enjoy tonight.

"The Junior World Cup is going to be really interesting this year. We wanted to be in a good place heading into it and we're really looking forward to it."


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