HAMPSHIRE RUGBY

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The second game between the England Counties U18 and the Ireland Schools and Clubs was a nail biting, exciting game of thrilling rugby. 
 
Ireland, determined to overturn the result on Wednesday, came out with enormous determination and scored their first converted try early in the first half. They were excellent in the line out and in their driving mauls putting England under real pressure.
 
England replied with a superb try from the first of three set up by Hampshire's Zach Clow and the conversion was the first of many great kicks by the England number 15. Hampshire's Tom Knight Owen made some superb kicks and fantastic tackles relieving the pressure in a strongly contested game.
 
Ireland hit straight back with another converted try which England answered and each side had a penalty kick each so both sides were level at 17 when they went in at half time.
 
A keenly anticipated second half did not disappoint the large crowd of hundreds of supporters. With a scoreline more akin to a tennis match than a rugby game, each side continued to score alternately with Hampshire's Luke Spring coming on to make a real difference steadying the scrum and made a telling pass for a key try. The England side again showed their team cohesion, self belief and sheer determination.  It was 29 - 29 at last play after charged down kicks and conversions when a penalty was given to England and they won 32 -29. 
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Exhausted players and spectators alike  celebrated a hard fought England win against an excellent Ireland performance. 
The after match presentation of England caps was a fantastic end to seven months of continual assessment and a recognition of the players commitment and ability.
 

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