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Friday, 15 February, 2002, 20:12 GMT
Crockett's double destroys Irish
Ireland U-21s v Wales U-21s
Roger Wilson has a storming game for the Irish
England U21 28-23 Ireland U21

Bath's rookie centre Alex Crockett outshone his more illustrious clubmates Olly Barkley and Tom Voyce as England stumbled to a jittery victory at Coventry.

Crockett, who has yet to establish himself in Bath's Zurich Premiership squad, capped a mature performance with a try in each half.

Despite Crockett's contribution, England took a long time to subdue a lively and committed Irish side who played a full part in a fast and free flowing contest.

It was Ireland's second defeat after losing to an injury-time try to Wales a fortnight ago.

England got little change out of a combative Irish pack for whom number 8 Roger Wilson and locks Matt McCullough and Stephen Keogh were very prominent.

Struggled

However, they were let down by handling in the three-quarters the visitors might have avoided defeat.

Ireland twice took the lead through Stephen Keogh, the first a drive close-in, and then galloped over after an incisive break from scrum-half Brian O'Riordan.

Hooker Kevin Corrigan struggled to find his lineout jumpers and England's dangerous backs clicked again to secure the win.

England's other try-scorer was Gloucester centre James Simpson-Daniel who cut through with a cleverly angled run for the decisive score.

Confidence

Fly-half Barkley contributed the other 13 points with three penalties and two conversions.

Meanwhile, the Ireland Students side have lined up a possible Triple Crown in a fortnight's time at Donnybrook after a narrow 18-17 victory over England Students on Friday evening.

Following their easy victory over Wales two weeks ago, the Irish boys will now go into the game in Dublin against Scotland full of confidence.

The Irish Students always had the upper hand with full-back Jeremy Staunton in tremendous form.

He converted the opening try from winger Gary Browne and a couple of penalties while centre Kieran Lewis also touched down.

Links to more International stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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