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Farrell: Ireland’s young guns became men

Farrell: Ireland’s young guns became men

Farrell: Ireland’s young guns became men

Ireland’s young stars ‘became men’ during their contest with England, according to head coach Andy Farrell.

A Jonny May double inspired the hosts to a 18-7 victory at Twickenham to take them top of Group A on nine points, five clear of Ireland.

But Farrell was far from downbeat with the result instead insisting it was an afternoon where the young talent in his squad, including the likes of Caelan Doris and Ronan Kelleher, gained invaluable experience which they will benefit from in the future.

“We came to Twickenham to experience it for the first time for some of the lads,” Farrell said. “We found out about a lot of our players and I think some of them became men.

“You look at somebody like Caelan Doris, wow. What a performance. You look at somebody like Chris Farrell that’s not played too many games, I thought he was immense.

“A lot of our lads are going to gain invaluable experience.”

An opening period featuring plenty of sparring but no big hits was kicked into life courtesy of England wing May, who scored two tries in four minutes.

First, he latched on to Owen Farrell’s cross-field kick to break the deadlock in the 16th minute before he scored a truly stunning solo try from inside his own 22.

Farrell added six more points thanks to penalties in the second half but Ireland did threaten a late comeback when Jacob Stockdale crossed seven minutes from time.

That never came and Farrell was left to reflect on a second defeat to Eddie Jones’ men in 2020, although he was impressed with the determination and character on display from his side in the second half.

He added: “They’re a quality side aren’t they. I thought in the first half we started the game pretty well and controlled things pretty well.

“It was two tries from nothing, two breakaway tries and all of a sudden you find yourself going into half-time chasing your tail.

“But the fight and spirit we had in the second half, the players should be proud of themselves. We’re on a completely different journey to England.”

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