Moscow flyer shows the way

 

Schools International/Ireland - 27 England - 18: Ireland Schools posted four tries in an impressive exhibition of back and forward play to beat England Schools in an exciting game at Temple Hill on Saturday.

Blackrock winger Vasily Artemiev showed speed and no little skill to run in two tries in what proved an impressive start to the Four Nations Schools campaign by the Peter Melia-coached side.

Artemiev, a Moscow native, provided two of the highlights of an entertaining contest that ebbed and flowed, but the England lads will feel they should have exploited a monopoly of possession during the first half. Though getting a dream start and looking like cutting the Irish to shreds after storming 11-3 ahead on 25 minutes, the visitors failed to build on fine approach work.

In fairness, the Irish - after an undistinguished start - held firm late in the opening half, upped the tempo considerably after the interval and deserved to win.

England got a great start when fullback Peter Swatkins stole in for an early try, the Ireland defence looking disjointed. Still, Ireland plugged away up front, Belvedere's Cian Healy making the hard yards alongside Rory Hamilton and David Pollack. Brian Collins slotted a penalty before a spell of domination by the England pack forced Ireland to concede two penalties, which Giles Pryor sweetly converted.

England continued to pummel the Irish but could not cross the tryline, and, in a rare foray into the England half shortly before the break, Healy was on hand to take an inside pass from Collins and dot down. The outhalf converted to leave only a point in it - 11-10 - at the interval.

Healy continued to impress in the tight and the loose, and his strong run after the interval put Artemiev in at the corner.

Artemiev was on hand again in the 51st minute to take advantage of a smart break from Adam Bartholomew to notch his second, which was converted by Collins.

Jack Adam sprinted over for a try to give England hope entering the final 10 minutes but Ireland had the last say when the excellent Bartholomew stole down the blind side for a fine try.

IRELAND: L Fitzgerald (Blackrock); S Hanratty (Gonzaga), M McRea (Belfast HS), K Earls (St Munchin's), V Artemiev (Blackrock); B Collins (Castleknock), A Bartholomew (Royal School Armagh); C Healy (Belvedere), C Culleton (Blackrock), R Burke-Flynn (St Michael's); T Anderson (Rainey), C McInerney (St Mary's); R Hamilton (Methodist), W Fallon (RS Armagh), D Pollack (RS Dungannon). Replacements: O McMurray (Methodist) for Fitzgerald (temp 6); D Gilchrist (Belvedere) for Culleton (38); M Ferguson (Sullivan Upper) for Burke-Flynn and D Keogh (CBC) for Fallon (68); D Moore (Blackrock) for Collins, J Shiels (RS Dungannon) for Bartholomew and N Simpson (Blackrock) for Healy (69).

ENGLAND: P Swatkins; S Caven, J Appleton, J Adams, I Davey; G Pryor, S Alford; R Batty, M Wernham, O Tomaszczyk; I Kench, G Townson; S Stitcher, J Cann, T Wood. Replacements: H Walford for Swatkins (43); A Sykes for Kench (45); P O'Grady for Davey (49); C Steel for Tomaszczyk (56); C Nelson for Cann (68).

Referee: T Hayes (WRU).