England Saxons 23-17 Irish Wolfhounds

England Saxons 23

  • Tries: Spencer, Waldrom
  • Cons: Burns (2)
  • Pens: Burns (3)

Irish Wolfhounds 17

  • Tries: Kearney, O'Leary, Zebo
  • Cons: Madigan

Ben Spencer and Thomas Waldrom scored the tries but Freddie Burns's impressive kicking proved decisive as England Saxons overcame Ireland Wolfhounds at Sandy Park.

Gloucester fly-half Burns converted both tries and landed three penalties in a personal haul of 13 points.

Ireland ran in three tries to the hosts' two, courtesy of Dave Kearney, Tomas O'Leary and Simon Zebo.

But they could not compete with England's dominance up front.

Burns slotted an early penalty before Spencer capitalised on a drive by Paul Doran-Jones to cross over for the game's opening try. The Wolfhounds responded when Eoin O'Malley drifted wide to draw Matt Hopper and create a gap for Kearney to score.

The hosts enjoyed a lucky break after the interval when Burns's attempted chip deflected off Nevin Spence for Waldrom, who collected the loose ball and charged over the line.

O'Leary came on at scrum-half to revive the Wolfhounds by darting over from the base of a ruck. Two Burns penalties gave England a decisive 23-12 lead but the visitors kept plugging away and Zebo touched down in added time.

TEAM DETAILS

Saxons: Armitage, Monye, Hopper, Twelvetrees, Banahan, Burns, Spencer, Mullan, Gray, Doran-Jones, Garvey, Robson, Gaskell, Saull, Waldrom.

Replacements: May for Banahan (59), Hodgson for Spencer (65), Brooker for Gray (59), Myall for Garvey (46), Johnson for Saull (70).

Wolfhounds: Duffy, Kearney, O'Malley, Spence, Zebo, Keatley, Boss, Wilkinson, Varley, Archer, Tuohy, McCarthy, Muldoon, Henry, Ruddock.

Replacements: Hurley for Duffy (55), O'Leary for Boss (51), Loughney for Wilkinson (58), Sherry for Varley (65), Toner for McCarthy (61), McLaughlin for Muldoon (66).

Referee: Mr M Raynal (France).