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Wolfhounds Defeat As Irish Independent Park Opens

31st January 2015 By Munster Rugby

The newly redeveloped Irish Independent Park opened its doors to its first competitive action tonight with a sell-out encounter between Ireland Wolfhounds and England Saxons.

The newly redeveloped Irish Independent Park opened its doors to its first competitive action tonight with a sell-out encounter between Ireland Wolfhounds and England Saxons.

In keeping with safety regulations for the new development, the full capacity of the stadium (10000) will be introduced on a phase by phase basis with 8,200 the maximum capacity permitted for tonight’s game.

Disappointingly it was a home defeat for the Wolfhounds side as they were beaten 18-9 in a scrappy affair at the Cork venue.

From a Munster perspective highlights included Felix Jones captaining his first Ireland squad and the return of Keith Earls who played the full 80 minutes.

Also the province’s representation increased with the late inclusion of Andrew Conway on the bench after Craig Gilroy was called into the starting XV in place of Luke Fitzgerald. Conway was introduced after 12 minutes replacing the injured Fergus McFadden.

Ian Madigan kicked all of Ireland A’s points and his opposite number Henry Slade scored all of the visitors points in the opening forty.

Despite a positive start from the men in green the opening 20 minutes was a stop-start affair with neither side producing a score, before Slade crossed for the first score of the game after 23 minutes.

The Saxons were rewarded for a consistent period of ball retention and after building the phases inside the Wolfhounds 22 the outhalf crossed for a well taken try in the corner.

Slade followed up with two penalties before the half and Ireland’s only reply was from a 35th minute shot at goal by Madigan to leave it 11-3 at the break.

Two further successes from the Dubliner made it a two-point game, but the hosts failed to get within reach of the Saxons try-line and a powerful set of closing phases paved the way for a clinching seven-pointer from replacement Christian Wade late on.

Ireland Wolfhounds: Felix Jones Capt. (Craig Gilroy 77); Fergus McFadden (Andrew Conway 12), Keith Earls, Gordon D’Arcy, Craig Gilroy (Noel Reid 72), Ian Madigan, Kieran Marmion (Isaac Boss 54); Jack McGrath (Michael Bent 58), Richardt Strauss (Rob Herring 50), Mike Ross (Nathan White 53), Iain Henderson, Mike McCarthy (Robbie Diack 39), Dominic Ryan, Jack Conan, Sean O’Brien (Eoin McKeon 50).

Replacements: Rob Herring, Michael Bent, Nathan White, Robbie Diack, Eoin McKeon, Isaac Boss, Noel Reid, Andrew Conway.

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