Young Wexford man Charlie Tector put in an impressive man of the match performance against a gallant England side away from home in the Saracens rugby stadium, London…
After his last-minute conversion to claim the points against France earlier in the Six Nations, it’s not the first time that Wexford’s Charlie Tector has grabbed headlines.
Over the weekend in the same competition, the mercurial out-half slotted an amazing 17 points for the boot in Ireland’s 42-27 victory over England.
In fact, he only missed one kick out on the far right touchline, recording 7/8, which wasn’t a bad return whatsoever.
The display by the Rathnure native ensured he guaranteed his country a shot at a Grand slam u-20’s six nations title when they face Scotland in Cork next weekend.
Right from the off, Charlie Tector’s organisational skills were to be heard over the ref’s microphone with the Rathnure native barking orders at his forwards.
He started off very maturely in the match with a howitzer of a penalty punt, landing the ball in the England ’22 from his own ’22.
He then showed dogged determination and bravery for his side in the trenches by regathering a resultant overthrow from the Irish hooker.
However, England went on the front foot and scored and penalty and try in quick succession. The Wexford man was left on restart duties for a while with one hanging restart placing a lot of pressure on England.
Tector was again on mopping up duties which lead to Ireland possession and a handy penalty goal for the Rathnure man to kick easily between the sticks.
A great penalty kicked Ireland into good field position, but the attack broke down. Moments later, Charlie attacked the line menacingly with a nice step. The attacking build-up led to a nice try for Ireland. He slotted an easy conversion to bring the sides level.
The young Wexfordian was well up for a battle against the old enemy and he was putting in some fantastic tackles on the boys in white. Again, using his size and step, Tector went on the attack drawing in a defender and passing brilliantly to set up an attack down the left touchline. After multiple phases, Ireland sailed over to dot down for a try. Tector then nudged over a great conversion under pressure, leaving it 17-10 to Ireland at this point.
The Rathnure man was standing up for his teammates, passionately putting his body on the line to help repel to strong surges from England players right in front of Ireland’s try, showing that steely determination he possesses.
Like a rock of the Blackstairs Mountain, he held firm against the onslaught. This led to an England mistake eventually and a relieving dropout from Tector.
With more attacks from England, the ten was going into defensive overdrive and he was very unlucky helping to hold up a dart from the England hooker over the line only to see the ball slip backwards for the England No.8 and Captain to eventually score a try.
With the second half underway and the sides inseparable, Tector decided the restart was going downtown and high, leaving England in all sorts of bother in their ’22 region. Ireland took hold of possession. The Irish team then pushed through for a try of their own in what was fast becoming a rugby classic.
The Wexfordian was again showing his positive mindset, going on the front foot and threatening the defensive cohesion of the English. A decent penalty punt from the 10 meant that he would go out on his own as the top point scorer in the u-20’s 6 nations tournament so far.
Although he did receive the man of the match award, his performance was not without flaws. A rare mistake from Charlie not allowing for the bounce of the ball on an artificial surface meant an England scrum on Ireland’s own ’22 and an immediate try.
In fairness, he shrugged off the disappointment though, producing a quality restart again. This placed the English u-20’s in chaos, and eventually this led to an Ireland try and a bonus point try. Typically, the Rathnure man knocked over a fabulous conversion.
Tector then found himself on the defensive, using his imposing strength to enthusiastically help hold up an English player in a maul situation resulting in an Ireland scrum.
Ireland went further ahead with a great try from Irish sub Aitzol King, with Charlie converting from wide.
The dodgy pass from the young Wexfordian, later on, resulted in confusion in England ranks as it sat up nicely for Ireland to send our right winger King at it again barrelling over in the Corner.
Later, Ireland built good forward momentum in the England half and at 39–22 up, it was decided to heap on the points as Tector slotted over another nice penalty to make it 42-22 before he was subbed off.
It was a magical display of out-half prowess from the young Rathnure man, something that he can be very proud of. He showed all the skills and determination and attitude needed for top-flight rugby in this magnificent man of the match display away from home against our biggest rivals.
It was a great match for him and it was everything his teammates wanted from their key play-maker and general of the backs.
Ireland went on to win on a scoreline of 42–27 and now we await a mouth-watering clash with the Scots in what will be a bouncing Musgrave park Cork to hopefully get over the line and win a beautiful and coveted Grand slam title.
By Byron Jones
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