George Hadden delivered a momentous performance at Loose head prop for Ireland Under – 20’s versus England Under – 20’s in Musgrave Park, Cork on Sunday evening…
It was a stirring performance by the young man in a heated battle against the old enemy. The Irish team won the Triple Crown, Championship and Grand Slam in a greatly fought, feisty and really entertaining match on a score line of 36 – 24.
George started off very brightly, getting stuck in straight away with a nice pick and go. He followed up with a good tackle and then a massive effort in a choke tackle situation which gave possession to Ireland with a scrum. Despite coming up against a massive tighthead prop he did very well to keep a sturdy scrum and didn’t give an inch. His technique came to the fore once again this time in a pressure cooker environment. On to the next tasks with two great tackles to haul down English attackers and Hadden was really settling in.
At scrum time once more the Gorey RFC man was battling incredibly well against a much bigger opponent. The mauls Ireland were setting were impressive with George willing his forwards on to a big try in the first half. Yet again he was showing his adeptness at key plays with a good tackle and good carry, added to by a fantastic tackle that led to a crucial penalty for Ireland near the end of the first half. Before the half was out, he had actually started to get little nudges on the English tighthead which was massive news for strike plays for the Irish backs via scrum half Fintan Gunn.
At the start of the second half Hadden made a good bust, carrying hard in attack. He later showed some really soft hands with a tip on a pass which led to a yellow card for England after a great flowing move by Ireland. Soon after the Gorey RFC man scored a crucial try for Ireland with some great strength and low centre of gravity to get in under a tackle. It must have been an incredible feeling for him, knowing it stretched out the lead and set the boys on the road to the Grand slam. Back to basics he was tackling very well and went on a big rumble up the middle, taking in numerous English defenders and causing a bit of chaos in their ranks. Hadden finished off his shift with a nice tackle and carry.
Ireland held on despite some nervy moments near the end and scored themselves to take the heat off right at the end. With the final whistle all their dreams came through with a fabulous Grand Slam victory and winning the Triple Crown and Six nations Championship Trophies.
George, along with the Irish U-20’s Rugby team, will take part in the Rugby World Cup this summer.
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