This was a game that had a finish that matched what we had seen last weekend at the Millennium Stadium. This time around, it was Ireland who clawed their way back from being 18-11 behind to edge in front when Tyrone Howe crossed for a superb try, seven minutes from the end of normal time, a score that Brian O'Meara converted for a 21-18 lead. Then the English came steaming back and after he'd missed an easy drop-goal, Alex King levelled the match with a penalty in injury time.
But they were stunned by a superb Irish finale that culminated in full-back Mark McHugh booting a 50-metre penalty with the game's final kick. McHugh's strike, which bounced over off a post, arrived in the sixth minute of injury-time to send the Irish fans into raptures.
Ireland A v England A
Final Score: Ireland 24 England 21
15 Mark McHugh (Leinster/St Mary's College) 14 James Topping (Ulster/Ballymena) 13 Mike Mullins (Munster/Old Crescent) 12 David Quinlan (Leinster/Blackrock College) 11 Tyrone Howe (Ulster/Dungannon) 10 Barry Everitt (London Irish) 9 Brian O Meara (Leinster/ Cork Constitution) 1 Emmett Byrne (Leinster/St.Mary s College) 2 Paul Shields (Ulster/Ballymena) 3 Simon Best (Ulster/Belfast Harlequins) 4 Donnacha O Callaghan (Munster/Cork Constitution) 5 -Jeremy Davidson captain (Ulster/Dungannon) 6 Simon Easterby (Llanelli) 7 Kieron Dawson (London Irish) 8 Des Dillon (Leinster/UCD).
Replacements: 16 James Blaney (Munster/Shannon), 17 Peter Bracken (Connacht/Galwegians), 18 Mick O Driscoll (Munster/ Cork Constitution), 19 Aidan McCullen (Leinster/Lansdowne) 20 Michael Prendergast (Munster/Young Munster) 21 Jason Holland (Munster/Midleton) 22 Anthony Horgan (Munster/Cork Constitution)
D Scarbrough; P Christophers, F Waters, B Johnston, M Cueto; A King, A Gomarsall; J Forrester, A Vander, M Corry (capt.), C Jones, S Shaw, R Morris, M Regan, M Worsley.
Replacements: A Titterrell, M Fitzgerald, T Palmer, H Vyvyan, N Walshe, O Barkley, M Stephenson.