Irish part-timers stem the flow after Reilly strikes

England 36 - Ireland 12
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The Independent Online

Ireland's team of part-timers were well beaten but far from embarrassed in the final of the European Nations' Cup at Warrington yesterday.

Ireland's team of part-timers were well beaten but far from embarrassed in the final of the European Nations' Cup at Warrington yesterday.

This has been the invisible competition of the autumn, partly because it clashes with the higher profile Tri-Nations and partly because an England team made up of players not far off Test standard should always be far too good for opposition from the other home nations, and France and Russia. That was the way it looked for the first 24 minutes as England scored a point a minute and threatened to run riot.

England's first two tries came from the Huddersfield full-back Paul Reilly, the second of them from a lovely short pass by Hull's Richard Whiting. When Rob Burrow scored from Luke Robinson's break and Ben Westwood provided a scoring pass for Mark Calderwood, the signs were ominous for the Irish, but that was the end of England's fluency.

Ireland keep them scoreless from the 24th minute until the 65th, and got over for a try when Barrie McDermott, the most experienced of their three regular Super League players, crashed through a series of tackles.

Normal service resumed as England's captain, Rob Parker, went over from Robinson's pass, but Ireland were defiant, with David Bates scoring, albeit from a forward pass from Pat Weisner.

The constructive Robinson sent Nick Scruton over for the game's final try, but Karl Harrison's side had not exactly covered themselves with glory.

¿ Wigan have signed the London Broncos' scrum-half, Dennis Moran, on a two-year contract.

England: Reilly (Huddersfield), Calderwood (Leeds), Westwood (Warrington), Yeaman (Hull), Greenwood (London), Wilkin (St Helens), Robinson (Wigan), Dowes (Hull), Burrow (Leeds), Lynch (Castleford), Parker (Bradford), Coley (Salford), Langley (Bradford). Substitutes: Whiting (Hull), Crabtree (Huddersfield), Briscoe (Hull), Scruton (Leeds).

Ireland: Littler (Salford), De Chenu (Sheffield), McLoughlin (Oldham), Doran (Oldham), Dowling (Kilkenny), Fitzpatrick (Salford), Weisner (Halifax), Bates (Halifax), Cantillon (Halifax), McDermott (Leeds), McConnell (Barrow), Corcoran (Halifax), T Gallagher (Leeds). Substitutes: J Gallagher (Leeds), Darley (Featherstone), Foy (Kerry), Southern (Rochdale).

Referee: R Frileux (France).

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