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Johne celebrates final win over Saxons

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Johne Murphy was among the try-scorers as Ireland A beat England Saxons in the Churchill Cup Final in Colorado on Sunday.

Clubmates Ben Woods and Tom Varndell were England’s try-scorers while tighthead prop Dan Cole completed the Tigers contingent, but it was the Irish who lifted the silverware for the first time with a 49-22 victory.

After picking up the trophy in each of the last years, it was the Saxons who led 6-0 early on, but the Irish soon hit their stride.

Winger Murphy grabbed the fifth of their six tries, latching on to a break featuring full-back Felix Jones and centre Fergus McFadden on the hour mark to claim his second score of the tournament.

Cole was sin-binned, along with Ireland No8 Chris Henry, shortly before half-time and they were soon joined by Irish skipper Neil Best.

The Saxons were already 27-12 in arrears when flanker Woods grabbed his try, despite the attentions of Murphy, after receiving an outside pass from Stuart Hooper.

Woods was later sin-binned and Varndell scored England’s second try in the dying minutes of the game.

Ireland A: Felix Jones (Seapoint/Leinster); Denis Hurley (Cork Constitution/Munster), Fergus McFadden (UCD/Leinster), Keith Matthews (Buccaneers/Connacht), Johne Murphy (Leicester Tigers); Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Isaac Boss (Ballymena/Ulster); Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht), Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster), Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Neil Best (Northampton Saints) (capt), Niall Ronan (Shannon/Munster), Chris Henry (Ballymena/Ulster).
Replacements: Niall O'Connor (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) for Henry (44 min), John Muldoon (Galwegians/Connacht) for O'Connor (52), Denis Fogarty (Cork Constitution/Munster) for Cronin (63), Bryan Young (Ballymena/Ulster) for Healy, Trevor Hogan (Blackrock College/Leinster) for Toner, Simon Keogh (Old Belvedere/Leinster) for Boss, James Downey (Northampton Saints) for Matthews (all 75).

England Saxons: Nick Abendanon (Bath); Noah Cato (Saracens), Dominic Waldouck (London Wasps), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Tom Varndell (Leicester Tigers); Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints), Micky Young (Newcastle Falcons); David Flatman (Bath), Rob Webber (London Wasps), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Stuart Hooper (Bath), Nick Kennedy (London Irish), Phil Dowson (Newcastle Falcons, capt), Ben Woods (Leicester Tigers), Luke Narraway (Gloucester).
Replacements: Dean Schofield (Sale Sharks) for Hooper (54 mins), Tom Guest (Harlequins) for Narraway, Tom Mercey (Saracens) for Cole (both 56), Danny Cipriani (London Wasps) for Myler, Shane Geraghty (London Irish) for Barritt (both 60), Joe Simpson (London Wasps) for Young (65), Joe Ward (London Wasps) for Webber (70).