Ireland u20’s fall 32-28 to entertaining Scotland side.
The Ireland Under-20s succumbed to their second defeat at the World Rugby U-20 Championship in Georgia, going down 32-28 to Scotland and in the process end their hopes in this year’s tournament.
Ireland went into a ten point lead before Scotland fought back to lead 12-10 ahead at half-time with three second half tries guiding them to a well-earned bonus point.
Ireland twice got it back to a two-point game and also cut the deficit to four points late on, but Jack Kelly’s brace of tries – adding to Shannon scrum-half Jack Stafford’s score on his first start – was not enough in the end.
Full highlights can be seen here.
Ireland’s other 13 points were kicked by Conor Dean and Alan Tynan, and as Peter Malone’s youngsters come to terms with a frustrating second loss in Pool B, they must rally for a big final push against leaders New Zealand at the same venue on Thursday.
Following the Italy defeat, Ireland were determined to get back to winning ways and they were chasing their second victory of the season against Scotland who were edged out 20-19 in Cumbernauld at the start of the U-20 Six Nations.
The Scots, who lost 42-20 to the Baby Blacks, looked to stretch Ireland early on, moving the ball at pace in a frenetic opening, but it was Ireland who began the scoring.
An overthrown Scottish lineout allowed Malone’s charges to keep the pressure on and after Ciaran Frawley was just held up on the right, out-half Dean lobbed a 17th minute penalty through the posts.
Four minutes later, Ireland had their first try – and a 10-point lead – as quick thinking from Stafford saw him tap and go and force his way over from five metres out.
Scotland struck back by the half hour mark, though, as a classy counter-attack from their own 22 saw centre Ross McCann scamper in by the posts.
The Scots held onto the momentum approaching the interval and the stubborn Irish defence finally wilted in the 39th minute as hooker Renwick scored from the back of a maul to make it 12-10.
A 47th-minute penalty extended Scotland’s lead before Dean replied in kind, before a loose kick forward created another counter-attack try for Scotland’s Darcy Graham.
Nonetheless, Ireland’s resilience came to the fore yet again, former skipper Kelly picking a great line to break onto replacement Angus Curtis’s inviting pass and evade two defenders for a 57th-minute try.
The gap was back to two but, frustratingly, Connor Eastgate went over for the Scots just four minutes later, and although Tynan kept Ireland in touch with a penalty, Scotland repleied instantly with a fifth try, a flowing move that ended in a score by Robbie Nairn.
Ireland made Scotland sweat in the final few minutes when Kelly showed good strength to reach over in the right corner via a Tynan offload to reduce their lead cut to four points, but a last-minute knock-on from Caelan Doris as he attempted to take a quick tap brought Ireland’s challenge to an end.”
It doesn’t get any easier for Ireland who face New Zealand next.