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Irish close to World Cup semi after seeing off Scots

Ireland are now dreaming of under-20 World Cup glory after they defeated Scotland 24-20 at the weekend.

It will be a tall order for Nigel Carolan's men but they have set themselves up for a right crack at the All Blacks in Wednesday's pool decider.

Ireland did squander many chances against the Scots by spilling ball but handling was made difficult by the greasy ball in serious humidity and temperatures topping 30 degrees throughout.

At least Wednesday's clash with the Baby Blacks will be at the cooler time of 8.30pm. New Zealand, too, have won both their games but while they hammered Scotland 68-10, they looked far from invincible in scoring a penalty two minutes from time to break Argentine hearts for the second time in just four days.

It was small consolation to Los Pumitas that the crowd in Calvisano gave them a standing ovation after their 32-29 loss.

Irish coach Carolan said they would take encouragement from that game, but he plans to concentrate on his own men. They don't intend to train between the games, just having a captain's run to allow bodies recover from another gruelling test.

"We wanted to be in contention going into the final pool match and that's where we are," said Carolan. "We know we have areas we can improve on and we will need to improve on if we are to have a go at New Zealand. It may have been tight but we have put ourselves in a position to qualify for the semi-finals.

"It will be a big challenge but these are good players and they have won two games and still have plenty of room for improvement. We will be having a crack at New Zealand, no doubt about that."

Belfast Telegraph


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