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Irish starlets off to great start

This was an impressive start to what could be a great year for the Irish U-20 side and, while the weather ensured we wouldn't get to see what Mike Ruddock's men could offer out wide, there was enough in a superb pack to suggest they could go places.

Scotland just never managed to deal with the Irish forwards, who laid the foundation for victory in the opening half when they led 20-0 in Athlone last night.

The heavy rain made constructive rugby almost impossible, but it was apparent from the early stages that the Irish line-out and scrum was superior.

Jack O'Donoghue spotted a gap and squeezed over after 28 minutes.

Ross Byrne added the extras and did likewise with the final kick of the half after another series of surges coughed up a try for one of last year's survivors Peadar Timmins.

Ireland finally pulled further in front after 58 minutes when O'Donoghue got his second try with a tap and go, although he had to go off after injuring himself in the process.

A superb tackle by Ian Fitzpatrick on replacement Ruaidh Young set up the fourth Irish try 12 minutes from time and Oisin Heffernan was credited with the touchdown as he and O'Brien bundled over the line.

Byrne added his fourth conversion of the night.

Scotland were rewarded when Ben Vellacott chipped and chased to score, with Ben Cooper adding the conversion from out on the right.

IRELAND: D Busby (C McKeon 69); A Byrne, G Ringrose (D Goggin 58), P Robb, I Fitzpatrick; R Byrne, N McCarthy (J Cullen 58); P Dooley (J Walshe 58), M Abbott (S Delahunt 58), R Burke (O Heffernan 58); S O'Brien, Ross Molony (J Joyce 58); P Timmins, D Leavy (capt), J O'Donoghue (Rory Moloney 59).

SCOTLAND: G Lowe (R Young 56); J Farndale (B Cooper 56), D Hoyland, N Herron, S Pecqueur; B Chalmers, M McAndrew (B Vellacott 56); J Malcolm (J Cosgrove 40), S James (R Graham 52), D Rae (P Cringle 59); A Cramond (L Carmichael), G Young; M Bradbury, T Spinks (capt), B Richardson.

Referee: C Blessano (Italy).

Belfast Telegraph


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