| 7.9°C Belfast

Ulster ace Craig Gilroy plays key role in Irish success

Italy u-20s 9 Ireland u-20s 28:Ireland got their defence of the U-20 Six Nations Championship off to a good start in Parma last night thanks to a brace of tries from Craig Gilroy in the closing stages.

Prop Jack Tracy got Ireland's opening try after 32 minutes following a superb jinking run by Andrew Boyle on the left wing.

Paddy Jackson extended Ireland's lead with three penalties before a super break from Luke Marshall sent Gilroy over, with Jackson's conversion making it 21-9. Several injuries, numerous unforced errors, sloppy penalties and a number of substitutions meant that neither team were able to build any momentum in what was a dour second half.

Ireland finished in style when Brendan Macken set Gilroy up for his second try four minutes later to seal the win.

Italy found themselves with sustained possession in the Irish 22 without ever really threatening the Irish line.

Ireland were reduced to 13 men near the end with two yellow cards but they were able to see off the home side, who managed to cross the line in injury time only to have it called back for obstruction.

Belfast Telegraph