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Irish U20 Debuts For Munster Representatives

3rd June 2014 By Munster Rugby

A change from Friday’s team announcement saw Munster’s Rory Burke start in the front row for Leinster’s Craig Trenier, with three Munster representatives winning their first U20 caps.

A change from Friday’s team announcement saw Munster’s Rory Burke start in the front row for Leinster’s Craig Trenier, with three Munster representatives winning their first U20 caps.

Despite a slow start, the Irish kept their nerve to run the French close in yesterday’s JWC Pool B opener.

A first half dominated by the French saw them kick two penalties and a drop goal, as well as Ivan Roux running in a converted try on 30 minutes.

Not to be undone by their opponents' sprightly start, the Irish remained composed, Ross Byrne opening the Irish account with a penalty on 6 minutes, and Cian Kelleher’s converted try on 36 minutes brought them right back into the game before the break.

A far more competitive second half saw the French tally reduced to one score, Brandon Fajardo landing his second drop goal of the game.

Irish dominance in the scrum played it’s part in the French coughing up 16 penalties in comparison to the Ireland’s 6. With two kicks at goal in the second half, Ireland could only land one of them through replacement
Conor McKeon, and with only 12 minutes to go, the French did just enough in defending a close in line out and two attacking scrums to hold out for a 19-13 victory

Ireland will still take encouragement from the performance on the night, notably in the second half. While four Munster representatives started for Ireland; Max Abbott, Rory Burke, Jack O’Donoghue (Capt) and Dan Goggin, a further three gained valuable experience in making their Irish U20s debuts from the bench – Ryan Foley, Diarmaid Dee and Darragh Moloney.

The weekend’s action saw the Welsh top the Pool B table with five points after their six-try 48-19 win over Fiji, while Ireland still pick up a losing bonus point for their efforts.

Mike Ruddock’s side are back in action on Friday when they face a must-win clash with Wales in Pukekohe.

Ireland U20 v France
Cian Kelleher (Billy Dardis 63), Ciaran Gaffney, Garry Ringrose, Dan Goggin, Ian Fitzpatrick; Ross Byrne, (Conor McKeon 61), Nick McCarthy (Ryan Foley 55); Peter Dooley (Denis Coulson 65), Max Abbott (Dylan Donnellan 55), Rory Burke (Oisin Heffernan); Stephen Gardiner (Darragh Moloney 61), Ross Molony; Peadar Timmins, Frank Taggart (Diarmaid Dee 55), Jack O’Donoghue – capt.

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