Ruddock's U-20s go down to Wales

IRELAND U-20s 24 WALES U-20s 38

IRELAND U-20s 24 WALES U-20s 38

The Ireland Under-20s were outscored by five tries to three when going down to Wales in today's 7th-8th place play-off at the IRB Junior World Championship.

Despite the defeat, it was still a memorable afternoon for Ireland full-back Andrew Conway whose first half try saw him draw level with New Zealand's Zac Guildford in the all-time top try-scoring stakes at the Junior World Championship.

Conway, who turns 20 next month, has scored 10 tries in as many matches – five each in the 2010 and 2011 tournaments. Guildford, now 22, is a two-time Junior World Championship winner and has gone on to play four Tests for the All Blacks so far.

The sides drew 26-26 when they met in April in the Six Nations, but Wales led from start to finish here against a tired-looking Ireland team.

Centre Lewis Robling crossed for the first Welsh try, four minutes in, which Conway replied to after James McKinney had missed a penalty.

Lock and captain Macauley Cook finished off for his side’s second, following a series of attacks in the Irish 22, and winger Liam Williams collected his own kick for a well-taken 37th-minute try.

The deficit would have been more had out-half Matthew Morgan, who kicked two early penalties, not failed with all three conversion attempts.

Ireland cut the gap back to 21-14 for half-time with a late try from winger Craig Gilroy who evaded a despairing tackle to score in the right corner, with Paddy Jackson adding an excellent conversion.

Mike Ruddock’s charges were still very much in the hunt and an early penalty in the second half from Jackson made it a four-point game.

However, that was as close as they could get to their Celtic rivals, with a penalty from Morgan and converted tries from forwards Cory Hill and Thomas Young giving Wales an unassailable lead.

Wales kept the scoreboard ticking over despite losing Morgan to a yellow card in the 59th minute.

Ireland did manage to have the final say when lock Iain Henderson broke through for his first try at this level, which his Ulster colleague Jackson converted.

IRELAND U-20: Andrew Conway (Blankrock/Leinster); Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster), Alex Kelly (UCD/Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster), Andrew Boyle (UCD/Leinster); James McKinney (Queen's University/Ulster), Kieran Marmion (UWIC/Exile); Finlay Bealham (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), David Doyle (UCD/Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Daniel Qualter (Buccaneers/Connacht), Iain Henderson (Queen's University/Ulster), Shane Buckley (Garryowen/Munster), Aaron Conneely (Galway Corinthians/Connacht), Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) (capt).

Replacements used: Eoin McKeon (Galwegians/Connacht) for Buckley (7-14 mins, blood sub), James Tracy (UCD/Leinster) for Bealham (24), Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster) for McKinney (28), Brendan Macken (Blackrock/Leinster) for Kelly (half-time), Eoin McKeon (Galwegians/Connacht) for Buckley (45), Jonathan Murphy (Banbridge/Ulster) for Doyle (51), Peter du Toit (UCD/Leinster) for Gilroy (59), Michael Kearney (Clontarf/Leinster) for Qualter (80+1).

WALES U-20: Steve Shingler (London Irish); Liam Williams (Llanelli), Iolo Evans (Scarlets/Llanelli), Lewis Robling (Dragons/Newport), Ross Jones (Ospreys/Bridgend); Matthew Morgan (Ospreys/Swansea), Jonathan Evans (Dragons/Newport); Will Taylor (Ospreys/Swansea), Kirby Myhill (Scarlets/Llanelli), Will Griff John (Blues/Pontypridd), Macauley Cook (Blues/Cardiff) (capt), Lloyd Peers (Ospreys/Bridgend), Luke Hamilton (Blues/Glamorgan Wanderers), Thomas Young (Blues/Cardiff), Ben Thomas (Ospreys/Bridgend).

Replacements used: Rheon James Scarlers/Carmarthen Quins) for Robling (9 mins), Cory Hill (Blues/Pontypridd) for Peers (53), Dale Ford (Scarlets/Llanelli) for I Evans (62), Lewis Smout (Blues/Pontypridd) for John (66), Owen Sheppeard (Blues/Pontypridd) for Hamilton (68), Lewis Jones (Blues/Pontypridd) for J Evans (74), Jamie Sollis (Dragons/Cross Keys) for Williams (80+4).

Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)

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