Ireland U-20s fight back with impressive win against Wales

The Ireland U-20s played their way right back into contention in Pool B of the IRB Junior World Championship with a bonus point win over last year's runners-up Wales.

Ireland U-20s fight back with impressive win against Wales

Wales U-20s 21 Ireland U-20s 35

The Ireland U-20s played their way right back into contention in Pool B of the IRB Junior World Championship with a bonus point win over last year's runners-up Wales.

Mike Ruddock's young team showed impressive composure to run out 14-point winners at the ECOLight Stadiu in Pukekohe despite leaking two tries via scrum pressure and having Peter Dooley and Alex Wootton sin-binned either side of half-time.

Key to Ireland's first victory in New Zealand was a stunning start which saw Dooley's front row colleague Rory Burke and centre Garry Ringrose both cross the whitewash inside 11 minutes.

Wales' powerful scrum helped them close the gap to 17-14 by half-time, a late penalty try coming after Dooley was carded.

Ireland were down to 13 men when winger Wootton saw yellow for a clumsy challenge on Welsh number 10 Angus O'Brien and the young Dragons duly took advantage as number 8 James Benjamin scored from an advancing scrum.

O'Brien converted for a 21-17 lead but Wales failed to score over the remaining 33 minutes as Ireland seized the initiative again and were rewarded for playing much the brighter rugby.

Intelligent angles of running from the excellent Ringrose and Ciaran Gaffney, allied to a huge collective shift from the forwards, kept them on the front foot and the defensive workload took its toll on the Welsh.

The rangy Ringrose stood out in the number 13 jersey and he completed his brace of tries by stretching over in the 51st minute with out-half Byrne adding the extras.

Now back in front, Jack O'Donoghue and his team-mates continued to take the game to their opponents - importantly hanging on to a territorial advantage as the final quarter approached.

A second Byrne penalty widened the margin to 27-21, although he was then off target after Wales centre Jack Dixon was sin-binned for a tip tackle on Gaffney.

The Welsh remained within a converted score until they were caught offside from an Afon Bagshaw kick and Byrne nailed the three-pointer on this occasion, taking his own tally to 15 points.

A bonus-point try seemed unlikely at this late stage as Ireland focused on seeing out a bruising win, but their bubbling ambition earned them a full five-point return in the dying minutes.

Brilliant hands on the Welsh 22, including a deft pass from Ringrose, allowed Gaffney put full-back Cian Kelleher over in the right corner. A superb finish to a memorable night for Ruddock's charges.

The result puts Ireland second in the pool and gives them a shot at reaching the semi-finals.

They face Fiji next Tuesday, hoping for another bonus-point success and also a favourable outcome from the France-Wales clash.

WALES U-20: Ashley Evans (Ospreys); Tyler Morgan (Dragons), Steffan Hughes (Scarlets) (capt), Jack Dixon (Dragons), Joshua Adams (Scarlets); Angus O'Brien (Dragons), Luc Jones (Dragons); Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Nicky Thomas (Ospreys), Joe Davies (Dragons), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Olly Cracknell (RGC), Will Boyde (Carmarthen) James Benjamin (Dragons).

Replacements used: Tom Williams (Blues) for Jones (45 mins), Scott Otten (Ospreys) for Dee, Scott Matthews (Ospreys) for Boyde (both 59), Scott Andrews (Dragons) for J Davies (63), Ethan Davies (Dragons) for O'Brien (64), Afon Bagshaw (RGC) for Evans (68), Callum Lewis (Blues) for Thomas (69), Luke Garratt (Dragons) for Smith (78).

IRELAND U-20: Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster); Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians/Connacht), Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster), Dan Goggin (Young Munster/Munster), Alex Wootton (Garryowen/Munster); Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster), Nick McCarthy (UCD/Leinster); Peter Dooley (Lansdowne/Leinster), Max Abbott (Cork Constitution/Munster), Rory Burke (Cork Constitution/Munster), Darragh Moloney (Cork Constitution/Munster), Ross Molony (UCD/Leinster), Peadar Timmins (UCD/Leinster), Frankie Taggart (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Jack O'Donoghue (UL Bohemians/Munster) (capt).

Replacements used: Josh Murphy (UCD/Leinster) for Moloney (33 mins), Denis Coulson (Lansdowne/Leinster) for Murphy (38-49, temp sub), Ryan Foley (Cork Constitution/Munster) for McCarthy (49), Diarmaid Dee (Young Munster/Munster) for Taggart (67), Dylan Donnellan (UCD/Leinster) for Abbott, Oisin Heffernan (Lansdowne/Leinster) for Burke (both 73), Conor McKeon (Lansdowne/Leinster) for Byrne, Harrison Brewer (Terenure College/Leinster) for Goggin (both 77).

Referee: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)

Scorers:

Wales: Try: Tyler Morgan, Penalty try, James Benjamin; Cons: Angus O'Brien 3

Ireland: Tries: Rory Burke, Garry Ringrose 2, Cian Kelleher; Cons: Ross Byrne 3; Pens: Ross Byrne 3.

More in this section

CourtsRugbyHeathrowPlace: StadiuPlace: PukekohePlace: New ZealandPlace: RingrosePerson: Mike RuddockPerson: Peter DooleyPerson: Alex WoottonPerson: DooleyPerson: Rory BurkePerson: Garry RingrosePerson: WoottonPerson: Angus O'BrienPerson: James BenjaminPerson: O'BrienPerson: Ciaran GaffneyPerson: ByrnePerson: Jack O'DonoghuePerson: Jack DixonPerson: GaffneyPerson: Afon BagshawPerson: Cian KelleherPerson: RuddockPerson: Ashley EvansPerson: Tyler MorganPerson: Steffan HughesPerson: Joshua AdamsPerson: Luc JonesPerson: Nicky SmithPerson: Elliot DeePerson: Nicky ThomasPerson: Joe DaviesPerson: Rory ThorntonPerson: Olly CracknellPerson: Will BoydePerson: Tom WilliamsPerson: JonesPerson: Scott OttenPerson: DeePerson: Scott MatthewsPerson: BoydePerson: Scott AndrewsPerson: J DaviesPerson: Ethan DaviesPerson: EvansPerson: Callum LewisPerson: ThomasPerson: Luke GarrattPerson: SmithPerson: Dan GogginPerson: Ross ByrnePerson: Nick McCarthyPerson: Max AbbottPerson: Darragh MoloneyPerson: Ross MolonyPerson: Peadar TimminsPerson: Frankie TaggartPerson: Josh MurphyPerson: MoloneyPerson: Denis CoulsonPerson: MurphyPerson: Ryan FoleyPerson: McCarthyPerson: Diarmaid DeePerson: TaggartPerson: Dylan DonnellanPerson: AbbottPerson: Oisin HeffernanPerson: BurkeEvent: IRB Junior World ChampionshipOrganisation: Ireland U-20sOrganisation: WalesOrganisation: IrelandOrganisation: Wales'Organisation: DragonsOrganisation: RingroseOrganisation: WelshOrganisation: FijiOrganisation: FranceOrganisation: Wales U-20Organisation: OspreysOrganisation: ScarletsOrganisation: RGCOrganisation: CarmarthenOrganisation: BluesOrganisation: LansdowneOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: ConnachtOrganisation: UCDOrganisation: Young MunsterOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: GarryowenOrganisation: Cork ConstitutionOrganisation: Belfast HarlequinsOrganisation: UlsterOrganisation: UL Bohemians
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