Ireland U20 22 France U20 5
Hopefully this is a taste of what’s to come at the Aviva Stadium today, after Ireland U20 got their kicking right and punished a French side who lost their way.
Mike Ruddock’s men, winners over England in their last home game but coming off a defeat to Scotland were dominant for most of an entertaining clash and they will head to Italy next week hoping to round off the Six Nations with another win.
Tom Daly led the way with an outstanding display of kicking as Ireland ran out comprehensive winners, landing six kicks from seven attempts.
Ireland recovered from a slow start but once their superior set-piece kicked in, they started to build the phases and a Daly penalty after six minutes settled them.
Daly, with his unique one-step approach to his kicks, was outstanding but France struck a blow when hooker Romain Ruffenach blocked down a clearance from Irish out-half Steve Crosbie and got over for an 11th minute try.
But a brace of penalties from Daly edged Ireland back in front. Their ability to support the ball carrier saw them create good openings, forcing France to concede penalties.
Eventually referee Luke Pearce lost patience with a penalty count of 9-2 after half an hour and winger Florian Vialelle was binned for a deliberate knock-on. By then Daly had added a fourth penalty and he made it 15-5 from 38 metres.
France pressed after the restart but their handling was dreadful and so too was their discipline and any notion of a comeback disappeared on 63 minutes when replacement scrum-half Baptiste Serin was binned, and then a minute later outside centre Gael Fickou also received a yellow.
Ireland turned the screw with flanker Conor Joyce running a fine line to get over for a try. Daly landed the conversion from the right wing to make it 22-5 after 65 minutes and they ran out easy winners.
Scorers for Ireland: C Joyce try, T Daly con, 5 pens.
Scorers for France: R Ruffenanch try. IRELAND: S Olding; D Panter, T Daly, R Scannell, R Scholes; S Crosbie, L McGrath; P Dooley, G McGuigan, C Taylor, G Thornbury, J Donnan, C Joyce, J van der Flier, R Murphy.
Replacements: R Furniss for Taylor 24, S McCarthy for Thornbury 47, J Andrew for McGuigan 51, D Leader for Panter 62, P Timmins for van der Flier 69, M Roche for Olding 73, J Creighton for McGrath 75, A Boland for Dooley 75.
FRANCE: N Metge; F Vialelle, G Fickou, T Regard, S Parez; V Mallet, Y Domenech; C Baille, R Ruffenach, K Vartanov, JB Singer, P Jedrasiak, JB Lespinasse, F Cros, M Babillot.
Replacements: L Bastien for Singer 48, Yá Camara for Lespinasse 52, B Serin for Domenech 58, E Selponi for Mallet 58, O Ishchenko for Baille 58, P Cotet (USA Perpignan) for Bastien 74.
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
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