Scotland U20 17 Ireland U20 10
Ireland’s under-20s made history for the wrong reasons by recording a third successive defeat in the junior Six Nations Championship, losing to Scotland in the final round at Netherdale last night.
The Irish side were unable to match the forward power of the Scots who repeatedly won the scrummaging contest and who were adept at the driving lineout. Behind the scrum, Ireland looked much the better of the two back divisions but even so they were unable to break down a determined Scotland defence.
Ireland put themselves under pressure straight from the kick-off after Nick McCarthy knocked on deep inside the Irish 22m. Scotland took advantage first by attacking off the ensuing scrum and then driving a penalty lineout, giving skipper Magnus Bradbury the opening try, which was converted by scrum-half George Horne.
The Irish threatened when winger Stephen Fitzgerald cut through in midfield but a brave tackle by Rory Hutchinson stopped the move. There was further disappointment for Ireland when Ross Byrne failed with a 40 metre penalty attempt.
From a driven lineout Scotland produced another try for lock Lewis Carmichael.
If Ireland’s talents had been suppressed by Scotland’s aggressive defence and forward power, then perceptions changed with a fine score by Stephen Fitzgerald, the Irish left wing finishing off clever handling from the backs division with Byrne, centre Gary Ringrose and right wing Ciaran Gaffney key players in the move.
Byrne’s conversion added to an earlier penalty brought Ireland to within two points of Scotland but the men in green were unable to make any further dents in the first half, leaving the Scots ahead at half-time by 12-10.
Ireland looked much more purposeful in the second half but against a strong Scotland forward pack they failed to add to their points tally, the nearest the came to a try being a short-range effort by centre Sam Arnold.
Thereafter Scotland dominated and were rewarded when Carmichael was driven over from a lineout to seal a fine win. For the young Scots it was also an historic night, recording their highest ever win in the championship.
Scorers for Scotland Tries Carmichael (2), Bradbury Cons Horne
Scorers for Ireland Tries Fitzgerald Cons Byrne Pens Byrne
SCOTLAND: R Howarth; B Robbins, T Galbraith (Russell , P Kelly, A Coombes; R Hutchinson, G Horne; M McCallum (D Elkington 55), S James (R Graham 63), Z Fagerson, S Cummings (A Davidson 71) L Carmichael, N Irvine-Hess, A Mille (R Knott 66r, M Bradbury
IRELAND: B Dardis (J Stockdale 59) ; C Gaffney, G Ringrose, S Arnold (J Stockdale 59), S Fitzgerald; R Byrne, N McCarthy (C Young 62); M Lagan (A Porte 53), Z McCall, C O’Donnell (O Hefferman 53), D O’Connor , A Thompson (J Dwan 63), J Murphy, N Timoney, L Dow
Referee: T Foley (England)
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