A last minute try from David Doyle helped Ireland snatch a draw in this enjoyable romp against Wales, however it was a game that Ireland’s youngsters should have had wrapped up in the first half. Full report on IRFU site here.
Wales (17) 26
TRY: Adam Warren, Owen Williams
CON: Matthew Morgan (2)
PEN: Matthew Morgan (4)
Ireland (18) 26
TRY: Martin Moore, Craig Gilroy, David Doyle
CON: Paddy Jackson
PEN: Paddy Jackson (3)
Ireland dominated three quarters of this game but mistakes kept the hosts in the hunt and a rousing last quarter from the Welsh side looked to have snatched the win with Wales leading 26 – 21 with the clock on the 80 minute mark. Ireland produced a composed finish and drove a series of penalties up the field for Doyle to barge over the line for the equalising score.
Ulster’s Paddy Jackson looked to have landed the conversion, under intense pressure from the home support, but the ball clipped the post and landed pitch side denying Ireland a deserved win.
In truth Ireland were the authors of their own misfortune gifting a somewhat subdued Wales two tries in a frenetic first half. Jackson put Ireland ahead with a penalty from a scrum but shortly after Wales took the lead following a mix up between Ulster’s Blane McIlroy and Jackson with the Welsh pouncing on a fumble for Adam Warren to score and Matthew Morgan convert.
Jackson hit back with his second penalty and as the game settled down the Irish pack began to dominate the scrum and the loose. The Irish back three looked on form with Craig Gilroy, Andrew Boyle and Michael Sherlock all coming into the line well with Jackson finding the runners with unerring accuracy.
On the twenty minute mark a break by Jackson opened the Welsh defence and from the resulting lineout the impressive prop Martin Moore barged over for the try and three minutes later Jackson and Gilroy combined for the Ulster winger to power his way to the line from half way with birthday boy Gilroy showing great strength to take two defenders over the line with him. Jackson added the extras and Ireland looked comfortable with the score reading 7 – 18.
Ireland relaxed and lost concentration allowing the Welsh to sneak another converted try through Owen Williams, and with the Welsh out half Morgan bagging a penalty before the break the teams turned round with the surprisingly close score of Wales 17 Ireland 18.
Ireland dominated the opening quarter of the second half but a Jackson penalty was scant reward for the pressure. The Welsh grew in confidence as the half progressed and their pack roused themselves for a strong finish forcing three Morgan penalties in the closing minutes of the game giving the hosts a 26 – 21 lead as the clock ticked down.
With time up a loose kick from Wales was fielded by Ireland and after a series of penalties Ireland worked their way into the Welsh 22 for Doyle to crash over for the equalising score.
Wales: Steve Shingler (Scarlets/Llanelli), Adam Warren (Llandovery), Ben John (Ospreys/Aberavon), Owen Williams (Blues/Cardiff), Harry Robinson (Blues), Matthew Morgan (Ospreys/Swansea), Lewis Jones (Pontypridd), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets/Llanelli), Kirby Myhill (Scarlets/Llanelli), Will Taylor (Ospreys/Swansea), Macauley Cook (capt, Blues/Cardiff), Matthew Screech (Blues/Pontypridd), Edward Siggery (Pontypridd), Luke Hamilton (Blues/Glamorgan Wanderers), Ben Thomas (Ospreys/Bridgend). Replacements: Sam Parry (Llandovery), Rob Evans (Scarlets/Carmarthen Quins), Cory Hill (Blues/Pontypridd), Owen Sheppeard (Blues/Pontypridd), Jonathan Evans (Dragons/Newport), Rheon James (Carmarthen Quins), Joseff Griffin (Blues/Cardiff).
IRELAND: Michael Sherlock (Leinster), Craig Gilroy (Ulster), Alex Kelly (Leinster), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Andrew Boyle (Leinster), Patrick Jackson (Ulster), Blane McIlroy (Ulster), James Tracy (Leinster), Niall Annett (Ulster) (C), Martin Moore (Leinster), Michael Kearney (Leinster), Daniel Qualter (Connacht), Shane Buckley (Munster), Aaron Conneely (Connacht), Jordi Murphy (Leinster). Replacements: David Doyle (Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Cathal O’Flaherty (Munster), Mark Dolan (Connacht), JJ Hanrahan (Munster), Tiernan O’Halloran (Connacht)