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It was heartbreak for the second match in a row for Ireland’s youngsters as they slipped to their second defeat in the 2011 Junior World Cup with South Africa proving just to strong,  pulling away in the closing minutes for a flattering 42 – 26 win.

Mike Ruddock and his charges will again be wondering what might have been as Ireland failed to capitalise on their chances. While they have shown that they can live with the junior powerhouses of England and South Africa in terms of commitment, skill and effort, they are still missing that clinical composure as the line beckons with try scoring opportunities going begging in each half.

The Irish youngster’s had a least learnt a lesson from their poor start against England, taking the game to the South African’s in the opening minutes and were rewarded with a penalty from James McKinney. Unfortunately the Boks hit back straight from the re-start with the impressive Francois Venter slicing through the Irish midfield with alarming ease for the opening try. Johan Goosen converted.

Ireland pushed hard and should have scored a try with Eoin McKeon coming close and Conway through but failing to hold on to the ball. McKinney and Goosen swapped a couple of penalties a piece before South Africa showed Ireland how to do it with Venter slicing through for his second try and shortly after Eben Etzebeth went over after a turnover at a scrum. McKinney added his forth penalty in-between and with the score at 12 – 27 in South Africa’s favour it looked that the game might run away from Ireland.

However a fantastic piece of individual brilliance from Andrew Conway saw the Leinster youngster dance clear to score just before the break and with McKinney adding the extras the teams turned round with Ireland trailing by 8 with the scoreboard reading Ireland 19 South Africa 27.

Both teams suffered from the sapping conditions in the second half as the error count rose. Ireland should have opened the scoring following a break and cross filed chip by Conway, but an out of sorts Craig Gilroy failed to gather at his first attempt and the chance went begging. South Africa made them pay with a monster drop goal from Goosen taking the score to 19 – 30 at the end of the third quarter.

Despite this Ireland looked to have forced a change in momentum, winning midfield battles and playing the game in the Boks half. Unfortunately a lack of composure saw them lose ground through a couple of dodgy lineouts and forward passes and South Africa extended their lead to 19 – 35 with a try from Wandile Mjekevu. Game over.

Ireland plugged away and good work from Luke Marshall and Gilroy, carried on by replacement hooker David Doyle, sent Conway in for his second try of the night, which Patrick Jackson converted, but at 26 – 35 the most Ireland could hope for was a losing bonus.

That option was denied them shortly after with Arno Botha going over in the dying seconds to close out the game for the South Africans.

Final Score: Ireland 26 South Africa 42

Images from players parents below.

TEAM SHEETS PLUS MATCH STATS IN THE DROPDOWN BELOW

Match Stats. [Courtesy of IRB JWC Website]

Ireland South Africa
James Tracy1Stephan Kotze
Niall Annett (C)2Michael Van Vuuren
Tadhg Furlong3John Roy Jenkinson
Michael Kearney4Ruan Venter
Daniel Qualter5Eben Etzebeth
Jordi Murphy6Nizaam Carr
Aaron Conneely7Cornell Du Preez
Eoin McKeon8Arno Botha (C)
Kieran Marmion9Lohan Jacobs
James McKinney10Johan Goosen
Craig Gilroy11Wandile Mjekevu
JJ Hanrahan12Francois Venter
Brendan Macken13Bradley Moolman
Andrew Conway14Courtnall Skosan
Tiernan O’Halloran15Ulrich Beyers
David Doyle (R)16Mbongeni Mbonambi (R)
Conor Carey (R)17Nic Schonert (R)
Iain Henderson (R)18Jean Cook (R)
Dominic Gallagher (R)19Siya Kolisi (R)
Peter Du Toit (R)20Pieter Rademan (R)
Paddy Jackson (R)21Johnny Welthagen
Luke Marshall (R)22Paul Jordaan (R)

Scorers
Player nameTypeTimeHalfPlayer nameTypeTimeHalf
James McKinneyPen03:001Francois VenterTry04:001
James McKinneyMiss Pen07:001Johan GoosenCon05:001
James McKinneyPen16:001Johan GoosenPen09:001
James McKinneyPen22:001Johan GoosenPen18:001
James McKinneyPen31:001Francois VenterTry28:001
Andrew ConwayTry41:001Johan GoosenCon29:001
James McKinneyCon42:001Johan GoosenMiss Pen34:001
Andrew ConwayTry35:002Eben EtzebethTry38:001
Paddy JacksonCon36:002Johan GoosenCon39:001
    Johan GoosenMiss Pen03:002
    Johan GoosenDG16:002
    Wandile MjekevuTry28:002
    Johan GoosenMiss Con29:002
    Arno Botha (C)Try43:002
    Johan GoosenCon44:002

Substitutions
playerOnplayerOffTimeHalfplayerOnplayerOffTimeHalf
Iain HendersonDaniel Qualter06:002Mbongeni MbonambiMichael Van Vuuren17:002
Luke MarshallJJ Hanrahan12:002Pieter RademanLohan Jacobs17:002
David DoyleNiall Annett14:002Paul JordaanWandile Mjekevu33:002
Paddy JacksonJames McKinney17:002Jean CookRuan Venter36:002
Conor CareyTadhg Furlong30:002Siya KolisiNizaam Carr39:002
Peter Du ToitKieran Marmion30:002Nic SchonertStephan Kotze40:002
Dominic GallagherMichael Kearney34:002    
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