Ireland’s youngsters came away from Grenoble with a hard won 13 – 12 victory against their French counterparts yesterday afternoon in the U20 Six Nations Championship.
Munster youngster JJ Hanrahan showed great composure to land the winning penalty eight minutes from time in a match which featured strong performances from Ulster’s Iain Henderson, Chris Farrell and Kyle McCall.
With England’s clash against Italy called off the win see’s Ireland sitting at the top of the U20 Championship.
France (6) 12
PEN: Clement Otazo (4)
Ireland (3) 13
TRY: Foster Horan
CON: Paddy Jackson
PEN: Paddy Jackson, JJ Hanrahan
France edged the first half with two penalties from the boot of Clement Otazo putting the hosts into a 6 – 0 lead after ten minutes.
Ireland hit back on twenty minutes with Ireland captain Patrick Jackson slotting over Ireland’s first points and the game remained at 6 – 3 until the interval.
Mike Ruddock brought on a few replacements at the break and got immediate results with replacement centre Foster Horan touching down with the only try of the game on 42 minutes. Jackson added the extras giving Ireland a 6 -10 lead.
France kept chipping away and Otazo booted his side back in front however with penalties on 47 and 53 minutes and it looked as though the hosts were going to close the game out until JJ Hanrahan, stepped up to slot over the winning penalty having assumed kicking duties when Jackson was replaced.
The hosts piled everything into attack and look to have snatched the game in the last play of the game when they drove over the line. However the ball was judged to be held up and the whistle blew to allow the Irish youngsters to celebrate a remarkable victory.
Ireland U20: Shane Layden, Conor Finn, Chris Farrell, JJ Hanrahan, Sam Coghlan Murray, Paddy Jackson, Luke McGrath, Kyle McCall, Niall Scannell, Peter Reilly, Iain Henderson, Daniel Qualter, Conor Gilsenan, Aaron Conneely, Jack Conan. Replacements: Des Merrey, James Rael, Diarmuid Higgins, Tadhg Beirne, Jordan Coughlan, Kieran Marmion, Cathal Marsh, Foster Horan.
Pictures below from a player’s parent.