[wptabs mode=”horizontal”][wptabtitle]PREVIEW[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]The Ireland Under-20 team has been named for the opening game of the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch (kick-off 5.45pm Irish time).
There are three Ulster players named in the side dominated by Leinster, with the Heineken Cup winners looking to dominte Irish Rugby for a few years to come with 14 players in the match day 23, Connacht and Munster also weigh in with three players each in the 23 man squad.
However, despite Leinster’s dominance, I fully expect the three Ulster players, Peter Nelson, Chris Farrell and Iain Henderson to make a considerable impact in this game an in the tournament as a whole. We haven’t seen much of these players this season but should they remain fit they all have the potential to be the Irish players of the tournament.
With junior heavyweights South Africa and England in Ireland’s group, along with Italy, Henderson , in particular, has a big role to play being seen as something off the enforcer in the lightweight Irish side.
Ulster’s versatile Stuart Olding, who can cover in pretty much any position in the back line, has missed out in selection for this game but the talented youngster also has the ability to sparkle should he get a chance during the tournament.
From the IRFU
Hooker Niall Scannell will captain the side for the opening game against host country South Africa. JJ Hanrahan has been named at out-half and will act as vice captain.
Hanrahan is one of five players in the matchday squad who featured in the 2011 Junior World Championship. His half-back partner Kieran Marmion also played in the tournament.
Prop Tadhg Furlong and second row Iain Henderson are the two forwards with previous experience in the tournament, while replacement Aaron Conneely also featured last year in Italy.
Shane Layden and Paddy Jackson, who were named in the original squad, have been replaced by Conor Finn and Jack Carty with the latter included on the bench for the Pool B opener.
Today’s clash in Stellenbosch will be shown live on TG4 and Sky Sports 2 from 5:45pm and we’ll bring you live updates here from the same time – just click on the LIVE tab.
Ireland U20: Peter Nelson (Ulster), Barry Daly (Leinster), Foster Horan (Leinster), Chris Farrell (Ulster), Sam Coghlan Murray (Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (Munster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Des Merrey (Leinster), Niall Scannell (Munster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Tadhg Beirne (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Jordan Coghlan (Leinster), Jack Conan (Leinster), Conor Gilsenan (Leinster). Replacements: James Rael (Munster), Peter Reilly (Leinster), Jake Cawley (Leinster), Alan O’Connor (Leinster), Aaron Conneely (Connacht), Luke McGrath (Leinster), Jack Carty (Connacht), Mikey Sherlock (Leinster)
[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]LIVE[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]Read our live coverage below.
Ireland scored two tries in their wi nwith Jordan Coghlan scoring in the first half and Iain Henderson scoring in the second to secure the win. Out half JJ Hanrahan capped a fine personal performance adding two conversions, two penalties and a drop goal in a composed performance with the Irish out half bossing the game.
South Africa appeared the more composed in the opening exchanges as Ireland fluffed their clearance kicks and it was no surprise when the hosts went into a 3 – 0 lead after 10 minutes.
However Ireland’s play began to settle and thy worked their way back into the game with solid scrums an lineouts and Ireland drew level after good work from Henderson set up a penalty chance. Hanrahan slotted it over to tie the score an shortly after a mistake from the Baby Boks gave the Irish outhalf a chance to put Ireland in the lead.
Hanrahan fluffed the kick but the ball managed to work its way over the crossbar and Ireland took a 3 – 6 lead after 25 minutes.
South Africa looked rattled and Ireland appeared to be feeding of their indecision forcing turnovers and keepint thie hosts on the back foot. The pressure eventually told when impressive back row Jack Conan forced a charge down from a clearance kick an Jordan Coghlan gathered the ball to spring 15m to the line for a well deserved try. The conversion was good and Ireland had a ten point lead with the score reading South Africa 3 Ireland 13.
Ireland were well on top and South Africa were frankly poor but it looked as though Ireland would b=need another score to stem any second half fight back from the Boks. However no further points were scopred in the first half and the teams turned round at South Africa 3 Ireland 13.
South Africa hit back within 15 minutes of the restart with a try after a period of sustained pressure on the Ireland line, taking the score to South Africa 10 Ireland 13 and Ireland needed to score next or the momentum would swing in favour of the hosts.
JJ Hanrahan duly obliged with a well struck drop goal to put Ireland six points in front but within 7 minutes the teams were level with South Africa slotting over two quick penalties.
In previous years Ireland would have run out of puff in the final quarter but instead of capitualting they upped their efforts and were duly rewarded after great work from replacement hooker James Rael, who drove his own charge down up to the South African line. A quick recycle saw Iain Henderson stretch over the line for the decisive try. Hanrahan added the extras to give Ireland a 16 – 23 lead with about 13 minutes to go.
South Africa hit back four minutes later to make it a four point game with less than 10 to go and it looked as though the Baby Boks might steal the game in the closing minutes.
Ireland however held firm and great defensive work from centres Foster Horan and Chris Farrell together with a fair degree of composure from Peter Nelson kept the Irish line intact for a memorable win for the Irish boys.
Final score: South Africa 19 Ireland 23.[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]FIXTURES AND RESULTS[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]Day 1 Results Pool B
|04 Jun, 16:45||England||64-5||Italy||University of Western Cape Stadium, Cape Town|
|04 Jun, 18:45||South Africa||19-23||Ireland||Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch|
Remaining Fixtures Pool B
Friday, June 8: South Africa v Italy, 5.45pm (University of Western Cape Stadium, Cape Town)
Friday, June 8: England v Ireland, 5.45pm (Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch)
Tuesday, June 12: Ireland v Italy, 1.45pm (Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch)
Tuesday, June 12: South Africa v England, 5.45pm (Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch)