Ireland U20’s were downed in Dubarry Park on Friday night losing 0- 16 to their Welsh counterparts in wet and windy conditions.
Quite simply the Welsh dealt with the conditions better with their out half, Ethan Davies, managing to keep the scoreboard ticking over with some extraordinary kicks.
There is a
comprehensive report on the IRFU site but to summarise the Welsh dominated the scrums and the Irish heads went down when they couldn’t convert any pressure into points.
Both Ulster players took part in this fairly nondescript match. Queen’s University’s David Busby was on at full back for the 80 minutes and Belfast Harlequins’ Frankie Taggart came on at open-side for the final quarter.
Ireland (0) 0
Wales (3) 16
TRY: Steffan Hughes
CON: Ethan Davies
PEN: Ethan Davies (3)
Wales dominated up front and there was only one way this was going to go. It did take them a while to overcome spirited Irish resistance and the first half ended with Wales leading 0 – 3 thanks to a Davies penalty.
Though the teams largely cancelled each other out the Welsh scrum, combined with the boot of Davies, kept the scoreboard ticking over in the third quarter as the Welsh outhalf pushed the score to 0 – 9 with two big kicks.
The Welsh finally found a way through Ireland’s defensive line at the start of the final quarter with Steffan Hughes crossing for Davies to convert.
There was still 18 minutes to play but Ireland were too predictable and Wales held on for a comfortable win.
With England and France to come away from home it doesn’t look as though things are going to get any easier for this group.
IRELAND U20: David Busby, Cian Kelleher, Gary Ringrose, Peter Robb, Ian Fitzpatrick, Ross Byrne, Nick McCarthy, Peter Dooley, Max Abbott, Rory Burke, Sean O’Brien, Ross Molony, Peadar Timmins, Dan Leavy, Jack O’Donoghue. Replacements: Sean McNulty, Denis Coulson, Oisin Heffernan, Joe Joyce, Frankie Taggart, Jack Cullen, Conor McKeon, Dan Goggin.
WALES U20: Afon Bagshaw, Ashton Hewitt, Steffan Hughes, Garyn Smith, Josh Adams, Ethan Davies, Tomos Williams, Nicky Smith, Ethan Lewis, Nicky Thomas, Scott Andrews, James Sheekey, Will Boyde, James Benjamin, Ben Roach. Replacements: Scott Otten, Luke Garrett, Callum Lewis, Rory Thornton, Ollie Griffiths, Connor Lloyd, Luke Price, Tyler Morgan
I’m not a fan of so many players coming from one province, 13 of the match day squad were from Leinster, as play tends to become a bit predictable. It would be the same if the 13 were from Ulster, I just think they should push for more diversity at this level and give the youngsters a chance to play with a broader range of talents.
As They Stand