Apologies to the Under 20 squad but this one flew somewhat under the radar on Friday night given that there are only two Ulster players in largely Leinster based squad this season.
Queen’s University’s David Busby made the match day squad for the Scotland opener but Belfast Harlequins’ Frankie Taggart will have to wait till later in the tournament. As it was it was Munster’s No.8 Jack O’Donoghue who stole the show grabbing two tries in the 34 – 7 win against Scotland.
Ireland (20) 34
TRY: Jack O’Donoghue (2), Peadar Timmins, Oisin Heffernan
CON: Ross Byrne (4)
PEN: Ross Byrne (4)
Scotland (0) 7
TRY: Ben Vellacott
CON: Ben Cooper
Ireland dominated most aspects of the game with Ross Byrne knocking over two penalties in the first quarter to give the home sade a 6 – 0 lead at Dubarry Park.
O’Donoghue went over for his first try just before the half hour mark, with Byrne converting and Peadar Timmins found the line at the end of the first half to give Ireland a 20 – 0 lead at the break, following Byrne’s conversion.
There where wholesale changes to both sides at the start of the second half but Ireland went further ahead at the end of the third quarter as O’Donoghue crossed for his second, Byrne converting.
Replacement Oisin Heffernan crashed over for Ireland’s fourth score on the 68th minute and with Ross making it four from four the math was pretty much over with Ireland leading 34 – 0.
Scotland raised themselves for one last effort and an injury time score from Ben Vellacott, converted by Ben Cooper, gave the visitors some consolation after being outplayed for much of the match.
IRELAND U20: David Busby, Adam Byrne, 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: Shane Delahunt, Jacob Walshe, Oisin Heffernan, Joe Joyce, Rory Moloney, Jack Cullen, Conor McKeon, Dan Goggin.
SCOTLAND U20: Gavin Lowe, Jamie Farndale, Damien Hoyland, Neil Herron, Sam Pecqueur, Ben Chalmers, Murdo McAndrew, James Malcolm, Sam James, D’arcy Rae, Andrew Cramond, Glen Young, Magnus Bradbury, Tommy Spinks, Buchan Richardson. Replacements: Ross Graham, Phil Cringle, Jack Cosgrove, Lewis Carmichael, Neil Irvine-Hess, Ben Vellacott, Ben Cooper, Ruaridh Young.
No bonus points in the Six Nations but the point’s difference is enough to put Ireland clear at the top of the table after the first round though it’s likely to be a tougher match next week when they face Wales in Athlone on Friday night.