France Under 20’s wrapped up their first ever Six Nations Championship with a hard fought win against Ireland U20’s in Tarbes on Friday night.

A first half penalty from Conor McKeon saw Ireland go into the break trailing 10 – 3 but they managed to pull level, at 13 – 13, on the 71st minute, thanks to a converted Frankie Taggart try to add to an earlier penalty from Ross Byrne.

However, France rallied in the closing minutes to take the game thanks to a late penalty and a last minute converted try from Blaise Lespinasse to give a final score of France 23 Ireland 13. France U20’s claimed the Six Nations Championship with a Grand Slam with Ireland ending up a disappointing fourth with only wins against Scotland and Italy to show for their efforts this time round.

Time on the pitch by Province for Irish players against France.

Time on the pitch by Province for Irish players against France.

This match appears to have been a much better performance from Ireland U20’s, who’s defence kept them in the game in the first half before making a bit of a comeback in the second, though there can be few complaints with the final result given the home sides dominance up front.

Despite Belfast Harlequins’ Frankie Taggart claiming the only try for Ireland it was another case of poor representation for the Province with Taggart only getting 28 minutes on the pitch and Queens Universities’ David Busby only involved for 2 minutes at the end of the game – giving the Ulster youngsters a meagre 2.5% of game time for the second week running.

Ireland U20: Cian Kelleher, Alex Wootton, Dan Goggin, Peter Robb, Adam Byrne, Conor McKeon, Jack Cullen, Peter Dooley, Max Abbott, Rory Burke, Sean O’Brien, Ross Molony, Peadar Timmins, Rory Moloney, Jack O’Donoghue. Replacements: Frankie Taggart, Nick McCarthy, Ross Byrne, Sean McNulty, Denis Coulson, Oisin Heffernan, David Busby, Stephen Gardiner.

 Under 20’s Six Nations Final League Table

FRANCE U20S 5 5 0 0 112 51 61 11 6 10
ENGLAND U20S 5 4 0 1 215 57 158 31 6 8
WALES U20S 5 3 0 2 102 107 -5 13 13 6
IRELAND U20S 5 2 0 3 74 79 -5 7 8 4
ITALY U20S 5 1 0 4 46 143 -97 5 19 2
SCOTLAND U20S 5 0 0 5 63 175 -112 9 24 0