Only two Ulster players in the Ireland squad that played Italy at Dubarry Park on Friday night so the report will be fairly short!
Queens’ David Busby started at full back but went off after 13 minutes for a head injury and Quins’ Frankie Taggart came on at 6 with 17 minutes to go. The total 30 minutes played by Ulster players gives them a miserly 2.5% of playing time.
It’s been a disappointing tournament for Ulster (and Ireland) with Ulster players having a bit part in a Leinster dominated team.
Ireland (13) 18
TRY: Cian Kelleher, Adam Byrne
CON: Ross Byrne
PEN: Ross Byrne (2)
Italy (0) 0
Ireland started strongly with Ross Byrne knocking over a 1st minute penalty to give the hosts a 3 – 0 lead.
The hosts continued to build pressure throughout the first quarter and were rewarded with a 15th minute Cian Kelleher try, converted by R Byrne to take the lead to 10 – 0.
Outhalf Byrne added a penalty at the start of the second quarter but defences and mistakes started to dominate and with no further score in the first half the teams turned round with Ireland leading 13 – 0.
A touch of shenanigans at the start of the second half saw Filippo Buscema and Kelleher take 10 minutes on the naughty step, setting the tome for a scrappy second half.
Ireland did string enough together to send Adam Byrne over on the 55th minute for an unconverted try but that was pretty much it, Ireland winning 18 – 0.
This is the U20’s second win in the tournament, beating a hapless Scotland in the opening round before back to back losses to Wales and England, and with high flying France to play next week that’s more than likely their lot. In fact if things don’t improve it could be a record defeat for Mike Ruddock’s team in Tarbes next week.
IRELAND U20: David Busby, Cian Kelleher, Dan Goggin, Peter Robb, Adam Byrne, Ross Byrne, Nick McCarthy, Peter Dooley, Max Abbott, Rory Burke, Sean O’Brien, Ross Molony, Peadar Timmins, Rory Moloney, Jack O’Donoghue. Replacements: Harrison Brewer, Oisin Heffernan, Jack Cullen, Sean McNulty, Frankie Taggart, Denis Coulson, Conor McKeon, Stephen Gardiner.
ITALY U20: Alessandro Torlai, Yannick Agbasse, Giacomo de Santis, Gabriele Manganiello, Lorenzo Bruno, Filippo Buscema, Maicol Azzolini, Derrick Appiah, Adriano Daniele, Simone Ferrari, Filippo Scalvi, Ricardo Michieletto, Marco Lazzaroni, Sebastian Negri, Federico Ruzza. Replacements: Paolo Ragazzi, Paulo Buonfiglio, Cherif Traore, Davide Zanetti, Matteo Archetti, Simone Parisotto, Matteo Gasparini, Matteo Gabbianelli
I’ve been doing a bit of complaining throughout the tournament about the lack of Ulster players this season but maybe our past transgressions are coming back to haunt us as Ulster have had a propensity over the last couple of seasons to pull key players out of the squad for provincial duties, Jackson and Olding being two that spring to mind. Not something that I agree with and probably hasn’t gone down too well with the powers that be.