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Ulster's Lorcan Dow, ready to pounce against Wales. in Ireland's U20 Six Nations match.

Ulster’s Lorcan Dow, ready to pounce against Wales. in Ireland’s U20 Six Nations match.

Ireland U20’s showed little spark in this match against their Welsh counterparts surrendering somewhat meekly 19 – 12 at Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, on Friday night.

I’d complained in my previous U20’s write up that there should be more of Ulster’s U20 Inter-provincial winning players in this squad and having watched this game I’ve no reason to change my mind.

In fact, with a back line struggling to make a break the entire match, it is something of a mystery that the exciting young talent, Jacob Stockdale, was the only player not to get a run out!

Having watched the Interpro’s earlier this season I was looking forward to a very competitive outing from Ireland in the Six Nations but this result, combined with the home defeat to England, makes the campaign a bit of a disappointment. Certainly it’s one where Ireland have punched below their weight given the crop of youngsters available.

Both teams had to contend with an overly officious referee who seemed determined to stop a game breaking out. Ireland struggled to come to terms with his interpretations throughout the first half and the damage was done just before the break when the Welsh managed to pull away from the tit for tat penalty awards which saw the game stand at 6 – 6.

Wales inched in front with a 38th minute penalty and just as Ireland pushed to regain parity a turnover saw Wales race clear to open up a 10 point gap with a converted try.

04 – PEN Wales 3 – 0
11 – PEN Ross Byrne 3 – 3
25 – PEN Wales 6 – 3
35 – PEN   6 – 6
38 – PEN Wales 9 – 6
40 – TRY Wales 14 – 6
40 – CON Wales 16 – 6
40 HALF TIME 16 – 6
52 – PEN Wales 19 – 6
52 – SUB O’Connor for Romainne  
55 – PEN Ross Byrne 19 – 9
61 – PEN Ross Byrne 19 – 12
65 – YC Jeremy Loughman  
67 – SUB Porter for Oliver (TEMP)  
73 – SUB McBurney for McCall  
  McVeigh for Oliver  
78 – SUB Young for McCarthy  
  Carbery for Byrne  
80 FULL TIME 19 – 12

It was too big a lead for Ireland to recoup in the second half and losing prop Loughman for 10 minutes in an already under pressure scrum didn’t help their cause.

As it was, an out of sorts Ireland showed little creativity behind the scrum making the lateness of the replacement of McCarthy and Byrne and the non appearance of Stockdale something of a mystery!

Ireland U20’s: Billy Dardis (Leinster), Ciaran Gaffney (Connacht), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Sam Arnold (Ulster), Stephen Fitzgerald (Munster), Ross Byrne (Leinster), Nick McCarthy (Leinster), Jeremy Loughman (Leinster), Zack McCall (Ulster), Oisin Heffernan (Leinster), Cian Romaine (Connacht), Josh Murphy (Leinster), Nick Timoney (Leinster), Conor Oliver (Leinster), Lorcan Dow (Ulster). Replacements: Adam McBurney (Ulster), Andrew Porter (Leinster), Conan O’Donnell (Connacht), David O’Connor (Leinster), Stephen McVeigh (Connacht), Connor Young (Ulster), Joey Carbery (Leinster), Jacob Stockdale (Ulster)

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