Ulster’s Johnny McPhillips help guide Ireland U20’s to a RBS U20 Six Nations opening round win against Scotland U20’s at Broadwood Stadium on Friday night.
The U20’s followed the Women’s match at Broadwood and it was a double helping of disappointment for the hosts with both the Irish sides coming back from a halftime deficit to secure last gasp wins.
In this instance second half tries from hooker Tadgh McElroy and back row Paul Boyle saw Ireland come storming back after the break, McPhillips converting both to add to to first half penalties.
Scotland U20 (13) 19
TRY: Cameron Hutchison
CON: Josh Henderson
PEN: Josh Henderson (4)
Ireland U20 (6) 20
TRY: Tadgh McElroy, Paul Boyle
CON: Johnny McPhillips (2)
PEN: Johnny McPhillips (2).
The Scots came storming out of the blocks in this match, puting Ireland under immediate pressure. A long range effort from Josh Henderson was just short with a long range penalty attempt but the pressure eventually told with Cameron Hutchison crossing on the 8th minute. Henderson knocking over the conversion.
McPhillips pulled back three points with a penalty in a tense first quarter and, as the game slipped into the second, the Ulster out half knocked over his second to make it a one point game.
However, 26th and 39th minute efforts from Henderson pushed Scotland’s lead back up to seven points at the break with the teams turning round with the score reading Scotland U20 13 Ireland U20 6.
Ireland upped the tempo after the break and reaped immediate rewards with the pack driving over for the Scottish line for McElroy to touch down, McPhillips adding the extras to tie the game at 13 all.
The big Scottish pack still remained, largely, on top and Henderson reaped the rewards with two further penalties to move the score to 19 – 13 at the start of the final quarter. The hosts had other opportunities to go further ahead but the Irish defence held firm, despite the loss of the impressive Jack Kelly, who captained the side from full back.
McPhillips controlled the game well in the last ten minutes but it was a jinking run from centre Ciaran Frawley that sparked their second comeback. The initial chance was missed with a wobbly line out but a series of tackles from McPhillips and a raking touchfinder from Colm Hogan gave Ireland a second bite at the cherry.
Ireland didn’t falter and Boyle found his way to the line after a big forward effort, McPhillips converting to put Ireland a point in front with eight minutes left.
The visitors needed a bit of good fortune, with Henderson pushing a 78th minute penalty wide, but they held on to get their campaign off to a winning start.
Final score: Scotland U20 19 Ireland U20 20.
Ireland U20: Jack Kelly, Jordan Larmour, Gavin Mullin, Ciaran Frawley, Colm Hogan, Johnny McPhillips, Jonny Stewart, Joey Conway, Tadgh McElroy, Peter Cooper, Fineen Wycherley, Oisin Dowling, Cillian Gallagher, Paul Boyle, Caelan Doris. Replacements: Adam Moloney, Rory Mulvihill, Charlie Connolly, Jack Regan, Marcus Rea, Jack Lyons, Conor Fitzgerald, Tommy O’Brien.
RBS U20’s Six Nations Round 1 Results
|Italy||5 – 27||Wales|
|Scotland||19 – 20||Ireland|
|England||59 – 17||France|
RBS U20’s Six Nations Standings.
Picture Gallery Below: Photo Credit Adrian Henry, rugbypeople.net