Ireland U19’s entertained Japan U19’s at Donnybrook yesterday afternoon with the visitors coming out on top by 24 – 40 in a high tempo encounter.
The Ireland squad featured six Ulster lads with Angus Kernohan (Ballymena), Clayton Milligan (Ballynahinch) and Jamie Macartney (Campbell College) all starting and Graham Curtis (Malone), Paul McGookin (Ballyclare) and Azur Allison (Ballymena) all joining the fray from the bench.
Hooker Milligan and openside Macartney were the pick of the bunch with Milligan bagging a brace of tries. Macartney was prominent throughout the game and kept up well as the speedy Japanese side moved the ball about with a bit of pace.
It was a useful work out for Ireland U19’s though ultimately the lacked the organisation and drive of their opponents who were really up for this one. The visitors entertained with some slick passing and their superior handling under pressure was the key difference between the sides.
Worryingly, as with Ireland U20’s this season, the home sides defence was lax at times, this appears to be becoming an issue but it may be due to the teams trying to play a more expansive game. Let’s hope so!
Ireland’s tries came from Clayton Milligan 2, Michael Milne and Kieran Dunne with Ben Healy adding two conversions.
Japan replied through Asipeli Moala 3, Ryosuke Kawase 2, and Kai Yamamoto who all crossed the whitewash, Itsuki Kodama adding five conversions.
Ireland U19: Conor Hayes (Young Munster); Eoghan Barrett (CBC Cork), Kieran Dunne (Shannon), David Ryan (St. Michael’s College), Angus Kernohan (Ballymena); Ben Healy (Glenstal Abbey), Colm Reilly (Garbally College); Donnacha Mescal (Blackrock College), Clayton Milligan (Ballynahinch), Michael Milne (CC Roscrea), Charlie Ryan (UCD) (capt), Luke Clohessy (CC Roscrea), Martin Moloney (Athy), Jamie Macartney (Campbell College), Ruadhan Byron (Belvedere College). Replacements: Shay O’Malley (Hartpury College/IQ Rugby) for Mescal (17 mins), Graham Curtis (Malone) for Reilly, Paul McGookin (Ballyclare) for Milne, Liam Turner (Blackrock College) for Kernohan (all half-time), Ryan Baird (St. Michael’s College) for Clohessy, Scott Penny (St. Michael’s College) for Moloney, Azur Allison (Ballymena) for Byron (all 50), Conor Kelly (Clontarf) for Healy, Hugh Lane (Galwegians) for Kernohan (both 53), Dylan Tierney (Corinthians) for Milligan (60), Byron for Allison (63), Moloney for Baird (65).
Japan U19: Halatoa Vailea (Nippon Sport Science University Kashiwa HS); Ryosuke Kawase (Tokai University Gyosei HS), Tomoki Osoda (Tokai University Gyosei HS), Itsuki Kodama (Akita Technical HS), Keita Inayoshi (Higashi Fukuoka HS); Atsushi Oshikawa (Kyoto Seisho HS), Ren Iinuma (Hikawa HS); Ryunosuke Momoji (Tokai University Gyosei HS), Mamoru Harada (Toin Gakuen HS), Kotaro Hosoki (Toin Gakuen HS), Asaeli Lausii (Japan Aviation HS Ishikawa), Shu Yamamoto (Kyota Seisho HS), Sioeli Vakalahi (Meguro Gakuin HS), Kai Yamamoto (Keio HS), Asipeli Moala (Japan Aviation HS Ishikawa). Replacements: Kosei Yamamoto (Toin Gakuen HS), Kaito Doichi (Tokai University Sagami HS), Kota Kamimori (Osaka Toin HS), Hiroki Kiyohara (Higashi Fukuoka HS), Shin Takeuchi (Iwami Tomodachi HS), Kaisei Tamura (Toin Gakuen HS), Rintaro Maruyama (Higashi Fukuoka HS), Lee Seung-sin (Osaka Korean HS), Hiroki Kumoyama (Hotoku Gakuen HS), Otoya Kihara (Higashi Fukuoka HS), Reiya Ueyama (Osaka Toin HS).