An Ulster U18 Club Select side entertained, American select side, Eagle Impact Rugby Academy U17’s at Malone Rugby Club on Tuesday afternoon with the Academy coming out on top by 24 – 27 in an entertaining encounter.

The EIRA U16s and U17s are in Ireland playing 3 games against Ulster Schools, Connacht Academy and Leinster Schools at U16 level and Ulster Clubs Select at U17s.

Eagle Impact (EIRA) is a nationwide organization building quality rugby academies for elite young players. EIRA began with a single academy for 14-18 year old elite players in Southern California in September 2013 and has grown to six academies across America with additional clinics nationwide.

EIRA emphasizes both technical and tactical skill development – preparing players for their clubs and all star programs in the off season. The best prospects graduate to the USA High School All Americans (U18s) and U20 player pools.

EIRA is endorsed by USA Rugby and is a pathway to the USA High School All Americans. (More details here.)

The game was played over four 20 min quarters with the first quarter fairly nondescript as the teams got a feel for each other.

The game sprang into life in the second quarter with Ulster opening the scoring through Michael McKeown Boyle before the Eagles responded with two tries of their own, one converted.

A converted try by Ulster’s Stuart Wightman at the start of the second quarter took the score to 12 – 12 and in a highly entertaining period the Ulster youngsters cut loose with further tries from Ben Moxham and Sam Murray taking the score to 24 – 12.

However, the American side hit back with two of their own to take it to 24 all as the teams went into the last quarter.

In a tense finish, the American side scored midway through the final period and Ulster spent the remainder of the game camped in the Academy’s half. The visitors managed to keep their line intact and the game ended with the Final Score reading Ulster Club Select U18 24 – 29 Eagle Impact Rugby Academy U17

Ulster Club Select: Michael McKeown Boyle, Evan Charters, Adam Marley, Matthew Sands, Stephen Kelly, Kyle Gill, Ashley Tweed, James Crummie, Rory Maginty, Luke McMullan, Alan Thompson, Matthew Hamilton, Ben Moxham, Davis Dripps, Oran O’Neill, Joe Dundas, James Wilson, Philip Nicholl, Cein McColgan, Sam Murray, John Glasgow, Jack Milton, Rhys Cobain, Jack Girvan, Aaron Kierans, Stuart Patterson, Stuart Wightman, Ben Dillon.

Pictures below: John McMurtry and Beth Cregan.