The Ireland Under-20s showed their preparations for next month's IRB Junior World Championship are in good shape after achieving a 30-17 victory over their Scottish counterparts in today's warm-up match at Murrayfield.
PRE-IRB JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Sunday, May 11
SCOTLAND UNDER-20s 17 IRELAND UNDER-20s 30, Murrayfield back pitch 3
Scorers: Scotland U-20s: Tries: Lewis Carmichael, Penalty try, Jamie Ritchie; Con: Ben Chalmers
Ireland U-20s: Tries: David Busby, Dan Goggin, Peadar Timmins, Billy Dardis; Cons: Conor McKeon, Ross Byrne; Pens: Conor McKeon, Garry Ringrose
Against a strong Scotland pack Ireland were initially under pressure, but as the game became less structured the Irish backs showed their ability to use quick ball, resulting in three second half tries despite the very wet conditions.
Speaking afterwards, head coach Mike Ruddock said: "These games are about the processes. It's about getting the cohesion and trying different combinations.
"In a way the scoreboard is the last thing you think of. It's about what you want take into your first game in the World Championship.
"Both teams will be pretty pleased with the game today. We were better in the second half but we'll look carefully about how the scrums went and how the lineouts went. We have to identify the areas in which we need to do more work.
"We've got some good systems in place to try to get width and pace on the game when we get quality ball. But we struggled for periods in the game against a very good Scottish pack."
Assistant coach Greig Oliver added: "We're developing a good brand of play in Ireland. It's a testament to the provinces. There's a big emphasis on first phase attack. The big thing is decision-making under pressure."
The Irish youngsters wasted little time getting into their stride with a try in the first minute. Quick ball and good running from the midfield backs created an overlap for full-back David Busby to score an unconverted effort in the corner.
Scotland's well-drilled forwards produced a penalty try and a touchdown for lock Lewis Carmichael but just before the break Garry Ringrose, a stand-out performer for Ireland along with captain Jack O'Donoghue, kicked a penalty to leave his side 12-8 adrift at the interval.
A break by Lansdowne's Darragh Henry created a second half try for replacement Billy Dardis, with out half Ross Byrne adding the conversion for a 15-12 scoreline.
Scotland hit back with a close range try by mumber 8 Jamie Ritchie but from then on it was Ireland who took over the scoring.
They had penalty from replacement Conor McKeon, a well-worked try by centre Dan Goggin and a final touchdown from another of the replacements, flanker Peadar Timmins, converted by McKeon to seal a 13-point victory.
SCOTLAND U-20: Ruairidh Young (Edinburgh Accies); Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh), Chris Dean (Edinburgh Accies), Neil Herron ((Glasgow Hawks), Damien Hoyland (Melrose); Ben Chalmers (Melrose), Ben Vellacott (Hartpury/Gloucester); Jack Cosgrove (Worcester Warriors), Sam James (London Wasps), D'arcy Rae (Ayr/Glasgow Warriors), Andrew Cramond (Aberdeen Grammar), Lewis Carmichael (Melrose), Neil Irvine-Hess (Watsonians/Edinburgh), Tommy Spinks (London Scottish) (capt), Jamie Ritchie (Strathallan School/Howe of Fife).
Replacements: James Malcolm (Ayr), Cameron Fenton (Strathallan School/Howe of Fife), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks), Glenn Young (Newcastle Falcons), Shaun MacDonald (Stirling County), Alex Glashan (Edinburgh Accies), Gavin Lowe (Glasgow Hawks/Glasgow Warriors), Blair Hutchison (Loughborough University/Melrose), Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints), Sam Pecqueur (Edinburgh Accies), Gavin Parker (Exeter University).
IRELAND U-20: David Busby (Queen's University/Ulster); Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster), Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster), Dan Goggin (Young Munster/Munster), Alex Wootton (Garryowen/Munster), Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster), Ryan Foley (Cork Constitution/Munster); Denis Coulson (Lansdowne/Leinster), Max Abbott (Cork Constitution/Munster), Craig Trenier (Terenure College/Leinster), Darragh Moloney (Cork Constitution/Munster), Ross Molony (UCD/Leinster), Frankie Taggart (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Diarmaid Dee (Young Munster/Munster), Jack O'Donoghue (UL Bohemians/Munster) (capt).
Replacements: Dylan Donnellan (UCD/Leinster), Mike Lynch (UL Bohemians/Munster), Rory Burke (Cork Constitution/Munster), Stephen Gardiner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Peader Timmins (UCD/Leinster), Darragh Henry (Lansdowne), Conor McKeon (Lansdowne/Leinster), Peter Robb (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Rory Moloney (Buccaneers/Connacht), Josh Murphy (UCD/Leinster), Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians/Connacht), Billy Dardis (UCD/Leinster).
Ireland Women's Sevens captain Lucy Mulhall is in Langford this week for the Canada leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series. Following Ireland's Bowl win in Atlanta, Lucy previews our prospects this weekend.
Ireland Women's Sevens captain Lucy Mulhall speaks about the build-up to the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens tournament in Atlanta, Georgia. The girls in green begin the pool stages against France at 12.52pm local time/5.52pm Irish time today.
IRFU High Performance Manager Colin McEntee reflects on the Easter matches played by the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 teams, which ended last weekend with wins over the England Counties U-18s and France U-19s.
Watch highlights of the Ireland Under-18s' seven-try 43-0 victory over Scotland during the inaugural U-18 Five Nations Festival in Caerphilly, Wales. Number 8 and captain Caelan Doris scored a hat-trick of tries and winger Daniel Hurley bagged a brace.
Railway Union's Kim Flood made her debut at full-back for the Ireland Women in last weekend's 14-3 Six Nations win over Italy. She is looking forward to experiencing the partisan crowd at Donnybrook again this Sunday when Scotland are the visitors. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.ie.
Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek spoke to Irish Rugby TV on the eve of the final round of the RBS 6 Nations Championship. He is happy that the team are focused but warns that it will be a tough encounter with Scotland tomorrow.
Looking forward to the lineout battle with Scotland, Ireland lock Devin Toner said: "We went well again Italy, I think our set piece went well. If we can just build on that and build on the positives then I think we'll be okay."
Joe Schmidt spoke to Irish Rugby TV this morning with an update on the squad, a look back at Ireland's nine-try win over Italy and a preview of our final match of the RBS 6 Nations Championship against Scotland.
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney was pleased to see his new-look side come away with a 14-3 win over Italy. Full-back Kim Flood, winger Liz Burke and replacement centre Claire McLaughlin made their international debuts on the day.