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 Rugby stars gathered in Kingspan Stadium, Belfast to launch tickets for the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 final which will take place in the Kingspan Stadium in 365 days' time (August 26, 2017) and the semi-finals day, which takes place on August 22.
Tournament Director Garrett Tubridy sets the scene for an exciting weekend of rugby at UCD where 16 Women's Sevens teams will battle it out at for one qualifying spot for the Rio Olympics. Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie/sevens.
Tadhg Furlong reflects on a disappointing day for Ireland against South Africa. However, he will take positives from his first Test start and be ready to build for the final match of the series in Port Elizabeth.
Paddy Jackson is preparing for Ireland's second Test against South Africa on Saturday (kick-off 5pm local time/4pm Irish time). The Ulster out-half has been checking out Ellis Park in advance of the match.
Nicole Cronin, the inaugural Irish Women's Sevens Player of the Year in 2014, is looking to make an impact on her return to the green jersey at this weekend's Rugby Europe Women's Sevens Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia.
The Ireland Women's 15-a-side captain Niamh Briggs was part of the Irish Development team that won the Amsterdam 7s title recently. Next up is the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia this weekend and then a shot at Olympic Sevens qualification at UCD on June 25-26.
Experienced prop Andrew Porter speaks about the Ireland Under-20s' preparations for the World Rugby U-20 Championship and their opening pool encounter with Wales in Manchester later today (kick-off 5.30pm, live on TG4/Sky Sports 1).