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).
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has joined a host of political, sporting and broadcasting legends to send a message of support to the Irish Women's Rugby Squad ahead of the forthcoming Women's Rugby World Cup, which begins in Paris on 1st August.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has joined a host of political, sporting and broadcasting legends to send a message of support to the Irish Women's Rugby Squad ahead of the forthcoming Women's Rugby World Cup, which begins in Paris on 1st August. Good luck messages from Eamon Dunphy, John Giles, Liam Brady, Olympians Ronnie Delaney, John Tracey, Rob Heffernan and Derval O'Rourke, the Dublin Women's GAA team, Northern Ireland Minister for Culture Arts and Leisure Carál ní Chuilín, Tánaiste Joan Burton, broadcasters, Irish senior men's team players, domestic grassroots rugby teams and schoolgirl rugby players.
Speaking after the IRFU's Annual Council meeting, Chief Executive Philip Browne highlighted the importance of ticket revenue to the Union and also their sustained investments in the professional and domestic games.
Listen to post-match reaction from captains Anton Lienert-Brown and Peadar Timmins following the Ireland Under-20s' 45-23 loss to New Zealand in the IRB Junior World Championship 3rd/4th place play-off at Eden Park.
Earlier this week the Ireland squad and management were guests at a reception in Buenos Aires hosted by James McIntyre, the Irish Ambassador to Argentina. We spoke to team manager Michael Kearney and IRFU President Pat Fitzgerald on the night.
Looking forward to the second Test against Argentina, Iain Henderson said: "We need to get our breakdown right and make sure we get a good return from our set piece. If we do that, the backs will look after the rest for us."
Ireland Under-20 head coach Mike Ruddock was 'really pleased' with the performance of his players as they claimed a 38-0 bonus point win over Fiji to advance to the IRB Junior World Championship semi-finals as Pool B winners.