Garryowen were beaten 37-25 by a very strong Romanian team in the International Amateur Championship played in humid conditions at Saint Chinian on Friday.
Following their impressive opener against Languedoc, the Irish boys had to play second fiddle on this occasion. The Eastern European team grabbed an early lead with a converted try in the 5th minute. However in the 15th minute Ciaran O'Boyle set Paul Neville up for a try in the corner and Garryowen edged 12-7 in front when Lorcan Burke finished off a classic back movement following a break out of defence and great support play from Barry O'Mahoney.
The Romanians pick and go game was posing real problems for the Irish defence and a converted try in the 25th minute saw them regain the lead. The killer blow was delivered just on half time when they again crossed the whitewash to open up a 9 point margin. Further tries followed in the 50 and 55 minutes and although Conor Kilroy did reply with a penalty, the pressure exerted by the Romanians was beginning to tell. At 15-31, the introduction of a number of replacements did freshen the Dooradoyle boys and when Paul Neville was impeded going for the line in the 65th minute, the referee awarded a penalty try.
Despite valiant efforts by the Irish to run the ball at every opportunity, the uncompromising Romanian defence held firm and they added two penalties before the finish. Conor Kilroy replied with a penalty to leave the final score : Romania 37 Garryowen 25. The Argentinain side Tucuman beat Romania 23-20 in their opening game and while the omens may appear ominous, an improved performance from the Limerick side may prove decisive when they meet in the final pool game on Tuesday next.
Team: Conor Kilroy, Ciaran O'Boye, Conan Doyle, Brian O'Shea (Federico Quaglia 60), Lorcan Burke (Kevin O"Riordan 60), Willie Staunton, Alan McNamara, Ross Callaghan (Rory Brosnan 70), Pat Humphreys, Declan Lavery (Liam Og Casey 55),Ed Mackey, Donal Sheehan, Paul Neville (capt), Barry O'Mahoney, Peter Malone (Dave Sherry 60)
Scorers: Paul Neville, Lorcan Burke tries, Penalty try, Conor Kilroy 2 pen, con.