Tries from Karl Manning and David McGregor helped the Ireland Under-18 side pick up their first win at the FIRA AER U-18 European Championship on Wednesday evening.
FIRA AER U-18 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: GROUP A: Wednesday, April 12
IRELAND U-18 13 PORTUGAL U-18 0, Mogliano Veneto (Att: 175)
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Manning, McGregor; Pen: Jones
Greg Lynch's outfit bounced back from losing their tournament opener 24-5 to hosts Italy and went ahead early after attacking straight from the kick-off. The Portuguese infringed and Filton College out-half Frank Jones kicked the resultant penalty for a second-minute lead.
In mild and dry conditions, Ireland totally dominated all aspects of play in terms of territory and possession, with number 8 Bryan McKeever causing the Iberian side all sorts of problems with his strong running.
The Ireland scrum and lineout was also on top, with the scrum yeidling two against the head in the first half. Both centres - Eamonn Sheridan and William Stewart - made numerous breaks, but Ireland could not finish off their opportunities.
Ireland's dominance continued after the break, with Navan RFC full-back Manning scoring after 38 minutes, but the conversion was missed by Jones.
The Irish backs and forwards continued to outplay Portugal. This pressure was rewarded with their second try from Monaghan RFC flanker McGregor on 45 minutes to make the score 13-0.
That was the way it remained despite further pressure on Portugal. All in all, it was a much better performance from a pumped-up Irish side and they will now play Georgia in Paese on Saturday (9.00am Irish time) in the 5th/6th place play-off.
IRELAND U-19: Karl Manning (Navan RFC); Matthew Betty (Rossall School), Eamonn Sheridan (Navan RFC), William Stewart (Ballyclare RFC), Tom Rayner (Cheadle Hulme School); Frank Jones (Filton College), Kris Greene (Tallaght RFC); John Rowe (Wexford Wanderers RFC), Conor Whelan (Nenagh Ormond RFC), Andrew Cassidy (Campion School), Tom Burns (Campion School), David Foley (Clonmel RFC) (capt), William Earle (Gorey RFC), David McGregor (Monaghan RFC), Bryan McKeever (Navan RFC).
Replacements used: Damien Wildes (Greystones RFC) for Manning (65 mins), Michael Moynihan (Sundays Well RFC) for Rowe, Conor Higgins (Ballinasloe RFC) for Cassidy (both 67), Sean Nixon (Newcastle West RFC) for Whelan, Lorcan Kavanagh (Boyne RFC) for Sheridan (both 70). Not used: Kevin Bracken (Tullamore RFC), Eoin Sheriff (Gorey RFC), Dale Harris (Waterpark RFC), Conor Armstrong (Sedbergh School), John O'Brien (Connemara RFC), Michael Cronin (Midleton RFC).
Referee: Dale Newett (England)