IRB Under-19 World Cup: 9th-12th Place Play-Offs: Wednesday, April 13 Ireland U-19 31 Japan U-19 18, Glenwood High SchoolScorers: Ireland U-19: Tries: Barry O'Mahony, Dale Black, Fergus McFadden, Killian Lett, Robert Boles; Cons: Robert Kearney 2, McFadden Japan: Tries: Yuga Takada, Rikiya Asami; Cons: Yuki Kawamoto; Pens: Kawamoto 2
The Irish possessed too much power and skill for their Japanese counterparts as they took full advantage of the wind in the opening half.
Held scoreless by Australia in their final group game, Pat Murray's men blitzed Japan for four tries in the opening half - ending it with a 26-6 buffer.
Crescent College flanker Barry O'Mahony bagged a sixth-minute effort with a fine solo run. Well-taken scores from busy Portadown wing Dale Black and Clongowes centre Fergus McFadden followed as Murray's charges looked untroubled at 19-0 in front.
Yuki Kawamoto then opened Japan's account with two penalties towards the end of the half, but UCD fly-half Killian Lett - deputising for the injured Evan Ryan (UCC) - was on hand on 33 minutes to slalom through under the posts for Ireland's fourth.
And while Japan right wing Rikiya Asami earned most of the second half plaudits with an excellent 40-metre run and touch down, Irish replacement Robert Boles' 48th-minute try in the right corner had effectively ended the game as a contest.
A 68th-minute yellow card for Shannon tighthead Kevin Griffin saw Ireland down a man in the closing stages, but it failed to take the sheen off "an impressive win" in Murray's mind.
"The boys are happy with the win. We took the game to Japan and we got the points on the board in the first half, when we had to," admitted the coach.
"We were never really worried that we would slip up, although Japan played very well."
Dublin University number 8 Diarmuid Laffan - who turned in a tireless display - added: ""I thought we had a very good game - especially in the first half when we built a big lead with the wind. In the second half Japan stepped up the intensity of their game and we did lose a bit of concentration."
St Munchin's centre Keith Earls - a fixture in the unbeaten Ireland Schools team this season - also got on for his first taste of Under-19s action late in the second half.
Laffan and co. now turn their attentions to their final game in South Africa - Sunday's play-off against Scotland - 32-10 winners over Georgia today - at King's Park.
(15) Robert Kearney (UCD)(14) Eric Moloney (UCC)(13) Fergus McFadden (Clongowes)(12) Darren Cave (Sullivan Upper School)(11) Dale Black (Portadown)(10) Killian Lett (UCD)(9) Matthew D'Arcy (Dublin University)
Replacements used: Robert Boles (Colstons Collegiate School) for McFadden (37 mins), Darren O'Reilly (Blackrock College) for O'Mahony, Fergal Walsh (UCC) for McGowan, Gary Walsh (UL Bohemians) for C Black (all 54), Conor Muldoon (Galwegians) for O'Meara (57), Greg Cooney (Old Belvedere) for Laffan, Keith Earls (St Munchin's College) for Kearney (both 68), Brendan Lynch (Rotherham Titans) for Saunderson (75). Not used: Peter Durcan (Roscrea), Kieran Moloney (Blackrock College RFC), Daniel Dawson (Cooke).
Coach: Pat MurrayAssistant Coach: Bryan HylandManager: Michael Cunningham
Japan U-19: Hiroki Miyamoto; Rikiya Asami, Daiji Hachiyaku, Shindo Kamaike, Shinji Nakazono (Capt); Yuki Kawamoto, Ryo Hanasaki; Takahiro Doi, Goki Amano, Tatsuki Hashimoto, Yu Shimizu, Koichi Sugimoto, Taro Kenjo, Yuga Takada, Shota Horie.
Replacements used: Naoki Morita for Hachiyaku (39 mins), Daisuke Kijima for Kawamoto, Hirotaka Hirabara for Amano, Junya Yoshida for Doi (all 59). Not used: Kazuhito Sugiyama, Shinya Makabe, Daisuke Motegi, Tsutomu Washiya, Kento Fukutomi, Kazuki Ueda.
Sin-bins: Hiroki Miyamoto (Japan) (38 mins), Kevin Griffin (Ireland) (68)HT: Ireland U-19 26 Japan U-19 6Referee: Peter Allen (Scotland)
Ireland U-19 Results/Fixture:
Friday, April 1: Ireland U-19 16 Georgia U-19 0, Kings Park (3)
Tuesday, April 5: South Africa U-19 32 Ireland U-19 7, Woodburn Oval
Saturday, April 9: Australia U-19 23 Ireland U-19 0, ABSA Stadium
Wednesday, April 13: 9th-12th Place Play-Off: Ireland U-19 31 Japan U-19 18, Glenwood High School
Sunday, April 17: 9th-10th Place Play-Off: Ireland U-19 v Scotland U-19, King's Park (2), 2.00pm