The Australia Schools side proved too good for Ireland's Under-19 'A' team at Donnybrook on Saturday as the tourists ran in six second half tries for a comprehensive 51-18 victory.
UNDERAGE FRIENDLY: Saturday, December 17
IRELAND UNDER-19 'A' 18 AUSTRALIA SCHOOLS 51, Donnybrook
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Keith Earls, Sean Carey, Gerald Slattery; Pen: Niall O'Connor
Australia: Tries: Rowan Kellam 3, Kurtley Beale 2, Matt Schwager, Andrew Barrett, Peter Betham; Cons: Kellam 2, Ben Lucas, Daniel Roach; Pen: Ben Lucas
The tie began in good fashion for the Irish as a chip and chase run from Keith Earls culminated in an excellent individual try for the St. Munchin's winger on 5 minutes. Limivady fly-half Niall O'Connor missed the conversion, but he tagged on a 12th-minute penalty to help the home side into an 8-0 lead.
Queensland scrum half Ben Lucas quickly replied with a penalty for the Aussies and the visitors' speedy backs were soon amongst the tries - centre Andrew Barrett and winger Peter Betham, both from New South Wales, grabbed back-to-back scores for a 15-8 advantage.
Buccaneers full-back Sean Carey managed to reduce the deficit back to two points with a try before the interval. The ball was worked out to the left flank where centre Tim Kenneally offloaded for Carey to charge over.
Despite trailing 15-13, the Irish were simply blown away in the second half. The Australians' pace and skill-laden backline ran riot scoring all six of their tries - centre Rowan Kellam (3), replacement Kurtley Beale (2) and newcomer Matt Schwager all got off the mark. Irish hooker and captain Gerald Slattery rallied the home troops with an unconverted try, but the result was a formality.
IIRELAND U-19 'A': Sean Carey (Buccaneers); Rory O'Connor (Rockwell), Aidan Wynne (Blackrock College), Tim Kenneally (PBC Cork), Keith Earls (St. Munchin's); Niall O'Connor (Limavady Grammar School), David Drake (Instonians); Michael Ferguson (Queen's University), Gerard Slattery (St. Munchin's) (capt), Neil Simpson (Instonians), Richard McCarthy (PBC Cork), Andrew Browne (Galwegians), Burschi Wojnar (St. Gerard's), David Fenlon (Dulwich College), Jonathon Graham (Ballynahinch).
Replacements used: Tom Walsh (Castleknock) for Browne (half-time), Ian Whitten (Wallace HS) for Kenneally (45 mins), Stuart Morrow (Ballynahinch) for R O'Connor, David Millard (Harlequins/St. Mary's College) for Ferguson (both 54), Cian Healy (Belvedere) for Simpson (55), Paul O'Donohue (Belvedere) for Whitten, James McCullough (RBAI) for Wojnar (both 65). Not used: Paul Devitt.
AUSTRALIA SCHOOLS: Lachlan Turner (Newington College); Lachlan Rosengreen (Sydney Grammar School), Andrew Barrett (Illawarra Sports High School), Rowan Kellam (Cumberland High School), Peter Betham (St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill); Christian Lealiifano (Peter Lalor Secondary College), Ben Lucas (St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace); Jonathan Salvi (Marist College, Canberra), Joseph Egan (Casuarina Senior College), Gavin Warren (St Joseph's College, Nudgee), Sam Wykes (Patrician Brothers, Blacktown), Daniel Linde (Ipswich Grammar School), Ben McCalman (Kinross Wolaroi, Orange), Chris Harkins (Marits College, Canberra), Patrick McCutcheon (St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill).
Replacements: Daniel Roach (St Ignatius' College, Riverview), Ben Daley (All Saints Anglican School), Phil Mathers (The King's School), Josh Afu (Brisbane State High School), David Pocock (Anglican Church Grammar School), Matt Schwager (St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill), Brando Vaaulu (Brisbane State High School), Kurtley Beale (St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill).
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France); Touch Judges: Des Woods, Kevin Beggs (both Ireland)