IRELAND U-18 CLUBS XV 3 FRANCE U-18 27, Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
Scorers: Ireland: Pen: Callum Bolland
France: Tries: Sebastien Taofifenoua 2, Jordan Matier, Alexandre Derrien 2; Con: Clement Otazo
This powerful French side produced a dazzling first half display that left Ireland with a mountain to climb, and ultimately that was the winning of the game.
The French ran in five first half tries and despite some game performances from the young Irish team, they had no answer to the French power.
France opened the scoring five minutes in when prop Sebastien Taofifenoua crossed the try-line after some effective build-up play.
That score was converted by out-half Clement Otazo, and a second try from the feisty French prop and scores from full-back Jordan Matier and flanker Alexandre Derrien went unconverted.
Ireland missed a difficult penalty and then were unlucky to have a try disallowed for a forward pass. Ireland's task was not made easier when Derrien crossed for his second try and France's fifth of the tie, right at the end of the first half.
The Ireland U-18 Clubs side fought bravely in the second half and finally got some deserved points on the board with a penalty from full-back Callum Boland, three minutes in.
Both sides had an amount of possession but Ireland's defensive line held under immense French pressure and indeed they began to build phases and attack the French out wide.
Ireland finished the game strongly and despite some French counter attacks, Ireland won the second half by that single penalty as they held France scoreless.
Unfortunately the power of the French pack really told in the first half when that whirlwind of scores overwhelmed Ireland early on.
Ireland have finished as runners-up in this tournament twice in recent seasons and in spite of the score today, they have earned a highly creditable second place for a third year.
Head coach Greg Lynch and team manager Willie Gribben will be proud of the time and commitment these young players have put in all season and here in Treviso.
IRELAND U-18 CLUBS XV: Callum Boland (Buccaneers - Connacht); Ferdia Kenny (Presentation Bray/Greystones - Leinster), Thomas Daly (Carlow - Leinster), Christopher Farrell (Clogher Valley - Ulster), Shane Layden (Cistercian Coll. Roscrea - Connacht); Grant Connon (Newcastle Falcons - Exiles), Kieran Marmion (Kirkham GS - Exiles); Kieran Ball (Wellington College/Saracens - Exiles), Jonathan Murphy (Banbridge - Ulster), Tadhg Furlong (New Ross - Leinster) (capt), Conor Kindregan (Monivea - Connacht), Alan O'Connor (Skerries - Leinster), Daniel Mannion (Wicklow - Leinster), Charles Gallagher (Banbridge - Ulster), Eoghan Masterson (Portlaoise - Leinster).
Replacements: Jake Considine (Young Munster - Munster), Tom Margetson (Wellington College - Exiles), Christopher Tonge (Skerries - Leinster), Conor Ryan (Navan - Leinster), Akhlaque Khan (Navan - Leinster), Conor Clancy (Stoneyhurst College/London Irish - Exiles), Jack Walsh (London Wasps - Exiles), Jack Carty (Buccaneers - Connacht), Joe Keane (UL Bohemians - Connacht), Cian McGovern (Crosshaven - Munster), Michael Sherlock (Skerries - Leinster).
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