“This was probably the best game of the championship and one we should have won.” was coach Ciaran Fitzgerald’s reaction to his Under 21s narrow 22-21 defeat by France in Vizille
It was the third game of the championship that Fitzgerald’s side lost by a single score and certainly augers well for their chances in the inaugural World Cup in June in South Africa.
Victory gave the French the Grand Slam against an Irish side who led at half time and who had tries from Brian O’Riordan and Martin McPhail. Eoghan Hickey added a conversion and three penalties.
Ireland. Scott Young (Ballymena); Martin McPhail (UL Bohemains), Gavin Duffy (Galwegians), Conrad O’Sullivan (UCC), James Norton (St Mary’s College); Eoghan Hickey (UCD), Brian O’Riordan (UCD); John Lyne (Lansdowne), Kevin Corrigan (UCD), Bryan Young (Ballymena); Stephen Keogh (UCC), Matt McCullough (Ballymena) Captain; Denis Leamy (UCC), Neil McMillan (Ballymena), Roger Wilson (DU).
16. Rory Best (Newscastle), 17. Jody Danagher (UL/ Bohemians), 18. Michael Carroll (Blackrock College), 19. Conor Hartigan (Garryowen), 20. Frank Murphy (UCC), 21. Barry Lynn (St. Mary’s College), 22. Fiachra Baynes (Lansdowne)