Mixed Fortunes For Irish Exiles.
The Irish Exiles U18 squad enjoyed mixed fortunes in their two inter-provincial games in Ireland last weekend. On Friday evening in Dungannon after a good start they were put under considerable pressure by the driving force of Ulster forwards in the loose. Despite the Exiles strong scrummaging and good lineout work Ulster, with their aggressive forward drives, had them on the back foot for the middle part of the game. Both sides swapped penalties in the first part of the game then sustained Ulster pressure stretched the Exiles defence to breaking point with Ulster going over in the corner for an excellent try.
Ulster continued with this pressure after half-time and with the score at 11-3 looked to be heading towards victory. However the Exiles, using their bench well, started to turn the Ulster defence with raking kicks to the corners. The Exiles clawed their way back into contention with an unconverted try and then five minutes from the end nosed in front with a touchline conversion of their second try to win 13-11.
On Sunday in Dundalk it was a different story with the Exiles dominating most of the game. However they were unable to convert their pressure or territorial advantage into points. A determined Leinster side defended their line for long periods and denied the Exiles any scores. Dundalk had few chances to score but when they did they took it. Scoring an unconverted try to run out victors at 5-0.
The trip was a great experience for the Exiles players. Both games were watched by the Ireland U18 management team and selectors.