The Irish Schools were made to fight hard for a nonetheless deserved 24-11 win over a spirited Queensland side.
In a game played in perfect conditions in front of a big crowd at the Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane the Ireland team was made to work hard for a well earned victory over a talented Queensland Schools’ team.
The home team opened the game strongly and Ireland found themselves 3 points down after only 2 minutes when Queensland kicked a penalty following an Irish infringement at a lineout.
This set back spurred the Irish boys into action and after a period of pressure on the Queensland line Ireland opened their account when flanker Barry O’Mahoney crossed the line for a well taken try. This score was converted by Conor Gildea to give the Irish boys a 7-3 lead.
In an evenly contested game with both sides playing attacking rugby Queensland had the opportunity to reduce the deficit but they missed a penalty on 30 minutes. Ireland failed to clear from the restart and on 31 minutes Queensland scored an unconverted try to give them an 8-7 half time lead.
Five minutes into the 2nd half, following a driving maul from the lineout hooker Sean Cronin got the touchdown for a try. This try was unconverted but put Ireland into a 12-8 lead.
Queensland immediately responded and 8 minutes into the second half reduced their deficit to 12-11 when they kicked a penalty.
Shortly after this Ireland made a tactical substitution when hooker Sean Cronin was replaced by Gavin O”Meara.
On 22 minutes into the second period of play Queensland had an opportunity to take the lead but missed the penalty awarded after an Irish infringement at the lineout.
On 29 minutes Ireland increased their lead when after a period of concerted effort No 8 David Pollock went over for a try converted by Conor Gildea to put the visitors 19-11 in the lead.
On 30 minutes Diarmuid Laffan came on as a replacement for Barry O’Mahoney.
Ireland increased their lead when No 8 Pollock went over for his second try which was unconverted.
Towards the end of the game Darren O’Reilly replaced Billy Holland in the second row, Conan Doyle replaced Conor Gildea and Rory Drysdale replaced full back Rob Kearney.
Ireland continued to press the Queensland line but the locals showed great determination and held out until the final whistle leaving Ireland 24-11 winners.
This was a hard earned victory but one which the team deserved. Both Queensland sides have made the Irish boys work hard and three victories in three games has created a tremendous spirit in the Irish squad.
Among the supporters at todays game were ex N Ireland sports commentator Bruce McKendrie,now Media Officer for the Queensland Reds and former Rugby Coach at Ballyclare High School Drew Armstrong. In was good to see them amoung a large number of Irish supporters.
The squad flies now to Sydney where preparations will begin for the next game against NSW Combined High Schools on Wednesday.
The hosts at Anglican Church Grammar have looked after the team superbly well and our thanks are due to all the host families organised by David Grogan and Bruce Hodges, both staff members at the school.