The Ireland Schools maintained their unbeaten run in Australia with this 27-22 win against New South Wales Combined High Schools on Wednesday.
The Irish Schoolboys team played their fourth game of their Australian Tour against NSW Combined High Schools (CHS) at Eastwoods Rugby Club on Wednesday 11th August.
Ireland kicked of in glorious conditions at Eastwood v NSW CHS. One minute into the game, following good work from the backs, left wing Fionn Carr went in for an unconverted try in the corner to give Ireland a 5-0 lead. Shortly after the re-start No 8 David Pollock injured a shoulder and was replaced by Devin Toner.
On 12 minutes, CHS levelled the score with an unconverted try after pressure on the Irish line. CHS could have taken the lead after 22 minutes, but they missed a penalty conceded by Ireland after an infringement at a maul.
On 26 minutes CHS countered from deep after Ireland lost possession in the NSWCHS 22m area and scored a converted try to give them a 12-5 lead.
The Irish boys immediately responded and on 28 minutes, after a driving maul following a lineout, Darren O’Reilly got the touchdown to reduce the deficit to 12-10.
On 35 minutes flanker Michael Essex put Ireland in the lead by 15-12 when he scored an unconverted try.
In the second half both sides made tactical substitutions with Ireland bringing on Duncan Williams, Conor Gildea, Peter Swallow, Gary Walsh ,Gary McKnight and Barry O’ Mahoney. Prop Gary Mitchell also came on at this stage.
Thirty minutes into the second half, centre Darren Cave increased the Irish lead with a fine individual try to give the Irish boys a 20-12 lead.
Again CHS displayed a ‘never say die’ attitude and poor Irish defence allowed them in for another score to make the score 20-17 in Ireland’s favour.
On 34 minutes flanker Barry O’Mahoney extended Ireland’s lead when he scored a try converted by Conor Gildea to put Ireland 27-17 in front.
Late in the game CHS scored an unconverted try but Ireland held on to win by 27-22 in a tough uncompromising game to make it four out of four in Australia.
ARU President Peter Crittle attended the game and sends his best wishes to his many rugby friends in Ireland and especially Mick Cuddy, former President of the IRFU.
This was a good win for the Irish team and they move on tomorrow to new hosts at Waverly College after receiving superb hospitality, with hosts from CHS organised by Glen Clayton, a true friend of Irish Schoolboys Rugby.
In good form, the Irish lads move on to prepare for the game on Sunday against NSW Schools. The team will do a stretching session in a local swimming pool on Thursday followed by a video analysis of the performance today.