The Irish Schools team had a terrific 30-10 win against Australia ‘A’, leaving them in sight of an undefeated tour with just the test match to go.
Ireland Schoools v Australia ‘A’
Sunday 22nd August , The King’s School, Parramatta
The game v Australia “A” schools was played in ideal conditions in front of a good crowd at the King’s School.
Ireland kicked off into a slight breeze and were soon on the attack. Early phases of possession showed that the Irish boys meant business against a very talented Australian “A” team. As a result of this early pressure prop Darragh Hurley got the touch down for a try which was converted by Rob Kearney to give Ireland a deserved 7-0 lead after 6 minutes.
Australia “A” responded in a positive manner and put the visitors under pressure but a well organised Irish defence led by Diarmuid Laffan, David Pollock and Michael Essex allowed out half Conan Doyle to relieve the pressure and clear his line.
Irish pressure on the Australian line resulted in a penalty try for the visitors after the home side had pulled down an attacking maul over the line. Rob Kearney converted to give Ireland a deserved 14-0 lead after 31 minutes.
On 34 minutes Ireland increased their lead to 17-0 when Rob Kearney kicked a penalty after Conan Doyle had been late tackled.
In injury time of the first half Australia “A” reduced the arrears to 17-3 when they converted a penalty.
Ireland made no changes at half-time and 2 minutes into the second half full back Kearney increased the Irish lead to 20-3 with a well-struck drop goal.
Australia “A” immediately came back at the Irish but good lineout work from Billy Holland allowed Ireland to relieve the pressure. However Australia worked hard to regain territory and 8 minutes into the second period they reduced the deficit to 20-10 with a well taken converted try.
On 10 minutes Barry O’Mahoney replaced Diarmuid Laffan and had an immediate impact when he went over for a try converted by Rob Kearney to put Ireland 27-10 in front.
After 23 minutes Darren Cave replaced Jonathan Sexton and on 29 minutes the Irish lead was extended to 30-10 when Rob Kearney kicked another penalty. Ireland continued to enjoy possession but the Australian defence remained firm to leave Ireland 30-10 winners at the final whistle.
This was a tremendous victory for the Irish team against a very talented and determined Australian”A” team. The visitors realise the magnitude of their task against Australian Schools in Canberra on Thursday for the final game of the tour.
The squad will move to Canberra on Monday morning after saying farewell to the marvellous host families from Oakhill College. It has been a tremendous time in Sydney with our hosts from NSW CHS, NSW Schools and the ASRFU led by John Rae and thanks are due to everyone who has done so much to help us on our way.
15. Rob Kearney
14. Rory Drysdale
12. Jonathan Sexton
11. Jonathan Shortt
10. Conan Doyle
9. Joe Burns
1. Darragh Hurley
2. Sean Cronin
3. Paul Collins
4. Billy Holland
5. Jamie Cornett
6. Michael Essex
7. Diarmuid Laffan
8. David Pollock