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Canada Cut Open By Rampant Irish

Canada Cut Open By Rampant Irish

A landslide eleven-try win over Canada has set Mark McDermott’s Ireland Under-21s up for Saturday’s ninth place play-off at the IRB World Cup in Argentina.

A landslide eleven-try win over Canada has set Mark McDermott’s Ireland Under-21s up for Saturday’s ninth place play-off at the IRB World Cup in Argentina.

IRB Under-21 World Cup: 9th-12th Play-Off: Monday, June 20
Canada U-21 3 Ireland U-21 77, Chacras RC
Scorers: Canada: Pen: Steve Woodward
Ireland: Tries: Daniel Riordan 2, Andrew Trimble 2, Ronan Loughney, Joseph Merrigan, Stephen Ferris, Alex Dunlop, Robert Sweeney, Paul McKenzie, Ross Noonan; Cons: Gareth Steenson 7, Jonathon Sexton; Pens: Steenson 2

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The Irish management made nine changes and one positional switch to their starting line-up for the 9th-12th place play-off against the Canadians and it paid dividends in the cold conditions of the Chacras rugby club.

Steve Woodward kicked the Canadians’ only points after four minutes, and the Irish, spurred on by a dominant pack, were 39-3 up at the break through opening tries from front rowers Ronan Loughney (1 minute) and Joseph Merrigan (18), another from talented Dungannon back rower Stephen Ferris (33) and two late efforts from Corinthians winger Dan Riordan (36, 40).

Riordan scored twice against Samoa in last week’s pool game, and ironically the Islanders, who beat Italy on Tuesday, will provide Ireland’s opposition again in Saturday’s 9th-10th place play-off.

With the Canadians wilting in the second half, further tries for the Irish arrived from lock Alex Dunlop (47), stand-out Ballymena centre Andrew Trimble (49, 75), Robert Sweeney (60), Paul McKenzie (62) and replacement Ross Noonan (69).

Skipper Gareth Steenson, who kicked seven conversions and two penalties for a 20-point haul, said afterwards: “We’re very happy with the result as Canada pressurised us from the start. We still need to cut down on our errors for our final game.”

Coach McDermott added: “We need to improve our retention of the ball and decision making at key moments in the game. We’re pleased with our forwards and the whole team – seeing as collectively, they don’t have a great deal of experience.”

Meanwhile, South Africa, who defeated reigning champions New Zealand in their semi-final clash, will contest the Cup final with Australia on Saturday.

CANADA U-21: Jarod Selby; Phil Mack, Dave Stockton, John Benson, Dan West; Steve Woodward, James Buchanan; Jordan Allen, Ken Van Allen, Matt Evans, Josh Dunning (Capt), Cody Berg, Sam Val-Zehan, David Nielsen, Nolan Ott.

Replacements: Rogan Verboven, Glen McKinnon, Pat Kearney, Aaron Goddard, Spence Dalziel, Steve Piatek, Adam Kleeberger.


(15) Mark Kettyle (Belfast Harlequins)
(14) Daniel Riordan (Corinthians)
(13) Andrew Trimble (Ballymena)
(12) Gareth Steenson (Dungannon) (Capt)

(11) Paul McKenzie (Belfast Harlequins)
(10) Jonathon Sexton (St Mary’s College)
(9) Cillian Willis (UCD)

(1) Robert Sweeney (Clontarf)

(2) Joseph Merrigan (Corinthians)
(3) Ronan Loughney (Galwegians)

(4) Alex Dunlop (Terenure College RFC)
(5) Ryan Caldwell (Dungannon)
(6) Anthony Kavanagh (Garryowen)

(7) Chris Henry (Malone)
(8) Stephen Ferris (Dungannon)


(16) Stuart Philpott (Saracens)
(17) John Andress (Belfast Harlequins)
(18) Kevin McLaughlin (UCD)
(19) Ross Noonan (UCC)
(20) Gerry Hurley (Garryowen)
(21) Conan Doyle (Garryowen)

(22) Ross McCarron (UCD)

Coach: Mark McDermott
Assistant Coach: Niall Malone
Manager: David Haslett

Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)