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Match Tracker: France U-21 26 Ireland U-21 8

Match Tracker: France U-21 26 Ireland U-21 8

Hosts France kickstarted the IRB Under-21 World Championship with a 26-8 win over a brave Irish side in Issoire.


FRANCE U-21 26 IRELAND U-21 8, Stade au Complexe du Mas, Issoire

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Scorers: France: Tries: Yohann Montes, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Denys Drozdz, Jacques Boussuge; Cons: Lionel Beauxis 2, Yann Fior

Ireland: Try: Stuart Philpott; Pen: Conan Doyle

Full-Time – A brave effort from McDermott’s men but they were always chasing the game after shipping those two early tries. Hopefully they can regroup for a must-win clash against Argentina in Cournon d’Auvernge on Tuesday. Join us then for further coverage of the IRB U-21 World Championship from France.

80 mins – France try! The worst possible ending for Ireland as the French get in for a very flattering fourth try. A Darren Cave break almost saw Matthew Williams get in for a bonus point-garnering try. But the left winger was brought down just metres out and pinged for holding on on the deck. French scrum half Tillous-Borde spotted that the Irish defence was scattered and launched speedy winger Jacques Boussuge on an 80-metre run which saw him get in at the right corner despite a good chase back from Ian Hanly. Yann Fior just fades his conversion attempt away to the left of the posts. France 26 Ireland 8.

74 mins – France try! Lock Denys Drozdz redeems himself as he picks and drive through and Irish ruck and plunges over for what looks the clinching try. Winger Yann Fior converts. France 21 Ireland 8.

73 mins – After a concerted spell of pressure from the French, Jacques Boussuge almost gets in for a third try for les Bleus, but he touches it down before the line and knocks on. Heroic defence from the Irish – the hard-working Duncan Williams put in a great last-ditch tackle to deny Boussuge. Sean O’Brien has had an outstanding second half.

70 mins – The French have a good spell of pressure but some hefty ruck tackling from the Irish see the hosts kept at bay. A chip over the top is well covered and touched down by scrum half Duncan Williams. Stuart Philpott is replaced by Sean Cronin.

66 mins – France bring on reinforcements with Arnaud Mignardi on for Beauxis and Julien Le Devedec replacing lock Jacquet.

65 mins – A good break by Fionn Carr sees him step inside Jacques Boussuge and his kick ahead reaches the 22.

62 mins – Paul Doran Jones is on at tighthead prop for Dave Ryan.

61 mins – Ireland penalty! Conan Doyle, taking over the kicking duties from the departed Hallett, clips the penalty over from 15 metres out. The momentum is growing in Ireland’s favour – the injuries may be taking their toll. France 14 Ireland 8.

59 mins – Yann Fior is forced to take the ball over the French line as replacement Ian Hanly applies good pressure. Nicolas Bontinck comes on for Alexandre. The French try to wheel a five-metre scrum but Sean O’Brien breaks off it. The French cough up a penalty at a subsequent ruck – hands in the ruck from Damien Chouly.

58 mins – Ireland made a double change with Darren Cave and Ian Hanly on for Carr and Hallett.

56 mins – French full-back Florian Denos kicks straight into touch from open play, handing the initiative back to the Irish, but

52 mins – Ireland try! The Irish strike for a deserved try. The French try to wheel a close range scrum but Sean O’Brien breaks off it and off second phase ball, skipper Stuart Philpott picks and drives and nips in at the line. Much better play from Ireland. Kieran Hallett screws the conversion badly wide from a short distance out. France 14 Ireland 5.

51 mins – Ross Noonan makes way for Diarmuid Laffan.

48 mins – Duncan Williams is on for Ireland at scrum half for Marshall. Maxime Mermoz comes on for Thibault Lacroix for the French.

47 mins – French lock Denys Drozdz is yellow carded for a needless stamp on an Irish leg at a ruck. Wreckless play from the Brive player gives Ireland penalty chance. Kieran Hallett misses his first shot at the posts – from 30 metres out – to the right of the posts.

46 mins – Ireland spoil a French lineout with the back row snaffling possession. A Kieran Hallett garryowen produces a knock on from the hosts. Good field position for McDermott’s side.

44 mins – French hooker Arnaud Heguy gets caught the bottom of a ruck and sustains a bad ankle injury. Guilhem Guirado is brought on as a replacement.

Second Half – Kick-Off – Kieran Hallett restarts with Philpott and Noonan back on the field.

Half-Time – Ireland have it all to do for the second half as they trail 14-0 at the break. At least they will be back to 15 men with skipper Philpott returning. The back row unit of Noonan, Pollock and O’Brien have performed best so far for the Irish, but only in defence. A greater share of the possession is needed for the remaining 40 minutes.

39 mins – Ireland have a four-minute spell of possession just before the interval, but time and again, they are coming up against a brick wall in the French defence. Centre Tom Gleeson made a notable break towards the 22, handing off Yann Fior before linking with Peter Durcan but the well-organised French look rarely under threat.

34 mins – Sean Cronin is brought in to take hooker Philpott’s place in the scrum with flanker Ross Noonan making way. Kieran Hallett clears his lines with a good kick, bringing play to just over halfway.

32 mins – More woe for the men in green. Irish captain Stuart Philpott is sent to the sin bin for tripping a supporting player during a French attack.

31 mins – Conan Doyle is ruled to have gone over the top after a kick and chase saw play moved up to ten metres short of the French line.

29 mins – As Mark McDermott bellows a “heads up” call from the sideline, only some scrambled defence prevents the French getting in for a third touch down. Strong tackling from Tom Gleeson and Fionn Carr help stifle another French move created by a sweet skip pass from Lionel Beauxis.

27 mins – France make a second substitution with Damien Weber on at tighthead prop for try scorer Montes.

24 mins – With the Irish starved of possession, Sebastien Tillous-Borde and Jacques Boussuge break free down the right flank but the move peters out.

20 mins – French skipper Fabien Cibray is stretchered away with a suspected ankle injury.

19 mins – France try! Powerful replacement scrum half Sebastien Tillous-Borde cuts through on a 30-metre run to bag France’s second try in as many minutes. Ireland full-back Fionn Carr was badly exposed as his tackle was shrugged off by the try scorer. Lionel Beauxis adds the extras. France 14 Ireland 0.

18 mins – France try! Despite some sterling defence, the hosts’ patience is rewarded as prop Yohann Montes gets in for the opening try. Arnaud Heguy’s lineout throw on the short side finds Loic Jacquet, and off a third phase drive, Montes peels away to scores. Lionel Beauxis converts. France 14 Ireland 0.

15 mins – The action is from end to end – a brilliant midfield break by the French with the backs and forwards getting their hands on the ball brings play up to the Irish line. Lock Denys Drozdz is tackled just metres short. The French kick a penalty to touch and look set to open the scoring with Yann Fior rampaging through but David Pollock producing an excellent cover tackle and lives right on the edge by holding up the French ball at the breakdown. Penalty France.

12 mins – A 40-metre kick from winger Matthew Williams takes Ireland up towards the French 22, but hooker Arnaud Heguy’s throw is a good one and the French regroup.

10 mins – The Irish weather the early storm. A Lionel Beauxis chip ahead is touched down by Gregory Puyo but the French centre is adjudged to have been ahead of the kicker. Kieran Hallett sends in a good relieving kick.

8 mins – French scrum half and captain Fabian Cibray is forced off with an injury. The hosts are camped in the Irish 22 with decent scrum ball. Sebastien Tillous-Borde comes on for leg injury victim Cibray.

5 minutes – Lionel Beauxis shows some early nerves as he misses a 25-metre penalty directly in front of the Irish posts. David Pollock gave him the chance after coming in at the side of a ruck.

Kick-Off –Lionel Beauxis gets the game underway in conditions touching 30 degrees. Ireland have the advantage of a slight breeze.

Pre-Match – Mark McDermott’s class of 2006 will be hoping to better Ireland’s ninth place finish at last year’s IRB U-21 World Championship in South Africa. Ulster back row Stephen Ferris was the Irish side’s star performer 11 months ago – he finished as the tournament’s third top try-scorer (five tries).

For the tournament opener against France, coach McDermott has made six changes to the side that lost to England in the final game of the U-21 Six Nations.

The changes in the backline see Cork Constitution’s Tom Gleeson start ahead of Darren Cave at outside centre, Kieran Hallett of the Bedford Blues comes in at out-half with Garryowen’s Conan Doyle switching to inside centre with Fergus McFadden losing his place. Ballynahinch’s Paul Marshall also returns at scrum half with Duncan Williams losing out.

In the pack, there are two changes in the front row and one at openside flanker. Darragh Hurley of UCC and Highfield’s David Ryan are in at loosehead and tighthead prop respectively. The highly-rated David Pollock of Queen’s University, who captained Ireland at April’s IRB U-19 World Championship in Dubai, takes Ejike Uzoigwe’s place at number 7.

McDermott’s squad for the competition includes three players from last year’s World Championship panel – captain Stuart Philipott, Doyle and UCC flanker Ross Noonan.

The Irish coach said: “The opening game will be vital to both sides, it always is. However, I think we have prepared well and the guys are looking forward to the challenge.

“We expect to get tested all over the pitch by France, whereas the other two nations we face in the poll stages (Argentina and Georgia) are traditionally strong up front.

“We were disappointed with some of our results in the Six Nations this year, so this competition provides us with an opportunity to put things right.”

The French ran out 29-10 winners when the sides last met in Strasbourg in February.

FRANCE U-21: Florian Denos; Jacques Boussuge, Thibault Lacroix, Gregory Puyo, Yann Fior; Lionel Beauxis, Fabien Cibray (capt); Laurent Cabarry, Arnaud Heguy, Yohann Montes, Denys Drozdz, Loic Jacquet, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Fabien Alexandre, Damien Chouly.

Replacements: Guilhem Guirado, Damien Weber, Julien Le Devedec, Nicolas Bontinck, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Maxime Mermoz, Arnaud Mignardi.

IRELAND U-21: Fionn Carr; Peter Durcan, Tom Gleeson, Conan Doyle, Matthew Williams; Kieran Hallett, Paul Marshall; Darragh Hurley, Stuart Philpott (capt), Dave Ryan, David McGowan, Devin Toner, Ross Noonan, David Pollock, Sean O’Brien.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Paul Doran Jones, Daniel Tuohy, Diarmuid Laffan, Duncan Williams, Darren Cave, Ian Hanly.

Referee: James Leckie (Australia)
Tocuh judges: David Walker (Scotland), Bruce Robertson (New Zealand)


Friday, June 9:

France U-21 26 IRELAND U-21 8, Issoire

Tuesday, June 13:

IRELAND U-21 v Argentina U-21, Cournon d’Auvergne, kick-off 5.00pm (4.00pm)

Saturday, June 17:

IRELAND U-21 v Georgia U-21, Issoire, 4.00pm (3.00pm)

Wednesday, June 21:

Matchday 4 – tbc

Sunday, June 25:

Matchday 5 – tbc