Ireland saved their best performance of the tournament for their final match against Scotland and deserved their 34-0 win at Ravenhill to finish in ninth place in Division A at the IRB Under 19 World Championship 2007.
Weather conditions were ideal for running rugby and the host nation were able to move the ball well and scored five tries to end the tournament on a high in front of their home crowd.
Ireland gave Scotland an early warning of what was to come when a high kick was gathered by wing Alan Gaughan and he sped out of his 22, linked with flanker and captain Paul Ryan but his pass to fullback Adam Craig was fumbled.
The hosts threatened to score first when fly half Scott Deasy broke out of defence and linked with centres Jamie Smith and Eoin O’Malley to release Gaughan, but Scotland pair Murray Allan and Lee Jones were on hand to stop him.
Ireland opened the scoring on nine minutes. The ball was passed left and number 8 Kieran Essex made a sniping run before passing to Ryan to continue the move. Ryan returned the pass to Essex and he crossed for the opening points.
The Scots were unable to settle and the loss of influential captain and flanker Fraser McKenzie was a major blow, although his replacement Kevin Bryce went on to have a solid game and was unfortunate not to score at the end of the first half.
Half an hour into the first half Ireland added another try, when Smith crossed the line, with Deasy adding the conversion for a 12-0 half time lead.
Deasy stretched the lead further early in the second half with a penalty and the 15-0 lead gave Ireland the confidence to run the ball more and with great success, resulting in three more tries.
Good forward pressure following a lineout and drive allowed O’Malley to exploit the space and he ran in for a try that Deasy converted.
Six minutes later, Scotland tried to run the ball out of their own half but Deasy intercepted on the 10 metre line to race in under the posts. He converted yet again to extend the lead to 29-0.
Tommy Seymour, making his first start in the tournament, finished off an excellent display by Ireland with a last minute try.
“That is the game we had wanted to play all season when we go through our team patterns. We were very critical of ourselves for going outside the game plans in previous games” said Ireland Captain Paul Ryan.
“We also wanted to try to cut out the errors and we trained really hard on certain aspects of our game before this match.
“Today we stuck to our game plan and it just shows you what we can do. We are all just ecstatic in the changing room to have won the game so well. We have finished on a high and we know we were unfortunate with some of the teams we got in the first phase, but three wins out of five is not a bad return at the end of the day.
“Our passes were sticking today and that was one of the things we had talked about sorting out before the game. It was also satisfying to keep a clean sheet, particularly against a good physical Scottish side.”
Ireland Under 19 Coach Charlie McAleese was happy with his team’s performance on the day “I thought the boys played very well today, they attacked the line early on and the early try probably raised their confidence. There were probably a few times when we were on their 22 in the first half that we did not maybe do as well as we could. But overall I am very happy with that final performance. We had a lot of possession and scored some nice tries.
“If you take it in the context of the draw, it is almost unique to come up against two Southern Hemisphere teams in the first phase. The efforts we put in against Australia and South Africa were two of the peaks of the tournament for us. I feel we probably should have been somewhere in the middle tier, but we are happy enough to have finished on a high with wins against Japan and Scotland.”