Garryowen got off to a flying start in the International Amateur tournament in France by winning their opening game against Languedoc-Roussillon 20-13 in Limoux near Carcassonne on Tuesday.
LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON AMATEUR TOURNAMENT: Tuesday, September 4
LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON 13 GARRYOWEN 20, Limoux
Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Ciaran O’Boyle, Conan Doyle; Cons: Alan Kingsley; Pen: Alan Kingsley; Drop: Alan Kingsley
The tournament is part of a festival of rugby to celebrate the Rugby World Cup in France. Garryowen are representing Ireland as the current AIB League Division One champions.
The Limerick side had the benefit of the strong wind in the first half and took the lead in the ninth-minute. Following a peel off a lineout on the ten-metre line, the ball was moved quickly to the right wing where Ciaran O’Boyle rounded his man for an excellent try. Out-half Alan Kingsley did well to land the conversion from the touchline.
The French hosts replied with a drop goal but the crucial score came for the visitors on the stroke of half-time. Kevin Hartigan burst through the defence from a blindside scrum on the 22-metre line where the supporting Kingsley took an inside pass and offloaded to Conan Doyle who touched down behind the posts.
The exchanges were tough but Garryowen were certainly up for it. A penalty for the home side reduced the deficit to 14-6 in the 50th-minute but Kingsley eased the Irish representatives to calmer waters with a further penalty (53 minutes) and a drop goal (60).
Languedoc fought back to score a converted try five minutes later but there was no denying the boys from Dooradoyle. When the final whistle sounded, they were camped deep in French territory.
Greig Oliver and his charges now move on to play Romania on Friday night with a confidence coursing through the squad that they can make their mark in this inaugural staging of the amateur competition.
Garryowen:Willie Staunton; Ciaran O’Boyle, Conan Doyle, Kevin Hartigan, Brian O’Shea; Alan Kingsley, Dave Ryan; Rory Brosnan, Pat Humphreys, Declan Lavery, Ed Mackey, Donal Sheehan, Paul Neville (capt), Anthony Kavanagh, Peter Malone.
Replacements used: Liam Og Casey for Lavery (60 mins), Barry O’Mahony for Kavanagh (65).
September 7: Garryowen v Romania, Saint-Chinian, 6pm
September 11: Garryowen v Tucuman, Bedarieux , kick-off TBC. Bedarieux is 30 minutes from Narbonne.
The tournament final will be held on September 14 in the new Yves du Manoir Stadium in Montpellier.