The Exiles’ Under-18 squad completed their fixtures for the season on Sunday when they successfully defeated their Welsh counterparts by 25-5. Read on for a full report.
The ‘togetherness’ of the Irish Exiles, gained from the Ireland tour and the Scottish Exiles fixture, was evident from the start. They almost scored from a clever lineout in the first five minutes, and missed a penalty kick at goal resulting from continuous pressure.
However, after 12 minutes, a lineout catch and drive resulted in a try from number eight and Ireland U-18 player Charlie Armstrong (Truro College), which centre Jordan Davies (Denstone College) converted.
The Welsh were showing a lot of skill when in possession and made territorial advantage pay after 20 minutes when their number eight went over for a try from a lineout. That preceded an even period of play, but the Irish Exiles then cut loose in the ten minutes before half-time.
From a five-metre scrum, the Exiles’ pack put them under pressure and openside Dean Connor (London Wasps, and Exiles coach Kevan Bell’s man-of-the-match) was quickest to react when the ball emerged to score a try. Davies again converted.
A beautifully angled kick from out-half Joe Robinson (St. Edward’s Oxford) led to a try for centre Jack Dever (St. Benedict’s) to make the half-time score 19-5 in the Exiles’ favour.
The second half was very even throughout, though the Exiles always held territorial ascendancy, which resulted in Davies kicking two further penalties. He also pulled off a magnificent try-saving tackle when the Welsh had their best move of the half.
The final score of 25-5 was a fair reflection on the game, leaving the Exiles U-18 record at – won 3 and lost 1 (the only defeat coming against Leinster). You can now look forward to following the progress of the young Exiles who have been selected for the current Ireland U-18 Clubs training squad.
– With thanks to John S. Hunter