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Exiles U-20s Defeat USA U-20s

Exiles U-20s Defeat USA U-20s

A rousing second half comeback produced one of the best results in the Exiles’ recent history when their Under-20 squad defeated the USA Eagles U-20s 18-15 at the Ealing Trailfinders club on Wednesday.

There was little sign of what was to come in the opening 15 minutes as two breakaway tries by the USA gave them a 10-0 lead as they prepare to head to Italy for the IRB Junior World Championship.

A scintillating run by their left winger Madison Hughes led to another score. Interestingly, Hughes is at school at Wellington College in Berkshire, which has produced several Exiles including Ireland age grade internationals.

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The Exiles out-half Caolan Ryan kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit to 15-3 by half-time.

The second half threatened to be much like the first with the USA blindside flanker and man-of-the-match Alec Gletzer showing up strongly.

However, a try from prop James McWilliams-Gray gave the Exiles belief and the introduction of flanker Callum Burke at half-time had an inspirational effect in both attack and defence.

Right winger Alex O’Meara scored an opportunist kick-and-chase try to bring the Exiles right back into contention.

A great steal of an American lineout by lock Jonathan Hogg and a catch-and-drive by the Exiles pack led to the winning try when a delighted flanker Paymahn Seyed Safi emerged from under the heap of the Exiles forwards to claim it, leaving the final scoreline at 18-15.

If there was one consistent feature that helped the Exiles that was the maturity and steadiness of their half-backs, Kieran Marmion and Caolan Ryan, throughout the match, though the performance of the forwards as a unit in the second half did them credit.

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