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Leavy: Tournament Was An Unbelievable Experience

Leavy: Tournament Was An Unbelievable Experience

Ireland Under-18 Schools captain Daniel Leavy was left to reflect on the highs and the lows of the 2012 FIRA/AER U-18 European Championship after his side lost 25-13 to England in a hard-fought final.

Following the defeat in England, Ireland skipper Daniel Leavy was still able to look back on the three-match tournament with immense pride.

“It’s been an unbelievable experience for the squad playing against such quality teams and I think we will all take something out of the last 10 days going forward in our rugby careers,” he told IrishRugby.ie.

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Leavy was the only member from Ireland’s 2011 European title-winning squad playing in Madrid, and his team’s obvious highlight was coming from behind to beat France in a titanic semi-final tussle.

Commenting on the French game, the young flanker added: “I think that was a massively important game and we played with a lot of skill and showed what we were capable of.

“It was a really close match and it came down to very fine margins and we were just delighted to come out with the right result against an incredibly tough French team (22-20).”

Saturday’s decider against a strong England outfit saw Leavy and his team-mates concede two early tries, leaving them 12-0 behind after only 18 minutes.

This gave the momentum to England, something that Leavy thought was the winning of the game in the end.

“I think we probably gave them too big a start and as a team we dropped our concentration that cost us two tries,” he admitted.

“Against good sides you can’t do that. We came back into it really well, but the momentum was certainly with them. I was proud how we kept playing, but unfortunately we just came up short.”

IRELAND UNDER-18 SCHOOLS Squad (FIRA/AER Under-18 European Championship, Madrid, March 29-April 8):

Max Abbott (PBC Cork/Munster)
Shane Boyle (Sligo GS/Connacht)
Harrison Brewer (Terenure College/Leinster)
William Dardis (Terenure College/Leinster)
Shane Delahunt (Kilkenny College/Leinster)
Dylan Donnellan (Clongowes Wood College/Leinster)
Josh Fullerton (CCB/Ulster)
Bobby Holland (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
David Johnston (Rockwell College/Munster)
Cian Kelleher (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
Daniel Leavy (St. Michael’s College/Leinster) (capt)
Gearoid Lyons (Crescent College/Munster)
Rory Maloney (CC Roscrea/Connacht)
Eoghan McKeever (CBC Monkstown/Leinster)
Conor McKeon (Gonzaga College/Leinster)
Darragh Moloney (CBC Cork/Munster)
Ross Molony (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
Sean O’Brien (CC Roscrea/Connacht)
Cormac O’Donnell (St. Munchin’s/Munster)
Jack O’Neill (Castleknock College/Leinster)
Stephen O’Neill (Terenure College/Leinster)
Gregory O’Shea (Crescent College/Munster)
Rory O’Loughlin (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
Aidan Slattery (PBC Cork/Munster)
Charlie Slowey (CBC Cork/Munster)
Peadar Timmins (Clongowes Wood College/Leinster)

Ireland U-18 Schools Management

Terry McMaster – Head Coach
Paul Barr – Assistant Coach
Kenny Hooks – Assistant Coach
John McKinney – Team Manager
Chris Shield – Fitness Coach
Ozzie Fogarty – Team Doctor
David Lyons – Team Physio
Vinny Hammond – Team Analyst
Nicola Lyons – Team Co-ordinator
John Moran – Team Assistant

Ireland’s FIRA/AER U-18 European Championship Results:

Friday, March 30
Quarter-final: Ireland 34 Portugal 24

Tuesday, April 3
Semi-final: Ireland 22 France 20

Saturday, April 7
Final: Ireland 13 England 25