Garry Ringrose touched down twice and Rory Burke and Cian Kelleher also scored tries as the Ireland Under-20s defeated Wales in a pulsating Pool B tie at the IRB Junior World Championship on Friday.
Thanks to the 35-21 bonus point success, the Ireland Under-20s will have an opportunity to qualify for their first ever Junior World Championship semi-final when they meet Fiji at QBE Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off 1.35pm local time/2.35am Irish time, live TG4).
Mike Ruddock’s youngsters, who are now second in Pool B with six points, have their destiny in their own hands after picking up bonus points in the 19-13 defeat to France and their four-try victory over the Welsh.
Tournament hosts New Zealand and Australia are second in their respective pools on five points each, so Ireland hold a slight edge as the teams compete for the last-four spots.
Unbeaten pool leaders England, South Africa and France are currently on course to reach the semi-finals, with 10, 10 and 9 points respectively.
Delighted with the result against Wales, Ireland U-20 captain Jack O’Donoghue said afterwards: “We are absolutely thrilled, things didn’t go our way against France but we surely put them right today now.
“It was a massive performance by all the boys and I couldn’t be more proud of them. Wales got one over us in the Six Nations (16-0 in Athlone) and it’s our turn today.”
Click here to watch highlights of Ireland’s crunch clash with Wales in Pukekohe.
Cian Kelleher darted over in the right corner late on for Ireland’s bonus point score, with lovely hands in the build-up from Alex Wootton, Garry Ringrose and Ciaran Gaffney. It was chosen as one of the five best tries of round 2 – click here.
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