Ireland were crowned champions at the Rugby Europe Under-18 Sevens Championship in Bucharest, Romania yesterday, beating a strong French team 31-5 in the final.
Ireland proved too strong for their Pool C opponents on Saturday, the opening day of the tournament, beating Moldova, hosts Romania and Israel in comprehensive fashion. In doing so, they notched up 151 points and conceded only 10.
That set them up for a quarter-final clash on Sunday with Russia. Leading 12-7 at half-time, Anthony Eddy’s youngsters went on to book their semi-final spot with a 26-12 win. They outscored the Russians by four tries to two and landed three conversions.
The penultimate round saw Ireland run in six tries against Portugal to win 36-0 and seal their place in the final against France.
The French side had topped Pool A, beating Russia, Poland and Spain, and accounted for Spain and Italy in the quarters and semis. However, Ireland saved their best performance for last, tallying up five tries on the bounce before the French got over for a late consolation effort.
Speaking after the 31-5 success in the tournament decider, Eddy, the IRFU’s Director of Sevens Rugby, said: “The team should be very proud of this result. All players contributed enormously and improved as the tournament went on.
“For many of the players, this was their first experience in Sevens and they acquitted themselves very well. Several players will now be invited to join the senior men’s programme and provide a pathway for these players to continue to develop.”
IRELAND UNDER-18 SEVENS Squad (Rugby Europe Under-18 Sevens Championship, Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, September 17-Sunday, September 18):
Thomas O’Callaghan (Lansdowne FC)
Conor Dunne (Tullamore RFC)
William Fay (CBC Monkstown, Dublin)
David Pogatchnik (Suttonians)
Curtis Dundas (Friends’ School, Lisburn)
Daniel Hurley (Crescent College Comprehensive, Limerick)
Alex Molloy (Waterpark RFC)
Colm Heffernan (Tullamore RFC)
Colin Sisk (CBC Cork)
Tom McGann (Buccaneers RFC)
Iwan Hughes (Bristol RFC, England)
Finn Murphy (Cleve RFC, England)
IRELAND U-18 SEVENS RESULTS –
Day 1 –
Ireland Under-18s 54 Moldova Under-18s 0
Ireland Under-18s 57 Israel Under-18s 0
Ireland Under-18s 40 Romania Under-18s 10
Day 2 –
Quarter- FInal: Ireland Under-18s 26 Russia Under-18s 12
Semi Final: Ireland Under-18s 36 Portugal Under-18s 0
Final: France Under-18s 5 Ireland Under-18s 31