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U-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival: Round 1 Review/Try Highlights

The IRFU Under-18 Men’s Interprovincial Rugby Festival kicked off in earnest at the University of Limerick on Saturday with four games across the U-18 Schools and U-18 Club competitions. Click here for the round 1 photo gallery.



MUNSTER U-18 SCHOOLS 19 IQ RUGBY 15, University of Limerick 
Scorers: Munster U-18 Schools: Tries: Donnacha O’Callaghan, George Coomber, Nick Greene; Cons: Shane Buckley 2
IQ Rugby: Tries: Owen Chaplin, Chay Mullins; Con: Pierce O’Toole; Pen: Pierce O’Toole
HT: Munster U-18 Schools 0 IQ Rugby 8

A three-try second half comeback propelled the Munster U-18 Schools team past IQ Rugby in an exciting opening match of the Interprovincial Festival. It was a keenly-contested fixture throughout, with the Exiles outfit establishing a 15-point lead with some very efficient work by their backs and forwards.

A well-executed short lineout move saw hooker Owen Chaplin take Will MacDonald’s return pass to crash over near the left corner. A Pierce O’Toole penalty made it 8-0 for half-time, with the IQ Rugby defence standing up to what Munster could throw at them.

The lead was increased when centre Harrison Murphy’s pinpoint grubber kick from the edge of the Munster 22 was gobbled up by his Bristol Bears U-18 team-mate Chay Mullins who raided in behind the posts, giving scrum half O’Toole a simple conversion.

Munster drew confidence from a cracking try in response, their captain Will Twomey taking them back into the 22 with a nifty sidestep and pass out of a tackle. Darragh French burst onto the centre’s pass and laid off on his inside for the supporting Donnacha O’Callaghan to dot down behind the posts.

O’Callaghan, the lively replacement scrum half, helped the home side to gradually turn the screw. Munster’s longer training time together became increasingly evident as Shane Buckley, Darragh Casserly and Twomey combined to release CBC Cork’s George Coomber to touch down wide on the right.

With IQ Rugby’s lead down to 15-12 and their defence coming under further pressure, Bandon Grammar School flanker Nick Greene spun out of a tackle and, with a terrific burst of pace, charged clear of the chasers on a 25-metre run-in of the game’s decisive try. Out-half Buckley converted for a four-point winning margin.

MUNSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Darragh French (PBC Cork); George Coomber (CBC Cork), Will Twomey (Glenstal Abbey School) (capt), Darragh Casserly (Crescent College Comprehensive), Daniel Hurley (PBC Cork); Shane Buckley (CBC Cork), Jack Oliver (Castletroy College); Kieran Ryan (St. Munchin’s College), Ronan O’Sullivan (CBC Cork), Darragh McSweeney (PBC Cork), Sam O’Sullivan (PBC Cork), James Morrison (CBC Cork), Dean O’Grady (Crescent College Comprehensive), Nick Greene (Bandon Grammar School), James O’Donovan (Bandon Grammar School).

Replacements: Luke McAuliffe (CBC Cork), Kean Sheehy (St. Munchin’s College), Corey Hanlon (CBC Cork), Jason Aherne (CBC Cork), Dylan O’Connor (CBC Cork/Kanturk RFC), Liam Neilan (St. Munchin’s College), Donnacha O’Callaghan (St. Munchin’s College), Alexander Wood (St. Munchin’s College), Conor O’Shaughnessy (St. Munchin’s College), Sam Hanrahan (Castletroy College).

IQ RUGBY: Chay Mullins (SGS Filton College/Bristol Bears); Jacob Richards (Langley Park School For Boys), Harrison Murphy (SGS Filton College/Bristol Bears), Henry McAllister (Ipswich School), Conor Turbett (Warlingham School); Theo Smerdon (Ampleforth College/Yorkshire Carnegie), Pierce O’Toole (Harrow School); Alessandro Heaney (Wellington College), Owen Chaplin (Gosforth Academy/Newcastle Falcons), Michael Summerfield (Harrow Way School/London Irish), Harry Gilson-Fox (Easingwold School/Yorkshire Carnegie), Will MacDonald (Rondebosch Boys High School), Joe Harmen (John Hampden Grammar School), James O’Sullivan (Merchant Taylors’ School), Lorcan McLoughlin (Sherborne School).

Replacements: Dominic Hey (Burford School/Gloucester Rugby), Ethan Pearce-Cowley (Truro School), Tom Parker (Princethorpe College), Frank Salu (Salesian College/Leinster), Luke O’Rourke (Oaklands College), James Griffin (Harrow School), Ciaran Donoghue (Millfield School), Rory Morgan (St. Paul’s College/London Irish), Gabriel Dunne (European School Luxembourg), Craig Bateman (Bandon Grammar School/Munster).

LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS 34 ULSTER U-18 SCHOOLS 13, University of Limerick
Scorers: Leinster U-18 Schools: Tries: Rory McGuire 2, Fionn Gibbons, Dylan O’Grady, Jack Boyle; Cons: Charlie Tector 3, Pen: Eoin Quinn
Ulster U-18 Schools: Tries: James McCormick, Ben Carson; Pen: Ross McKay
HT: Leinster U-18 Schools 19 Ulster U-18 Schools 8

Blackrock College tighthead Rory McGuire touched down twice as Leinster won their U-18 Schools clash with Ulster in Limerick. Andy Skehan’s charges were clinical in taking their opportunities, leading from the third minute onwards.

From an early scrum just a few metres out, Leinster were able to carry up close before McGuire muscled in under the posts to open the scoring. Charlie Tector’s conversion was followed by a Ross McKay penalty at the other end, rewarding good work by Ulster centre Ben Carson and winger Rory Telfer.

A fleet-footed break by Kilkenny College’s Tector paved the way for Leinster’s second try, and although Carson got back to haul down Hugo McWade right in front of the posts, McGuire was quickly in to pick from the ruck and complete his brace at 14-3.

Dalriada School hooker James McCormick, the Ulster captain, lifted his side by springing over for a try from an advancing maul, which was set up by Charlie Irvine’s well-won lineout. With the advantage of a strong first half wind, the Ulster youngsters needed to strike again swiftly.

Despite some promising play from scrum half James Wright and Carson, it was the defending champions who had the final say before half-time. Ulster lost possession after trying to counter from a Michael Moloney kick, with the inrushing Fionn Gibbons poaching the ball at the breakdown to slip through unopposed and make it 19-8.

Number 8 Donough Lawlor fended off a tackle and scooped a pass out wide for Belvedere College’s Dylan O’Grady to claim Leinster’s bonus point, five minutes after the restart. Ulster hit back near the hour mark through Carson, who profited from winger Jamie McNeight’s deft offload near the left touchline.

Jack Boyle’s close-range rumble and a late penalty from replacement Eoin Quinn had Leinster well out of reach by the end, with Skehan admitting: “It was a hard-fought game which we won because we were better in the opposition 22. Our focus now will be on recovery, recovery, recovery. That would have taken a lot out of everyone involved.”

LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Dylan O’Grady (Belvedere College); Tom Henderson (Blackrock College), Fionn Gibbons (Castleknock College), Hugo McWade (St. Michael’s College), Shane Mallon (CC Roscrea); Charlie Tector (Kilkenny College), Michael Moloney (Blackrock College); Jack Boyle (St. Michael’s College), Freddy Happonen (St. Gerard’s College), Rory McGuire (Blackrock College), Mark Morrissey (Blackrock College) (capt), Diarmuid Mangan (Newbridge College), Stephen Woods (St. Michael’s College), Conor Booth (St. Michael’s College), Donough Lawlor (Newbridge College).

Replacements: Scott Barron (Blackrock College), Jonathan Sargent (Belvedere College), Luke McMahon (Clongowes Wood College), David Walsh (Blackrock College), Eoghan Rutledge (Belvedere College), Fintan Gunne (St. Michael’s College), Eoin Quinn (CBC Monkstown), Zach Harrison (St. Michael’s College), Cameron Baird (St. Michael’s College), Daniel Hawkshaw (Belvedere College), Lucas Berti Newman (Newbridge College).

ULSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Josh Drain (Ballymena Academy); Rory Telfer (Coleraine GS), Ben Carson (Wallace HS), Luke Graham (Methodist College), Jamie McNeight (Wallace HS); Ross McKay (Ballymena Academy), James Wright (Ballymena Academy); David Braden (Omagh Academy), James McCormick (Dalriada School) (capt), Joseph Mawhinney (Ballymena Academy), Paddy Browne (Ballymena Academy), Charlie Irvine (Wallace HS), Ryan Finlay (RS Armagh), Josh King (RS Armagh), Adam Lamont (Ballymena Academy).

Replacements: Andrew Donald (Ballymena Academy), Harry Andrews (Ballymena Academy), Jack Boal (Campbell College), Peter O’Hagan (Methodist College), Paddy Eames (RBAI), Callum Smyton (Enniskillen Royal GS), Tim Bailie (Ballymena Academy), Jordan Millar (Ballymena Academy).

CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS 36 ULSTER U-18 CLUBS 14, University of Limerick
Scorers: Connacht U-18 Clubs & Schools: Tries: Matthew Devine 2, Jack Tucker, Mark Purcell, Declan O’Loughlin; Cons: Mark Purcell 4; Pen: Mark Purcell
Ulster U-18 Clubs: Tries: Thomas McDevitt, Elliot Donaldson; Cons: Thomas McDevitt 2
HT: Connacht U-18 Clubs & Schools 7 Ulster U-18 Clubs 14

The Ulster U-18 Clubs team lost their grip on a half-time lead as Connacht, the reigning champions, reeled off four second half tries. Creggs full-back Mark Purcell led the scoring with 16 points.

Having absorbed some early pressure, Ulster got on the front foot with City of Armagh duo James Crummie and John Glasgow barging through towards the westerners’ 22. Out-half Thomas McDevitt tapped a close-in penalty and wriggled over, adding a tremendous touchline conversion for good measure.

Garbally College’s Matthew Devine brought Connacht level soon after, weaving over from a few metres out after John Claffey’s carry had punched a defensive hole and Sligo’s Eddie Coyle followed up with a muscular clear-out. Ulster led 14-7 at the turnaround, though, with McDevitt’s skip pass setting up a try for replacement Elliot Donaldson.

With the wind behind them on the resumption, Connacht built early momentum as an Ulster yellow card proved very costly. Scrum half Devine sniped over for a levelling second try, which was quickly added to by prop Jack Tucker who piled over with good support from Sam Fogarty.

Front rowers Coyle and Tucker were involved in the build-up to Purcell’s bonus point effort, as he squeezed over in the right corner from a Matthew Devin pass. Harry West’s lofted delivery created an overlap from which Corinthians winger Declan O’Loughlin added the fifth and final try, which was supplemented by Purcell’s precise goal-kicking.

CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS: Mark Purcell (Creggs RFC/Roscommon CBS); Darragh Kennedy (Galwegians RFC/Clifden CS), Tom Shine (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), John Devine (Ballinasloe RFC/Garbally College), Declan O’Loughlin (Corinthians RFC/Colaiste Cholmcille); Ruaidhri Fallon (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), Matthew Devine (Ballinasloe RFC/Garbally College); Eddie Coyle (Sligo RFC/Sligo Grammar School), Kolo Kiripati (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), Jack Tucker (Creggs RFC/Roscommon CBS), Fiachna Barrett (Ballina RFC/St. Brendan’s Bellmullet), Sam Fogarty (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), Mark Mitchell (Buccaneers RFC/Garbally College), John Claffey (Ballinasloe RFC/Garbally College), Kacper Palamarczuk (Westport RFC/SlIgo Grammar School) (capt).

Replacements: Deema Feehan (Buccaneers RFC/Gallen CS), Joe Agbo (Galwegians RFC/St. Joseph’s Patrician College), Kieran Egan (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), Conaill Muldoon (Westport RFC/Rice College), Micheal Broaders (Sligo RFC/Summerhill College), Adam Nash (Buccaneers RFC/Roscrea Community College), Andrew Sherlock (Galwegians RFC/Colaiste Iognaid), Harry West (Ballina RFC/Kings Hospital), Blaine Barry (Connemara RFC/Cistercian College), Shea Hennessy (Monivea RFC/Garbally College), Zak Rather (Galwegians RFC/Colaiste na Coiribe).

ULSTER U-18 CLUBS: Thomas Leitch (Sullivan Upper School); Stuart Brown (Enniskillen RGS), Cameron McCaughey (Down HS), Tyler McNeill (Coleraine GS), Zac Moraghan (Sullivan Upper School); Thomas McDevitt (Instonians RFC), Adam Scott (RS Dungannon); Owen Warren (Ballyclare HS), Robbie Grant (Bangor GS), Joe Charles (Down HS), James McNabney (Cambridge House), John Glasgow (City of Armagh RFC), Sam Glasgow (City of Armagh RFC), Jack Milton (Ballyclare RFC) (capt), James Crummie (City of Armagh RFC).

Replacements: Joel Smyth (Omagh Academy), Jamie Allen (RS Dungannon), Philip Nicholl (City of Armagh RFC), Lewis Beattie (Ballymena RFC), Jack Alexander (Ballymena RFC), Sebastian Hastings (Rainey Endowed), Adam Sheriff (Virginia RFC), Ben Goodfellow (Cambridge House), Elliot Donaldson (Belfast Royal Academy), Josh Kyle (Omagh Academy).

LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS 40 MUNSTER U-18 CLUBS 10, University of Limerick All-Weather Pitches
Scorers: Leinster U-18 Clubs: Tries: Jack Hanlon 2, David Dooley, Aitzol King, Conor Duffy 2; Cons: Fionn O’Hara 5
Munster U-18 Clubs: Try: Conor Moloney; Con: Tony Butler; Pen: Tony Butler
HT: Leinster U-18 Clubs 12 Munster U-18 Clubs 10

The Leinster U-18 Clubs team recovered from conceding an early try to run out 30-point winners over their Munster counterparts. Only two points separated the sides at the break, but Joe Carbery’s young guns scored 28 unanswered points during the final 35 minutes.

It was Munster who nosed in front in the eighth minute, a strong bout of carrying ending with Ethan Coughlan supplying his Ennis team-mate Conor Moloney who proved unstoppable from a few metres out. The Clare connection continued with out-half Tony Butler knocking over the conversion.

With 20 minutes on the clock, the Leinster forwards set up a promising position in their opponents’ 22, and a neat line of passes from Culann Carbery across to Jack Hanlon on the left sent the Tullow winger scurrying over in the corner for a five-pointer.

Butler booted a penalty, six minutes later, but that proved to be Munster’s final score. Ihechi Oji’s attempted offload in his own 22 did not go to hand and Leinster swarmed through, Dylan McDermott twice getting his boot to the loose ball before his centre partner David Dooley scooped it up to dot down.

With the first of Fionn O’Hara’s five successful conversions giving the visitors a 12-10 interval lead, Munster were determined to bounce back from that setback. However, it was Leinster who kicked on with Andrew Osborne’s sharp dummy and inside pass sending replacement full-back Aitzol King over from the edge of the Munster 22.

Hanlon completed his brace with an excellent finish wide on the left, opening up the space with a strong hand-off and his tackle-breaking ability. Tullow number 8 Conor Duffy put his name to the final two tries, firstly being rewarded for a support run as he collected Hanlon’s pass in sight of the line.

Just as Munster pressed outside the opposition 22, Duffy intercepted an offload and accelerated away for a superb closing try in the right corner. Leinster team manager Robbie Mullen said afterwards: “Munster got off to a good start, but the boys didn’t panic behind the goal. They knew what they had to do – keep the patience and the openings would come.”

LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS: Tadhg Finlay (De La Salle Palmerston FC); Andrew Osborne (Naas RFC), Dylan McDermott (Tullamore RFC), David Dooley (Tullamore RFC), Jack Hanlon (Tullow RFC); Fionn O’Hara (Mullingar RFC), Culann Carbery (Athy RFC); Oisin Michel (Cill Dara RFC), Barry Gray (Co. Carlow FC), George Hadden (Gorey RFC), Ruairi Clarke (Cill Dara RFC), Sean Walsh (Seapoint RFC), Paul Deeny (Wexford Wanderers RFC), Abdul Olaskaban (Balbriggan RFC), Conor Duffy (Tullow RFC).

Replacements: Stephen Carroll (Tullow RFC), Ben Popplewell (Wexford Wanderers RFC), Daniel Adekunle (North Meath RFC), Dylan Lynch (Boyne RFC), Josh O’Hare (Dundalk RFC), John Ascough (Seapoint RFC), Adam Treanor (Mullingar RFC), Aitzol King (Balbriggan RFC), Stefan Bors (Boyne RFC), Conor Gibney (Mullingar RFC), Oscar King (Boyne RFC), Fionn McWey (Portlaoise RFC).

MUNSTER U-18 CLUBS: Jaymes O’Sullivan (Cashel RFC); Ihechi Oji (Douglas/Carrigaline RFC), Luke Doyle (Waterford City RFC), James Finn (Nenagh Ormond RFC), Owen Byrne (Thurles RFC); Tony Butler (Ennis RFC), Ethan Coughlan (Ennis RFC); Kian Regan (Tralee RFC), Dylan Murphy (Nenagh Ormond RFC) (capt), Darragh McCarthy (Cobh Pirates RFC), Edwin Edugobo (Cobh Pirates RFC), Shane Cawley (Waterpark RFC), Conor Moloney (Ennis RFC), PJ Cronin (Cobh Pirates RFC), Jack O’Sullivan (Cobh Pirates RFC).

Replacements: Thomas Land (Midleton RFC), Daniel McCarthy (Midleton RFC), Bradley Aherne (Galbally RFC), David Bamidele (Cork Constitution FC), Diarmuid Dennehy (Bruff RFC), Sam Quinlan (Thurles RFC), Fabian Loughrey (Sunday’s Well RFC), Seamus Lynn (Tralee RFC), Anthony Castillo (Mallow RFC), Guilherme Patricio Ventura (Highfield RFC).