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U-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival: Round 2 Review/Try Highlights

U-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival: Round 2 Review/Try Highlights

Munster U-18 Clubs' try-scoring centre Luke Underwood Doyle gets his pass away under pressure from Ulster's Adam Scott ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

The second round of the IRFU Under-18 Men’s Interprovincial Rugby Festival had an average of six tries per game, as the competing teams provided plenty of entertainment in the Limerick rain. Check out the round 2 photo gallery.



MUNSTER U-18 CLUBS 24 ULSTER U-18 CLUBS 7, University of Limerick
Scorers: Munster U-18 Clubs: Tries: Anthony Castillo, Darragh McCarthy, Ihechi Oji, Luke Underwood Doyle; Cons: Tony Butler 2
Ulster U-18 Clubs: Try: Jack Milton; Con: Thomas McDevitt
HT: Munster U-18 Clubs 12 Ulster U-18 Clubs 0

Two tries in each half saw the Munster Under-18 Clubs team post their first win of the Festival campaign. An opportunist ninth-minute try set them on their way, with Tony Butler’s partially-blocked kick bouncing up for James Finn to send Mallow winger Anthony Castillo over in the left corner.

It was an early wake-up call for Ulster and despite growing into the game, they fell 12-0 behind right on half-time. John Glasgow and Tyler McNeill put their bodies on the line as Ulster soaked up immense pressure near their line until Cobh Pirates prop Darragh McCarthy crashed over from Ethan Coughlan’s inviting pass.

Ulster captain Jack Milton reduced the arrears to 12-7 with a smashing 35-metre solo try, the Ballyclare flanker surprising the Munster midfield with his pace off the mark as he hared through and then expertly stepped around full-back Owen Byrne to go in behind the posts.

Stung into action, Munster used a five-metre scrum to feed inrushing winger Ihechi Oji and he spun out of a tackle from Thomas McDevitt to touch down to the right of the posts. The icing on the cake was a 47th-minute bonus point score, Waterford City’s Luke Underwood Doyle bouncing off a tackle to reach over in the right corner.

MUNSTER U-18 CLUBS: Owen Byrne (Thurles RFC); Ihechi Oji (Douglas/Carrigaline RFC), Luke Underwood Doyle (Waterford City RFC), James Finn (Nenagh Ormond RFC), Anthony Castillo (Mallow RFC); Tony Butler (Ennis RFC), Ethan Coughlan (Ennis RFC); Bradley Aherne (Galbally RFC), Dylan Murphy (Nenagh Ormond RFC) (capt), Darragh McCarthy (Cobh Pirates RFC), Edwin Edugobo (Cobh Pirates RFC), Diarmuid Dennehy (Bruff RFC), Conor Moloney (Ennis RFC), Sam Quinlan (Thurles RFC), Jack O’Sullivan (Cobh Pirates RFC).

Replacements: Thomas Land (Midleton RFC), Daniel McCarthy (Midleton RFC), Kian Regan (Tralee RFC), David Bamidele (Cork Constitution FC), Shane Cawley (Waterpark RFC), PJ Cronin (Cobh Pirates RFC), Seamus Lynn (Tralee RFC), Jaymes O’Sullivan (Cashel RFC), Guilherme Patricio Ventura (Highfield RFC), Fabian Loughrey (Sunday’s Well RFC).

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), Ben McCullough (Rainey Old Boys RFC), 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: Robbie Grant (Bangor GS), 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).

ULSTER U-18 SCHOOLS 18 MUNSTER U-18 SCHOOLS 10, University of Limerick
Scorers: Ulster U-18 Schools: Tries: Rory Telfer, James McCormick, Jamie McNeight; Pen: Ross McKay
Munster U-18 Schools: Tries: Daniel Hurley, Darragh French
HT: Ulster U-18 Schools 18 Munster U-18 Schools 0

A three-try first half salvo did the damage for the Ulster U-18 Schools team as they opened their win account in Limerick. Following an initial Ross McKay penalty, Coleraine Grammar School’s Rory Telfer evaded the clutches of Daniel Hurley to register the opening try in the right corner.

Munster full-back Darragh French could only get his fingertips to McKay’s chip past halfway, and the latter’s half-back partner, James Wright, was quickest to reach the loose ball. He weaved through and forced Hurley into a try-saving tackle, before Ulster captain James McCormick dived over for his second try of the tournament.

Luck was not on Munster’s side when an attack broke down due to a misplaced pass, and Wallace High School winger Jamie McNeight reacted quickest to gather his own hack-on and outpace the chasing Darragh Casserly from 50 metres out. All three tries were unconverted, leaving 18 points between the provinces.

Lifting their intensity on both sides of the ball, Munster were an improved force on the resumption. Just three minutes in, replacement Shane Buckley rushed up in defence and forced a passing error. He offloaded to captain Will Twomey whose stabbed kick through saw Hurley touch down after winning a footrace with Telfer.

Buckley and Twomey combined again to tee up Munster’s second unconverted try, the latter drawing in two defenders and releasing French to score from five metres out. But eight points is as close as they could get, as Ulster tightened up their defence down the final stretch and saw out a deserved victory.

ULSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Luke Graham (Methodist College); Rory Telfer (Coleraine GS), Ben Carson (Wallace HS), Jude Postlethwaite (RBAI), Jamie McNeight (Wallace HS); Ross McKay (Ballymena Academy), James Wright (Ballymena Academy); Harry Andrews (Ballymena Academy), James McCormick (Dalriada School) (capt), Joseph Mawhinney (Ballymena Academy), Paddy Browne (Ballymena Academy), Charlie Irvine (Wallace HS), Ryan Finlay (RS Armagh), Callum Smyton (Enniskillen Royal GS), Adam Lamont (Ballymena Academy).

Replacements: Andrew Donald (Ballymena Academy), David Braden (Omagh Academy), Jack Boal (Campbell College), Peter O’Hagan (Methodist College), Paddy Eames (RBAI), Josh King (RS Armagh), Josh Drain (Ballymena Academy), Tim Bailie (Ballymena Academy), Jordan Millar (Ballymena Academy), Ethan Bryce (Methodist College).

MUNSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Darragh French (PBC Cork); Conor O’Shaughnessy (St. Munchin’s College), Will Twomey (Glenstal Abbey School) (capt), Darragh Casserly (Crescent College Comprehensive), Daniel Hurley (PBC Cork); Alexander Wood (St. Munchin’s College), Donnacha O’Callaghan (St. Munchin’s College); Kean Sheehy (St. Munchin’s College), Luke McAuliffe (CBC Cork), Corey Hanlon (CBC Cork), Jason Aherne (CBC Cork), James Morrison (CBC Cork), Sam O’Sullivan (PBC Cork), Dylan O’Connor (CBC Cork/Kanturk RFC), Liam Neilan (St. Munchin’s College).

Replacements: Ronan O’Sullivan (CBC Cork), Kieran Ryan (St. Munchin’s College), Darragh McSweeney (PBC Cork), Dean O’Grady (Crescent College Comprehensive), James O’Donovan (Bandon Grammar School), Nick Greene (Bandon Grammar School), Jack Oliver (Castletroy College), Shane Buckley (CBC Cork), George Coomber (CBC Cork), Sam Hanrahan (Castletroy College).

CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS 12 LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS 19, University of Limerick
Scorers: Connacht U-18 Clubs & Schools: Tries: Kolo Kiripati, Kacper Palamarczuk; Con: Ruaidhri Fallon 
Leinster U-18 Clubs: Tries: Conor Duffy, Aitzol King, Jack Hanlon; Cons: Fionn O’Hara 2 
HT: Connacht U-18 Clubs & Schools 12 Leinster U-18 Clubs 19

Connacht’s hopes of winning back-to-back U-18 Clubs titles took a considerable hit when they lost out by seven points to Leinster. All five tries were scored during a pulsating first half which swung one way and then the other.

JP Walsh’s westerners got off to a confident start, retaining the ball well while playing into a blustery wind. However, Leinster were first on the scoreboard when a clever lineout move saw jumper Ruairi Clarke combine with Paul Deeny who sent Tullow’s Conor Duffy around the corner and he finished neatly from 15 metres out.

The lineout also provided the platform for a quick-fire try from Connacht, as their captain Kacper Palamarczuk caused trouble for Leinster from the restart and opted to go for the corner from a penalty. Kolo Kiripati threw in to his Buccaneers club-mate Sam Fogarty and the maul propelled the hooker over the whitewash.

The seven-point gap was restored when Balbriggan’s Aitzol King galloped in from the edge of the Connacht 22, despite Dylan McDermott’s attempted pass going to ground initially. Leinster managed to successfully defend Connacht’s next maul effort, but quick recycling led to Palamarczuk piling over for a try with Jack Tucker on the latch.

Ruaidhri Fallon’s conversion made it 12 points apiece, a fitting scoreline approaching half-time given the tit-for-tat exchanges. Leinster had other ideas, though, and Tullow winger Jack Hanlon, set free by Fionn O’Hara and McDermott – squeezed over in the left corner despite Matthew Devine’s last-ditch tackle.

O’Hara added the extras to leave it 19-12 at the interval, but Leinster knew they still faced an uphill task as they now faced into the elements. Credit to their maul defence, they thwarted Connacht twice inside their own 22 when it looked like the defending champions were course for their third try of the match.

Joe Carbery’s charges kept a stubborn hold of their lead, with out-half O’Hara missing a late penalty chance to take the losing bonus point away from Connacht. Leinster team manager Robbie Mullen said afterwards: “It was the brilliance of the defence that kept us in front. All the boys really stood up.”

The U-18 Clubs competition’s table now has Leinster on nine points (+37 scoring difference), with Connacht second on six (+15) and the standings completed by Munster on five (-13) and Ulster who are chasing their first point (-39). The tournament concludes on Sunday with Leinster v Ulster and Munster v Connacht.

CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS: Mark Purcell (Creggs RFC/Roscommon CBS); Darragh Kennedy (Galwegians RFC/Clifden GS), 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), Conaill Muldoon (Westport RFC/Rice College), 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), Fiachna Barrett (Ballina RFC/St. Brendan’s Belmullet), 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).

LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS: Andrew Osborne (Naas RFC); Aitzol King (Balbriggan 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), Josh O’Hare (Dundalk RFC), Dylan Lynch (Boyne RFC), Adam Treanor (Mullingar RFC), Conor Gibney (Mullingar RFC), Jamie Cooper (Tullow RFC), Oscar King (Boyne RFC), Josh Ascough (Seapoint RFC), Stefan Bors (Boyne RFC).

LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS 39 IQ RUGBY 24, University of Limerick
Scorers: Leinster U-18 Schools: Tries: Scott Barron, Daniel Hawkshaw, Rory McGuire 2, Jack Boyle; Cons: Zach Harrison 2, Charlie Tector 2; Pens: Zach Harrison 2
IQ Rugby: Tries: Lorcan McLoughlin 2, Jacob Richards, James O’Sullivan; Cons: Ciaran Donoghue, Rory Morgan
HT: Leinster U-18 Schools 20 IQ Rugby 7

Leinster’s march towards another U-18 Schools crown continued in a very entertaining nine-try tussle with IQ Rugby. In-form Blackrock College prop Rory McGuire took his Festival haul to four tries courtesy of his second brace in as many games.

With 11 tries and 73 points scored and 10 Championship points in the bag, the Leinster young guns cannot be reeled in with Munster and Ulster both on four points. Head coach Andy Skehan still sees plenty of room for improvement in their final fixture.

“The team is progressing well, we’re happy with where we’re at,” he said. “We still have a lot of areas where we can be better. We know that. We will park this tomorrow (Thursday) and go about making the improvements necessary for Munster on Sunday.”

The Exiles broke the try deadlock when influential number 8 Lorcan McLoughlin muscled his way over from close range, ably assisted by loosehead Ethan Pearce-Cowley. The margin was only a single point after Zach Harrison’s second successful penalty for Leinster in the 29th minute.

Crucially, Skehan’s well-drilled squad put together a late surge to lead 20-7 at half-time. Blackrock hooker Scott Barron plunged over at the end of some forwards-inspired phases, and then a second try was claimed by Belvedere’s Daniel Hawkshaw who charged down a Ciaran Donoghue kick and deftly nudged the bouncing ball past the whitewash.

McGuire showed what an attacking weapon he can be with two power-packed finishes from close-in ruck in the 40th and 46th minutes. In between, IQ Rugby doubled their own try tally when hard-working winger Jacob Richards was first to reach Donoghue’s partially-blocked kick before it went dead.

Some more pragmatic play in difficult conditions led to McLoughlin burrowing over for a third Exiles score, but Leinster hit back with their fifth. It was a fourth try from their prolific front rowers, replacement loosehead Jack Boyle crossing this time on the back of a sweeping break involving Barron and lock Diarmuid Mangan.

There was a strong showing from the IQ Rugby bench and they went on to secure a well-merited bonus point late on. Working the ball infield from a five-metre scrum, clever hands from Theo Smerdon and Henry McAllister put fellow replacement James O’Sullivan over to the left of the posts.

LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Dylan O’Grady (Belvedere College); Tom Henderson (Blackrock College), Lucas Berti Newman (Newbridge College), Daniel Hawkshaw (Belvedere College), Zach Harrison (St. Michael’s College); Hugo McWade (St. Michael’s College), Fintan Gunne (St. Michael’s College); Jonathan Sargent (Belvedere College), Scott Barron (Blackrock College), Rory McGuire (Blackrock College), Mark Morrissey (Blackrock College) (capt), Diarmuid Mangan (Newbridge College), Stephen Woods (St. Michael’s College), Eoghan Rutledge (Belvedere College), David Walsh (Blackrock College).

Replacements: Freddy Happonen (St. Gerard’s College), Jack Boyle (St. Michael’s College), Luke McMahon (Clongowes Wood College), Donough Lawlor (Newbridge College), Conor Booth (St. Michael’s College), Michael Moloney (Blackrock College), Charlie Tector (Kilkenny College), Shane Mallon (CC Roscrea), Cameron Baird (St. Michael’s College), Calum O’Reilly (St. Michael’s College), Fionn Gibbons (Castleknock College).

IQ RUGBY: Chay Mullins (SGS Filton College/Bristol Bears); Jacob Richards (Langley Park School For Boys), Harrison Murphy (SGS Filton College/Bristol Bears), Craig Bateman (Bandon Grammar School/Munster), Gabriel Dunne (European School Luxembourg); Ciaran Donoghue (Millfield School), Rory Morgan (St. Paul’s Catholic College/London Irish); Ethan Pearce-Cowley (Truro School), Dominic Hey (Burford School/Gloucester Rugby), Tom Parker (Princethorpe College), Harry Gilson-Fox (Easingwold School/Yorkshire Carnegie), Luke O’Rourke (Oaklands College), Will MacDonald (Rondebosch Boys High School), James Griffin (Harrow School), Lorcan McLoughlin (Sherborne School).

Replacements: Owen Chaplin (Gosforth Academy/Newcastle Falcons), Alessandro Heaney (Wellington College), Michael Summerfield (Harrow Way School/London Irish), James O’Sullivan (Merchant Taylors’ School), Joe Harmen (John Hampden Grammar School), Henry McAllister (Ipswich School), Pierce O’Toole (Harrow School), Theo Smerdon (Ampleforth College/Yorkshire Carnegie), Conor Turbett (Warlingham School).