Jump to main content


France Take The Spoils, But Positive Signs For Ireland Under-18s

France Take The Spoils, But Positive Signs For Ireland Under-18s

Second row Joe Hopes wins a lineout for the Ireland Under-18 Schools team against France in Marcoussis ©INPHO/Loic Baratoux

The Ireland Under-18 Schools team will take plenty of positives into their midweek match against Wales after running hosts France close in their U-18 Men’s Six Nations Festival opener.


FRANCE UNDER-18s 28 IRELAND UNDER-18s 23, Stade Pierre Camou, Marcoussis
Scorers: France: Tries: Gabin Rocher, Emilien Trezieres, Lucas Zamora, Hoani Bosmorin; Con: Hugo Reus; Pens: Hugo Reus 2
Ireland: Tries: Brian Gleeson, Jacob Sheahan; Cons: Jack Murphy, Sean Naughton; Pens: Jack Murphy 3
HT: France 6 Ireland 13

Match Photo Gallery: France U-18s 28 Ireland U-18 Schools 23

Paul Barr’s side opened up a 13-0 lead inside the opening 19 minutes in Marcoussis, big number 8 Brian Gleeson crossing from close range and out-half Jack Murphy kicking the rest of the points.

Two Hugo Reus penalties closed the gap to seven points at half-time, and France showed the benefit of their two recent warm-up games as they hit back with a strong four-try second half performance.

Gabin Rocher, Emilien Trezieres, Lucas Zamora and Hoani Bosmorin all touched down, with Jacob Sheahan’s late converted try adding to an earlier penalty from Murphy.

Considering this was their first time playing together and their smaller window to prepare, this was a terrific effort from Ireland. Coaches Barr and Andy Kyriacou will hope for further improvements against Wales and Italy in the coming days.

The festival continues on Wednesday with Ireland playing Wales at 1.20pm Irish time, before an Easter Sunday showdown with the Italians (kick-off 10.30am Irish time). Both games will be live streamed on the Six Nations YouTube channel.

Ireland were first to settle against a highly-rated French outfit, Evan O’Connell doing well to win Murphy’s kick-off before a subsequent infringement allowed the Pres Bray out-half to split the posts in the second minute.

Strong tackles from Stephen Kiely and Gleeson saw Ireland lay down a physical marker, with a sharp break from impressive scrum half Jake O’Riordan almost seeing him create an opportunist try with the boot for winger Kiely.

Successive penalties allowed the Irish pack to press for a try, hooker Danny Sheahan going close from a maul before a series of pick and goes ended with Gleeson powering in under the posts in the 13th minute. Murphy’s conversion made it 10-0.

The visitors increased their lead midway through the half, as a second French overthrow was gobbled up by Sheahan at the rear and France were pinged for no clear release. Murphy mopped up with a well-struck kick from the 10-metre line.

Number 10 Reus landed a couple of penalties to get the French on the scoreboard, his opposite number Murphy sandwiching in a break up into the 22 but a costly turnover meant Ireland could not capitalise.

France missed out on a late try when Tom Stewart and Andrew Sparrow denied Barnabé Massa from a quick tap, but the home side struck first on the resumption when winger Rocher finished expertly in the right corner.

Although Reus nailed the difficult conversion to bring les Bleuets level, good work from flanker Stephen Smyth at the breakdown allowed Murphy to kick Ireland back in front in the 42nd minute – 16-13.

Nonetheless, France used their beefy bench to find another gear and a purple patch yielded three unconverted tries in nine minutes, the first of them scored by pacy centre Trezieres from an initial Marko Gazzotti break.

A clever move off a lineout maul put Zamora over in the 59th minute and fellow replacement Bosmorin added the fourth try, finishing off some fine interplay from just inside the French half.

Credit to Ireland, they regrouped quickly and a scrum penalty saw them return to the French 22. Zac Solomon gained good ground off a maul and then Oliver Coffey fed Jacob Sheahan for a superb surge as he crashed over the whitewash.

Sean Naughton added the extras from the right to leave a 28-23 deficit, but France had the better of the final few minutes, going close to scoring through Youssouf Soucouna and then Bosmorin who was denied by Kiely’s last-ditch tackle.


Day 1 –

Italy 17 Scotland 31
Wales 14 England 33
France 28 Ireland 23

Day 2 –

France v Scotland
Ireland v Wales, kick-off 2.20pm local time/1.20pm Irish time
Italy v England

Day 3 –

Italy v Ireland, kick-off 11.30am local time/10.30am Irish time
England v Scotland
France v Wales

FRANCE U-18: Théo Attissogbe (Stade Montois); Yannick Lodjro (COM Bagneux/Stade Français), Titoan Rouvelet (Montpellier HR/APER Montpellier), Emilien Trezieres (CA Bègles Bordeaux G/APER Talence), Gabin Rocher (FC Grenoble/APER Grenoble); Hugo Reus (CA Bègles Bordeaux G/APER Talence), Thomas Souverbie (Section Paloise/APER Pau) (capt); Léo Ametlla (Provence Rugby/APER Aix-en-Provence), Barnabé Massa (FC Grenoble/APER Grenoble), Adam Bouare (Montpellier HR), Bastien Chinarro (USA Perpignan), Simon Huchet (Stade Rochelais/APER La Rochelle), Lomig Jouanny (US Montauban/APER Toulouse), Noa Zinzen (Racing Club France), Marko Gazzotti (FC Grenoble/APER Grenoble).

Replacements: Lino Julien (USO Nevers), Léo Chauvin (CA Bègles Bordeaux G/APER Talence), Zaccharie Affane (FC Grenoble/APER Grenoble), Youssouf Soucouna (Biarritz Olympique), Andy Timo (RC Massy), Brent Liufau (Section Paloise/APER Pau), Lucas Zamora (Stade Rochelais/APER La Rochelle), Tom Raffy (CA Brive CL/APER Brive), Maxence Biasotto (US Montauban/APER Toulouse), Karsen Talalua (FC Grenoble/APER Grenoble), Hoani Bosmorin (Stade Rochelais).

IRELAND U-18 SCHOOLS: Ben O’Connor (Presentation Brothers College Cork/Munster); Finn Treacy (Presentation College Bray/Leinster), Sam Berman (St. Michael’s College/Leinster), Harry Long (Ardscoil Rís/Munster), Stephen Kiely (Castletroy College/Munster); Jack Murphy (Presentation College Bray/Leinster), Jake O’Riordan (St. Munchin’s College/Munster); Tom Stewart (St. Michael’s College/Leinster), Danny Sheahan (Presentation Brothers College Cork/Munster), Andrew Sparrow (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Evan O’Connell (Castletroy College/Munster), Joe Hopes (Campbell College/Ulster), Stephen Smyth (Kilkenny College/Leinster), Josh Stevens (Methodist College/Ulster), Brian Gleeson (Rockwell College/Munster).

Replacements: Zac Solomon (Campbell College/Ulster), Emmet Calvey (Ardscoil Rís/Munster), Jacob Boyd (Royal Belfast Academical Institute/Ulster), Inigo Cruise O’Brien (Blackrock College/Leinster), Jacob Sheahan (Presentation Brothers College Cork/Munster), Oliver Coffey (Blackrock College/Leinster), Sean Naughton (Kilkenny College/Leinster), Hugo McLaughlin (Gonzaga College/Leinster), Luke Kritzinger (Blackrock College/Leinster), Ruben Moloney (Blackrock College/Leinster).