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Eight-Try Win Gets Emerging Ireland Off To Strong Start

Eight-Try Win Gets Emerging Ireland Off To Strong Start

Max Deegan captained Emerging Ireland to a 54-7 triumph over the Windhoek Draught Griquas at Toyota Stadium ©INPHO/Steve Haag

Emerging Ireland belied their short amount of training time together by turning in an impressive eight-try performance to beat the Windhoek Draught Griquas 54-7 in sunny Bloemfontein.


Scorers: Windhoek Draught Griquas: Try: Niel Otto; Con: Eddie Fouché
Emerging Ireland: Tries: Scott Penny 2, Robert Baloucoune, Josh Wycherley, Stewart Moore, Shane Daly, David McCann, Calvin Nash; Cons: Jack Crowley 6, Jake Flannery
HT: Windhoek Draught Griquas 7 Emerging Ireland 28

Simon Easterby’s youngsters kicked off the Toyota Challenge, and their early season tour of South Africa, with a convincing victory that saw the likes of Jack Crowley, Joe McCarthy, Thomas Ahern and Scott Penny stand out.

Leinster flanker Penny crossed twice during the first half, with Robert Baloucoune and Josh Wycherley also contributing tries as the well-drilled Emerging Ireland side, captained by Max Deegan, led 28-7 at half-time.

Munster out-half Crowley landed all four conversions and his game management and tactical kicking, alongside the equally effective Nathan Doak, was a key factor in the tourists getting on top.

Griquas captain Niel Otto opened their account in the 28th minute, profiting from David McCann’s yellow card, but Emerging Ireland scored four unanswered tries in the second half to clock up over 50 points in the end.

The best of the lot was a terrific team move off a scrum, finished off by Ulster’s Stewart Moore, while Shane Daly (60 minutes), McCann (64) and Calvin Nash (78) also got on the scoresheet during the closing quarter.

An Ahern turnover put a stop to an encouraging early attack for the Griquas, whose scrum half Bobby Alexander ensured a good pace to their play before knocking on in the visitors’ 22.

A brilliantly-placed 50:22 kick from Crowley gave his side their first bit of field position, and a couple of penalties later, Penny was well supported as he got in under Johan Retief to open the scoring in the 13th minute.

After Crowley’s conversion made it 7-0, Jamie Osborne’s big left boot kept Emerging Ireland playing in the right areas. It was nip and tuck in the scrum, though, with Thomas Clarkson looking for an edge against Kudzwai Dube.

The Griquas, who were Currie Cup runners-up last season, used their pace out wide to flood forward, but despite good work from Werner Gouws to win a turnover penalty, Simon Westraadt’s crooked lineout throw made for a frustrating outcome.

Emerging Ireland were especially productive from turnovers. Ahern claimed another steal and then, back in the Griquas’ 22, McCann gobbled up a ruck ball that had squirted out. Some quick passing freed up Baloucoune to go over in the left corner.

The South Africans were able to press for the next few minutes, Luther Obi’s initial run leading to a series of penalties – two at lineout time – and Emerging Ireland lost blindside McCann to the sin bin.

Centre Osborne intercepted a pass, but another infringement soon landed the tourists back on their own try-line. The Griquas took advantage this time with Westraadt going close before Otto muscled in under the posts.

Although Eddie Fouché’s conversion halved the deficit to 14-7, Emerging Ireland regrouped to score two more tries before the break. Nathan Doak won the tactical kicking battle to put them in a good position.

The Griquas conceded more ground with another penalty, setting up a textbook five-metre lineout drive as Penny was propelled over the line for his second converted score in the 34th minute.

Good work at the breakdown from industrious lock McCarthy soon launched Emerging Ireland forward again. Deegan and Crowley sparked some deft passing across the line, the forwards’ directness rewarded when Penny’s tip-on put Wycherley crashing over to make it 28-7.

There was a slow-burning start to the second half, with the Griquas using their bench to good effect. Easterby’s youngsters were well organised in defence, though, and their solid tackling maintained their lead.

Indeed, they used a midfield scrum to fashion their fifth try in the 51st minute. Moore’s inside pass put Osborne through a gap, Baloucoune breaking up into the 22 before throwing a peach of an offload for his Ulster team-mate Moore to power over in the left corner.

Crowley’s fine day with the boot continued, arrowing over the conversion from out wide, and a sharp dummying run from Nash made sure the men in green were soon threatening to score again.

That try arrived on the hour mark, McCarthy making his presence felt at the breakdown and the scrum gaining a penalty before Crowley’s well-weighted grubber kick bounced up for Daly to dot down. The try’s creator tagged on his sixth conversion for 42-7.

A Crowley interception almost led to a breakaway effort, Nash gobbling up the ground on the right before kicking through and full-back Daly. The latter lunged for the ball but Obi did just enough to deny him in the corner.

Crowley heaped pressure on Ashlon Davids with a kick deep into Griquas territory, McCann following up to win a penalty. Following a quick tap, the former Ireland Under-20 captain was able to squeeze over to the right of the posts.

The Griquas’ execution let them down when trying to sniff out their second try. Replacement Johan Mulder was hauled down five metres short and they turned over possession once more due to Jake Flannery’s rip in the tackle.

Emerging Ireland will have some parts of their game to work on ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s clash with the Airlink Pumas, but they finished their opener at Toyota Stadium with a flourish.

Replacements Roman Salanoa and Brian Deeny both got a chance to stretch their legs in attack late on, Daly also popping up in the opposition 22 before Michael Milne sent Nash rounding in from the right for a Flannery-converted effort.

TIME LINE: 13 minutes – Emerging Ireland try: Scott Penny – 0-5; conversion: Jack Crowley – 0-7; 22 mins – Emerging Ireland try: Robert Baloucoune – 0-12; conversion: Jack Crowley – 0-14; 27 mins – Emerging Ireland yellow card: David McCann; 28 mins – Windhoek Draught Griquas try: Niel Otto – 5-14; conversion: Eddie Fouché – 7-14; 34 mins – Emerging Ireland try: Scott Penny – 7-19; conversion: Jack Crowley – 7-21; 39 mins – Emerging Ireland try: Josh Wycherley – 7-26; conversion: Jack Crowley – 7-28; Half-time – Windhoek Draught Griquas 7 Emerging Ireland 28; 51 mins – Emerging Ireland try: Stewart Moore – 7-33; conversion: Jack Crowley – 7-35; 60 mins – Emerging Ireland try: Shane Daly – 7-40; conversion: Jack Crowley – 7-42; 64 mins – Emerging Ireland try: David McCann – 7-47; conversion: missed by Jake Flannery – 7-47; 78 mins – Emerging Ireland try: Calvin Nash – 7-52; conversion: Jake Flannery – 7-54; Full-time – Windhoek Draught Griquas 7 Emerging Ireland 54

WINDHOEK DRAUGHT GRIQUAS: Malcolm Jaer; Raegan Oranje, Jay-Cee Nel, Tertius Kruger, Luther Obi; Eddie Fouché, Bobby Alexander; Kudzwai Dube, Simon Westraadt, Justin Forwood, Johan Retief, Albert Liebenberg, Niel Otto (capt), Werner Gouws, Janco Venter.

Replacements used: Johan Mulder for Alexander, Janco Uys for Westraadt, Janu Botha for Forwood, Godfrey Muzanargwo for Retief, Michael Amiras for Gouws (all half-time), Melusi Mthabela for Dube (46 mins), George Whitehead for Fouché (50), Ashlon Davids for Jaer (57), Retief for Venter (59).

EMERGING IRELAND: Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster); Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster), Jamie Osbourne (Naas/Leinster), Stewart Moore (Malone/Ulster), Robert Baloucoune (Enniskillen/Ulster); Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster), Nathan Doak (Banbridge/Ulster); Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster), Tom Stewart (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster), Joe McCarthy (Dublin University/Leinster), Tom Ahern (Shannon/Munster), David McCann (Banbridge/Ulster), Scott Penny (UCD/Leinster), Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster) (capt).

Replacements used: Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen/Munster) for Stewart, Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster) for Wycherley, Roman Salanoa (Shannon/Munster) for Clarkson (all 50 mins), Brian Deeny (Clontarf/Leinster) for Ahern (57), Michael McDonald (Ulster) for Doak (61), John Hodnett (UCC/Munster) for Penny, Antoine Frisch (Munster) for Osborne (both 66), Jake Flannery (Ballynahinch/Ulster) for Crowley (67).

Referee: Morne Ferreira (South Africa)