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Ireland U-18 Schools Side Make It Two Wins Out Of Two

Ireland U-18 Schools Side Make It Two Wins Out Of Two

Replacement hooker Mikey Yarr dives over to score Ireland's eighth and final try against Wales at Energia Park ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

The Ireland Under-18 Schools team (sponsored by PwC) doubled their win tally by beating Wales 48-17 on the second day of the U-18 Men’s Six Nations Festival at Energia Park.


Wednesday, April 12 –

Scorers: Wales: Tries: Kyle Harris, Ioan Duggan, Harry Thomas; Con: Jack Woods
Ireland: Tries: Andre Ryan, Luke Murphy, Todd Lawlor, Evan Moynihan 2, Luke McLaughlin, Charlie Molony, Mikey Yarr; Cons: Dylan Hicks 4
HT: Wales 12 Ireland 27

Captain Evan Moynihan ran in a peach of a try from halfway, and Andre Ryan, Luke Murphy, Todd Lawlor and Luke McLaughlin also crossed the whitewash as Ireland established a 27-12 half-time lead.

Wales, who trailed 22-0 at one stage, rallied before the interval with Kyle Harris and Ioan Duggan both scoring, but Paul Barr’s Ireland side showed notable improvements from their first run-out against Scotland.

Moynihan finished with a brace and Blackrock College duo Charlie Molony and Mikey Yarr took the Irish try haul to eight, before a last-minute consolation effort from Wales replacement Harry Thomas.

Barr’s youngsters will aim for a clean sweep of Festival victories on home soil when they play England in Sunday afternoon’s final round (kick-off 4.30pm).

The wet and windy conditions in Donnybrook contributed to a scrappy start, but the 6ft 9in figure of Bryan Walsh made his presence felt by regularly disrupting the Welsh lineout.

Much changed from their first fixtures, both teams took their time to settle and it was Ireland who made the breakthrough in the 11th minute after white-shirted Wales had conceded a series of penalties.

Mahon Ronan, the scorer of two tries against Scotland last Saturday, was stopped just short before Andrew Doyle fed Dylan Hicks whose neat skip pass put Belvedere College winger Ryan over on the left.

Walsh then impressively slipped in between two defenders and offloaded for James Wyse and Lawlor to embark on a threatening break down the right wing. Kane James was hounded into coughing up a five-metre scrum.

A couple of phases later, Ardscoil Rís number 8 Murphy burst onto a Doyle pass to crash over beside the posts. Out-half Hicks, who provided the latch for the try scorer, converted to open up a 12-0 lead.

Welsh handling errors allowed Ireland to swiftly build for their third try. Hicks, Oisin Minogue, Lawlor and Ryan combined to move the hosts into range and scrum half Doyle’s sharp pass put full-back Lawlor over from five metres out.

Even better followed in the 22nd minute when flanker Minogue surged out of the Irish 22 and up past halfway. Quick ruck ball sent Moynihan darting away from two defenders and he held off Jack Woods to bag the bonus point out wide.

A strong spell of carrying from their forwards brought Wales into try-scoring territory. Harry Rees-Weldon was denied by a forward pass, but Harris was well supported by fellow flanker Keanu Evans when he drove in under the posts.

Gonzaga College hooker McLaughlin hit back with Ireland’s fifth score, going the direct route on a 20-metre run-in after good ground gained by tighthead prop Alex Mullan.

Wales managed to close out the opening 35 minutes with a late try, which was set up by a well-driven lineout maul. Winger Duggan was able to snipe over from a short Joshua Pearce pass.

The Welsh also had the best chance of scoring just after the restart, but St. Munchin’s College back rower Minogue thwarted them with a crucial turnover near his own line. Before that, scrum half Doyle had won another battle at the breakdown.

A Walsh lineout steal, coupled with a terrific 50:22 kick from Hicks, pointed the way forward for Ireland. Some slick interplay between Moynihan, Gene O’Leary Kareem and Lawlor also got their attack firing again.

Wales lost winger Rees-Weldon to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on, and Doyle put the ball on a plate for St. Mary’s College centre Moynihan to touch down from close range in the 52nd minute.

Hicks converted and also added the extras to Molony’s effort barely five minutes later. The Blackrock winger stripped the ball away from Duggan and accelerated clear to score from 40 metres out, widening the margin to 41-12.

Walsh then pinched another Welsh lineout, and after Pres Bray’s Billy Corrigan had become Ireland’s latest U-18 Schools debutant, fellow replacement Yarr broke down the blindside to score from a well-worked maul.

Bantry Bay starlet Hicks swung over a brilliant touchline conversion, while the only blot on Ireland’s copybook late on was their failure to prevent Thomas from plunging over from a lineout drive.


Day 1 (Saturday, April 8 at Energia Park) –

Wales 8 Italy 29
Ireland 36 Scotland 20
England 22 France 23

Day 2 (Wednesday, April 12 at Energia Park) –

France 50 Scotland 7
Italy 10 England 26
Wales 17 Ireland 48

Day 3 (Sunday, April 16 at Energia Park) –

Scotland v Wales, 12pm
France v Italy, 2.15pm
Ireland v England, 4.30pm

WALES U-18: Tom Bowen (Cardiff Rugby/Clifton College); Harry Rees-Weldon (Dragons RFC/Coleg Gwent), Elijah Evans (Cardiff Rugby/Cardiff & Vale College), Osian Roberts (Sale Sharks/Kirkham Grammar School), Ioan Duggan (Dragons RFC/Cwm Rhymni); Jack Woods (Dragons RFC/Monmouth School for Boys), Joshua Pearce (Cardiff Rugby/Hartpury College); Ioan Emanuel (Bath/Millfield School), Evan Wood (Cardiff Rugby/Coleg y Cymoedd) (capt), Sam Scott (Wasps/City of Oxford College), Luke Evans (Cardiff Rugby/Y Pant), Kenzie Jenkins (Bristol/Coleg y Cymoedd), Kyle Harris (Ospreys/Coleg y Cymoedd), Keanu Evans (Scarlets/Strade), Kane James (Exeter Chiefs | Sedbergh School).

Replacements: Harry Thomas (Scarlets/Coleg Sir Gar), Max Bignell (Cardiff Rugby/Whitchurch High School), Ethan Say (RGC/Llandrillo), Nick Thomas (Dragons RFC/Hartpury College), Evan Minto (Dragons RFC/Hartpury College), Scott Delnevo (Cardiff Rugby/Cardiff & Vale College), Harri Wilde (Cardiff Rugby/Ysgol Glantaf), Owain Paskell (Cardiff Rugby/Whitchurch High School), Kodie Stone (Cardiff Rugby/Coleg y Cymoedd), Steffan Emanuel (Cardiff Rugby/Millfield School), Harry Beddall (Cardiff Rugby/Hartpury College).

IRELAND U-18 SCHOOLS: Todd Lawlor (Newbridge College/Leinster); Charlie Molony (Blackrock College/Leinster), Gene O’Leary Kareem (Presentation Brothers College Cork/Munster), Evan Moynihan (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) (capt), Andre Ryan (Belvedere College/Leinster); Dylan Hicks (Bantry Community College/Bantry Bay RFC/Munster), Andrew Doyle (Ardscoil na Tríonóide/Athy RFC/Leinster); James Wyse (Clongowes Wood College/Leinster), Luke McLaughlin (Gonzaga College/Leinster), Alex Mullan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Mahon Ronan (St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda/Boyne RFC/Leinster), Bryan Walsh (Coláiste Éinde/Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht), Oisin Minogue (St. Munchin’s College/Munster), James White (St. Michael’s College/Leinster), Luke Murphy (Ardscoil Rís/Munster).

Replacements: Mikey Yarr (Blackrock College/Leinster), Mark Fitzgerald (Crescent College Comprehensive/Munster), Emmet Calvey (Ardscoil Rís/Munster), Billy Corrigan (Presentation College Bray/Leinster), Aaron O’Brien (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Jack Angulo (Blackrock College/Leinster), Tom Murtagh (Clongowes Wood College/Leinster), Paddy Taylor (Newbridge College/Leinster), Ciaran Mangan (Newbridge College/Leinster), Paidi Farrell (St. Mary’s Edenderry/Tullamore RFC/Leinster), Jed O’Dwyer (Crescent College Comprehensive/Munster).

Referee: Alberto Favaro (Italy)