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Ireland Under-19s Triumph Thanks To Three-Try Second Half Salvo

Ireland Under-19s Triumph Thanks To Three-Try Second Half Salvo

Éanna McCarthy scored for the second game running as his 68th-minute try proved decisive in the Ireland Under-19s’ 19-10 win over France at St. Mary’s College RFC this afternoon.


Sunday, April 7 –

IRELAND UNDER-19s 19 FRANCE U-20 DEVELOPMENT XV 10, St. Mary’s College RFC, Templeville Road
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Penalty try, Evan Moynihan, Éanna McCarthy; Cons: Pen try con, Dylan Hicks
France: Try: Mathis Ibo; Con: Diego Jurd; Pen: Diego Jurd
HT: Ireland 0 France 10

Having been beaten 28-26 in Belfast in midweek, the Ireland U-19s (sponsored by PwC) erased a 10-point half-time deficit thanks to a penalty try and well-taken scores from St. Mary’s own Evan Moynihan, and UCC clubman McCarthy.

The wind-backed France U-20 Development team had take an early lead, with winger Mathis Ibo touching down from a 10th-minute turnover. Diego Jurd followed up with the conversion and a subsequent penalty.

However, a 49th-minute penalty try, combined with France full-back Ugo Pacome’s sin-binning, saw Ireland get on top. Dylan Hicks converted centre Moynihan’s effort five minutes later, and McCarthy came off the bench to muscle over for the match winner.

Coached by Kieran Hallett who was assisted for the Easter series by Andrew Browne and Jonathon Graham, this Ireland Under-19 group look well equipped to push on at U-20 level in the coming year.

Henry Walker, today’s captain, Billy Corrigan, and Emmet Calvey were all capped during the Under-20s’ recent unbeaten Six Nations campaign, while IQ Rugby scrum half Will Wootton was part of the wider squad under Richie Murphy.

Hallett was also head coach for the Ireland U-19s’ most recent victory over France, a 26-21 success at Queen’s University RFC in 2022 when the likes of James McNabney, Sam Prendergast, Paddy McCarthy, Ruadhan Quinn, and Hugh Cooney were all involved.

France were first to threaten, with hooker Lyam Akrab breaking into the hosts’ 22 off a maul and almost combining with the supporting Simon Daroque. Hicks was alert to a French knock-on in the fourth minute, securing the ball on the ground.

Michael Foy then intercepted a pass on Ireland’s 10-metre line, and successive penalties set up a five-metre maul opportunity for Hallett’s side. Rémi Loop got the decision from referee Henry Pearson, though, as Walker was adjudged to have been held up over the try-line.

When an Irish broke down outside the French 22, the pacy Ibo was released from 70 metres out and evaded a tackle from Zack Hopkins to dash in behind the posts. Out-half Jurd slotted over from the tee to make it a seven-pointer.

France had to react quickly after David Walsh managed to charge down a Daroque kick, and but when they returned to Ireland’s 22 they picked more points. Todd Lawlor did well to win turnover ball, but then Daroque quickly forced a penalty which Jurd turned into three points.

In response, Ciaran Mangan and Aaron O’Brien linked up neatly as Ireland pressed just outside the visitors’ 22. Hicks overcooked a kick to touch after a maul infringement, and France also misfired in an advanced position, with Moynihan pouncing on a knock-on.

Walker used a lost French lineout to rumble up towards halfway, before Mangan, attacking down the left touchline, was pulled back for a forward pass from the busy Lawlor. Mangan was soon involved in a sharp counter attack that featured good carries from Jack Angulo and Corrigan.

Ireland applied more pressure following a clever kick to the left corner from Moynihan. The increasingly-influential Corrigan got to Darroque’s kick off the back of a ruck, but Jurd rescued the situation for les Bleuets, sweeping up behind his own try-line.

Number 8 O’Brien, another of the St. Mary’s players involved, had a punchy carry that gained 10 metres, and Hopkins intercepted to keep France in their own half. They did have a maul chance past the half hour mark, but blindside Foy was key to grounding the drive for a turnover.

Ireland ended the first half with another turnover, this time Walker and Angulo holding up Simeli Daunivucu in a choke tackle. The impressive Foy prevented a try early on the resumption, stripping the ball away from Sascha Mistrulli after an initial break from Loop.

Although the hosts won a scrum penalty with the replacement front row now on, handling errors impacted both teams’ progress. That was until Gene O’Leary Kareem gained a penalty at the breakdown, and Hicks took it quickly to send France backpedalling.

With replacement scrum half Wootton also lifting the tempo in attack, Corrigan and Lawlor both carried well before the centres deftly created a three-on-one overlap on the right, and it landed France in all sorts of trouble.

Pacome stepped in with a deliberate knock-on as Mangan attempted to put fellow winger Hopkins, who also had Oisin Minogue alongside him, away from just outside the French 22. Referee Pearson reacted by awarding the penalty try and sin-binning the French skipper.

France were beginning to leak more penalties, with Mathis Boureau d’Argonne pinged for obstruction. Wootton teed up Mangan to launch a kick chase off a scrum, with Minogue first in to tackle Ibo over the French line and earn a five-metre scrum.

Ireland used the set-piece possession to chip away close to the posts. With 54 minutes gone, Hicks brilliantly offloaded out of a double tackle for Moynihan to touch down from a couple of metres out. Hicks added the extras to open up a 14-10 lead.

The home backs were seeing more of the ball now, and with France’s penalty count continuing to rise, Ireland used a maul platform to get over the gain-line through their front rowers. Wootton had a snipe but lacked support, and Boureau d’Argonne won a relieving penalty.

A further penalty briefly put France back in the Irish 22, only for McCarthy to steal a lineout. Minogue got Ireland on the front foot again with a well-won penalty at the breakdown, allowing replacement Sam Wisniewski to bring play to within 10 metres of the French line.

A Mikey Yarr-controlled maul was collapsed illegally by the visitors, and they had to absorb further pressure from a tap penalty before McCarthy, with Yarr on the latch, burrowed over from a close-in ruck. Wisniewski narrowly missed the conversion.

Ireland ended the game without Minogue, who saw yellow for a deliberate knock-on as France sought to take a quick lineout. A nine-man lineout effort almost led to a closing try for les Bleuets, but Thomas Marceline was brought down short and penalised for a double movement.

TIME LINE: 10 minutes – France try: Mathis Ibo – 0-5; conversion: Diego Jurd – 0-7; 14 mins – France penalty: Diego Jurd – 0-10; Half-time – Ireland 0 France 10; 49 mins – Ireland penalty try & conversion – 7-10; 54 mins – Ireland try: Evan Moynihan – 12-10; conversion: Dylan Hicks – 14-10; 68 mins – Ireland try: Éanna McCarthy – 19-10; conversion: missed by Sam Wisniewski – 19-10; 69 mins – Ireland yellow card: Oisin Minogue; Full-time – Ireland 19 France 10

IRELAND U-19: Todd Lawlor (Newbridge College/Leinster); Zack Hopkins (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Gene O’Leary Kareem (PBC Cork/Munster), Evan Moynihan (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Ciaran Mangan (Newbridge College/Leinster); Dylan Hicks (Garryowen FC/Munster), Clark Logan (Coleraine Grammar School/Ulster); Emmet Calvey (Shannon RFC/Munster), Henry Walker (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster) (capt), Niall Smyth (Blackrock College/Leinster), David Walsh (St. Michael’s College/Leinster), Billy Corrigan (Old Wesley RFC/Leinster), Michael Foy (CBC Cork/Munster), Jack Angulo (Blackrock College/Leinster), Aaron O’Brien (St. Mary’s College/Leinster).

Replacements used: Éanna McCarthy (UCC RFC/Munster) for O’Brien (half-time), Mikey Yarr (Lansdowne FC/Leinster) for Walker, Billy Bohan (Newbridge College/Leinster) for Calvey, Alex Mullan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) for Smyth, Conor Kennelly (CBC Cork/Munster) for Walsh (all 41 mins), Oisin Minogue (St. Munchin’s College/Munster) for Angulo, Will Wootton (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby) for Logan (both 44), Sam Wisniewski (Clontarf FC/Leinster) for Hicks, Jed O’Dwyer (Old Crescent RFC/Munster) for Hopkins (both 58), Andre Ryan (Belvedere College/Leinster) for Lawlor, Jonny Scott (Banbridge RFC/Ulster) for Moynihan (both 69). Not used: Tommy Butler (Blackrock College/Leinster).

FRANCE U-20 DEVELOPMENT XV: Ugo Pacome (US Colomiers) (capt); Yannick Lodjro (Stade Français Paris), Clément Barthes (Castres Olympique), Simeli Daunivucu (Stade Rochelais), Mathis Ibo (Stade Français Paris); Diego Jurd (Stade Rochelais), Simon Daroque (Stade Toulousain); Sascha Mistrulli (FC Grenoble), Lyam Akrab (Montpellier HR), Yanis Lux (Stade Français Paris), Bartholomé Sanson (Lyon OU), Charles Kante Samba (Stade Rochelais), Antoine Chalus-Cercy (AS Clermont Auvergne), Geoffrey Malaterre (CA Brive Corrèze), Rémi Loop (Castres Olympique).

Replacements: Baptiste Narmand (Lyon OU), Loïc Varenne (Stade Toulousain), Mathis Boureau d’Argonne (Racing 92), Thomas Marceline (Lyou OU), Giani Callegari (US Carcassonne), Antoine Deliance (Lyon OU), Jean-Jacques Cassio (Stade Montois), Thibaut Motassi (Stade Français Paris), Aurélien Barreau (Montpellier HR), Johan Wasserman (USO Nevers).

Referee: Henry Pearson (RFU)