The Ireland Under-20s cut loose in the Nagoya heat to record their second win in Pool A at the IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship on Saturday. Tries from Jonny Shiels (2), David Kearney (2), Andrew Burke, David McGregor and Michael Keating helped Allen Clarke’s side beat tournament newcomers Uruguay 45-0.
2009 IRB JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Saturday, June 13
IRELAND UNDER-20s 45 URUGUAY UNDER-20s 0, Mizuho Rugby Ground
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jonny Shiels 2, David Kearney 2, Andrew Burke, David McGregor, Michael Keating; Cons: Conor Murray 5
The Ireland Under-20s returned to winning ways with a brilliant bonus point 45-0 win over Uruguay in Pool A at the IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship in Nagoya.
On an extremely humid day, more than 5,000 spectators witnessed seven Irish tries including two from full-back David Kearney, who made a telling contribution with his powerful running from the rear.
Allen Clarke’s side opened well had the chance to take the lead after only five minutes, but scrum half Conor Murray, one of the changes to the side that lost 17-0 to New Zealand, failed to convert his kick.
They continued to have the majority of possession and territory, but Uruguay, who lost 75-0 to New Zealand and 33-15 to Argentina, frustrated them.
With the kick-off at 1pm, Peter O’Mahony and his team-mates also had to cope with rising temperatures of 31 degrees.
However, after 22 minutes, winger Jonny Shiels broke through for the game’s first try with Murray adding the conversion.
Kearney then doubled the Irish try tally as his side started to find gaps in Uruguay’s defence. This time the conversion was unsuccessful, although this would be the last time Murray would miss all afternoon.
Four minutes later Shiels showed a good turn of pace to run in his second try, which Murray converted to take the teams into half-time with Ireland leading 19-0.
The second half continued as the first had ended, with Kearney showing his attacking ability and crossing for his second try to give Ireland the bonus point, with Murray adding the extras.
Tries from Andrew Burke, David McGregor and replacement Michael Keating – all of them converted by Murray to give him a 10-point personal haul – completed the scoring as Ireland recorded a comfortable victory.
Obviously pleased with the final scoreline, Irish coach Allen Clarke also hailed his players’ efforts in defence when commenting on the game afterwards.
“We’re very pleased with aspects of our game. We created a lot of opportunities and we were able to convert a number of tries,” said the former Ulster and Ireland hooker.
“The 45-0 scoreline certainly didn’t flatter us. We left a number of points out there.
“Having said that, the conditions were difficult. Our work-rate was high and our defence was exceptional again.”
That has been a feature of this Irish side’s play throughout the U-20 Six Nations and this tournament.
Indeed, Ireland boast the fourth best defensive record at this JWC tournament. They have conceded two tries in three games, with only England (2), Australia (1) and defending champions New Zealand (0) ahead of them.
Ireland’s second pool success, coupled with New Zealand’s 48-9 victory over Argentina, means they have finished second in Pool A and they will enter the 5th-8th place play-offs next week.
Ireland’s first play-off game will be against Wales, the runners-up in Pool D, at the Level 5 Stadium in Fukuoka this coming Wednesday (kick-off 5pm local time/9am Irish time).
The winners of that clash will meet either Samoa or France in the 5th-6th place decider at the same venue next Sunday.
Clarke’s charges scored a hard-fought 9-6 win over Wales in Llanelli in their final game of this year’s U-20 Six Nations. The Welsh won two of their pool games here in Japan, suffering a 38-5 defeat to Australia in their third and final one.
TIME LINE: 5 minutes – Ireland penalty: missed by Conor Murray – 0-0; 22 mins – Ireland try: Jonny Shiels – 5-0; conversion: Conor Murray – 7-0; 29 mins – Ireland try: David Kearney – 12-0; conversion: missed by Conor Murray – 12-0; 34 mins – Ireland try: Jonny Shiels – 17-0; conversion: Conor Murray – 19-0; Half-time – Ireland 19 Uruguay 0; 44 mins – Ireland try: David Kearney – 24-0; conversion: Conor Murray – 26-0; 49 mins – Ireland try: Andrew Burke – 31-0; conversion: Conor Murray – 33-0; 64 mins – Ireland try: David McGregor – 38-0; conversion: Conor Murray – 40-0; 73 mins – Ireland try: Michael Keating – 45-0; conversion: missed by Michael Keating – 45-0; Full-time – Ireland 45 Uruguay 0
IRELAND U-20: David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster); Jonny Shiels (Queen’s University/Ulster), Danny Barnes (UCC/Munster), Shane Gahan (Lansdowne/ Leinster), Ronan O’Mahony (Garryowen/Munster); Andrew Burke (Garryowen/Munster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster); Paddy McAllister (Ballynahinch/Ulster), David McGregor (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Jack O’Connell (Lansdowne/ Leinster), Joe Moran (Galwegians/Connacht), David O’Callaghan (UCC/Munster), Rhys Ruddock (Millfield School/Exiles), Brian O’Hara (UL Bohemians/Munster), Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) (capt).
Replacements used: Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster) for O’Hara, Michael Keating (Clontarf/Leinster) for Kearney (both 62 mins), Matthew Healy (Lansdowne/Leinster) for Murray (70). Not used: Thomas Sexton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Mark Flanagan (UCD/Leinster), Ian McKinley (UCD/Leinster).
URUGUAY U-20: Martin Etcheverry; Martin Coulthrust, Gaston Mieres, Rodrigo de Pazos, Maximiliano Gonzalez; Federico Brancato, Guillermo Lijstenstein; Juan Verde, Joaquin Rocco, Sebastien Romeau, Federico Perez Tatton, Diego Magno, Juan Hermida, Andres Specker, Federico Perez Pirotto (capt).
Replacements used: German Albanell for Gonzalez (50 mins), Juan Pablo Ruffalini for Rocco (52), Juan Diego Ormaechea for Perez Pirotto, Gonzalez for Albanell (both 53), Martin Sciarra for Specker, Diego Ayala for Mago, Nicolas Pellio for Romeau (all 58). Not used: Juan De Freitas.
Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)