Jump to main content



Confidence-Boosting Win For Ireland Schools Side

Confidence-Boosting Win For Ireland Schools Side

The Ireland Under-18 Schools team, sponsored by PwC, booked their place in the elite tier of the upcoming FIRA-AER European Championship with a well-merited win over Scotland in Glasgow.

Terry McMaster's side will compete in the semi-finals of the tournament in Tarbes later this month, as one of the top four teams in the Six Nations.

They qualified for the top group with an impressive 31-12 victory in Sunday's crucial qualifier at Braidholm RFC in Glasgow.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

The Ireland youngsters lost 29-12 to England in their first qualifier in December, but had the measure of a Scottish side that beat England 26-21 in Leeds last weekend.

Ireland outscored their Scottish opponents by five tries to two and in doing so grabbed the all-important bonus point they needed, while denying the Scots any share of the spoils.

The visitors roared into a 12-0 lead with tries by centre Chris Farrell and out-half Rory Scannell and one conversion from scrum half and captain Luke McGrath.

Farrell, who was a deserving winner of the RBS man-of-the-match award, went over for his try in the fifth minute and then took a quick tap penalty, three minutes later, before offloading for Scannell to score.

Flanker Dan Leavy stood out in terms of his ability to win ball at the breakdown and he also jumped well in the lineout, helping the visitors to force the issue.

Scotland replied with a converted try from number 8 Adam Ashe, who drove over from close range. On the stroke of half-time, it was the turn of Ireland number 8 Ryan Murphy to crash over for a seven-pointer, with both Farrell and Leavy prominent in the build-up.

Scotland, who were 19-7 behind at the interval, briefly threatened to hit back after scoring a try through hooker Russell Anderson.

But thereafter, it was Ireland who dominated as winger Conor McEllin ran in two late tries and McGrath added a further conversion for a winning margin of 19 points.

McEllin's second effort saw him intercept a pass from Scottish centre Robbie Ferguson and race 55 metres to the try-line.

Yellow cards for prop Edward Byrne and Leavy for ruck offences left Ireland under pressure in the closing stages, but their defence was excellent and they held the Scottish pack up on two occasions.

Commenting afterwards, McMaster said: “We can now go to France with confidence. Today we played some very good rugby, with good shape.”

IRFU High Performance Manager Allen Clarke added: “It was a magnificent performance against a bouyant Scottish side confident from defeating England the previous week.

“The whole management team and, in particular, the players are to be congratulated. The manner of victory and quality of rugby bodes well for the elite group of the tournament in France.”

Referee: Matteo Liperini (Italy)

Related Links –

FIRA-AER U-18 European Championship