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Ireland U-20s End Championship In Eighth Place

Ireland U-20s End Championship In Eighth Place

The Ireland Under-20s, sponsored by PwC, were outscored by five tries to three when going down 38-24 to Wales in Sunday’s 7th-8th place play-off at the IRB Junior World Championship.

Despite the defeat, it was still a memorable afternoon for Ireland full-back Andrew Conway whose first half try saw him draw level with New Zealand's Zac Guildford in the all-time top try-scoring stakes at the Junior World Championship.

Conway, who turns 20 next month, has scored 10 tries in as many matches – five each in the 2010 and 2011 tournaments.

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Guildford, now 22, is a two-time Junior World Championship winner and has gone on to play four Tests for the All Blacks so far.

The sides drew 26-26 when they met in Llanelli in this year's Six Nations, but Wales led from start to finish here against a tired-looking Ireland team.

Centre Lewis Robling crossed for the first Welsh try, four minutes in, which Conway replied to after James McKinney had missed a penalty.

Lock and captain Macauley Cook finished off for his side’s second, following a series of attacks in the Irish 22, and winger Liam Williams collected his own kick for a well-taken 37th-minute try.

The deficit would have been more had out-half Matthew Morgan, who kicked two early penalties, not failed with all three conversion attempts.

Ireland cut the gap back to 21-14 for half-time with a late try from winger Craig Gilroy who evaded a despairing tackle to score on the right, with Paddy Jackson adding a well-struck conversion.

Mike Ruddock’s charges were still very much in the hunt and an early penalty in the second half from Jackson made it a four-point game.

However, that was as close as they could get to their Celtic rivals, with a penalty from Morgan and converted tries from forwards Cory Hill and Thomas Young giving Wales an unassailable lead.

Wales kept the scoreboard ticking over despite losing Morgan to a yellow card in the 59th minute.

Gaining some late consolation, Ireland managed to have the final say when lock Iain Henderson broke through for his first try at this level which his Ulster colleague Jackson converted.

Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)