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Ireland Under-18s Run In Seven Tries Against Scotland
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Ireland Under-18s Run In Seven Tries Against Scotland

Ireland Under-18s Run In Seven Tries Against Scotland

Captain Caelan Doris helped himself to a hat-trick of tries in Caerphilly this evening as the Ireland Under-18s secured their opening victory of the U-18 Five Nations Festival – a 43-0 success against Scotland U-18s.

Noel McNamara's charges had run England close (15-12) at Filton College, Bristol last Thursday, but with Caelan Doris and Crescent CC winger Daniel Hurley in sparkling form, they overcame their Scottish counterparts with considerable aplomb.

For this clash in the CCB Centre of Sporting Excellence, Blackrock College duo Liam Turner and Tommy O'Brien and Belvedere out-half David Hawkshaw came into the back-line, with Eoghan Clarke of CBC Monkstown and Ballymena Academy's Alexander Clarke added to the front row.

Rainey Old Boys lock John McCusker made his first start in the second row, and Portlaoise's Sean Masterson – younger brother of Connacht ace Eoghan Masterson – lined out at openside flanker in the seventh and final change.

During the early exchanges, Scotland went through 15 phases inside the Irish half but the visitors weathered this considerable storm. Indeed, with just four minutes on the clock, Hurley claimed an excellent cross-field kick by Hawkshaw to secure the opening try of the game.

RBAI centre James Hume added the extras and he was presented with another conversion opportunity before the end of the first quarter, after an outstanding lineout move by Ireland was finished off by the dynamic Doris.

Having held firm initially under pressure, Ireland were now controlling the tempo of the play. A lengthy period of play inside the Scottish 22 led to 17 attacking phases from Ireland, whose persistence eventually paid off with a well-worked five-pointer by Wallace High School scrum half Jonathon Stewart.

Smart link-up play from Ireland kept Scotland on the back foot, and courtesy of superb support work from Turner, Stewart and O'Brien, speedster Hurley completed his brace in the latter stages of the half.

Hume's conversion attempt was wide of the mark on this occasion, but with a 26-0 half-time cushion at their disposal, Ireland were in a commanding position.

A downpour of torrential rain made life difficult for both sides in the second period, but just three minutes after the restart, Doris claimed his second try of the evening at the end of an incisive lineout drive.

It was a damage limitation exercise for Scotland at this point, but thanks to the introduction of a host of replacements (including Michael Milne, fresh from his appearance in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup decider with Cistercian College Roscrea), Ireland largely maintained their momentum.

A sixth try seemed inevitable from McNamara's youngsters, and just six minutes on from their previous score, Doris finished off his hat-trick via another clinical set piece move. Given the increasing gap between the teams, it was perhaps unsurprising that the tempo dipped at different stages in the the half.

However, Ireland capped a memorable performance on the stroke of 70 minutes when replacement hooker Ronan Kelleher of St. Michael's College dotted down near the posts. The runaway triumph puts the Ireland U-18s in good stead ahead of their final match against Italy at the same venue on Saturday morning (kick-off 11am).


Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

Hugh O'Sullivan (Belvedere College/Leinster); Liam Turner (Blackrock College/Leinster), James Hume (RBAI/Ulster), Tommy O'Brien (Blackrock College/Leinster), Daniel Hurley (Crescent CC/Munster); David Hawkshaw (Belvedere College/Leinster), Jonathon Stewart (Wallace High School/Ulster); Eoghan Clarke (CBC Monkstown/Leinster), Alexander Clarke (Ballymena Academy/Ulster), Tom O'Toole (Campbell College/Ulster); John McCusker (Rainey Old Boys/Ulster), Charlie Ryan (Blackrock College/Leinster); Ronan Coffey (Ard Scoil Ris/Munster), Sean Masterson (Portlaoise RFC), Caelan Doris (Blackrock College/Leinster) (capt).

Replacements used: Callum Reid (RBAI/Ulster) for E Clarke, Ronan Kelleher (St. Michael's College/Leinster) for A Clarke (both 45 mins), Matthew Dalton (Belfast Royal Academy) for McCusker (51), Michael Milne (Cistercian College Roscrea/Munster) for O'Toole (58), David Robb (Galwegians/Connacht) for Doris (59), Conor Dean (Blackrock College/Leinster) for Stewart (61), Conor Wharton (Oaklands College/Exiles) for Hurley (63).

Away Team

Patrick Anderson (Melrose RFC); Ben Eynon (Strathallan School), Cameron Hutchison (George Heriots School/North Berwick RFC), Fraser Strachan (Bedford School/Northampton Saints), Ben Appleson (Edinburgh Academy); Kyle Brunton (Hawick Wanderers), Harry Warr (Dollar Academy); Connor Clark (Stirling County RFC/McLaren High School), Robbie Smith (Ayr RFC/Douglas Ewart High School), Calum Eastwood (George Watson's College), Dean Roger (Highland RFC), Jack Bruce (Strathallan School), Andrew Horne (Preston Lodge RFC), Fergus Haig (Fettes College), Dan Marek (Richard Huish College/Bath RFC).

Replacements: Paul Cairncross (Kelvinside Academy/East Kilbride RFC), Ross Dunbar (Stirling County RFC/Linlithgow Academy), Euan McLaren (Dollar Academy), Archie Erskine (Leicester Tigers/Uppingham School), Ruairi Campbell (Melrose RFC/Earlston High School), Callum Cruickshank (Dollar Academy), Charlie Gowling (Sedburgh School/Newcastle Falcons), Grant Hughes (Dollar Academy), Fraser Dingwall (Bedford School/Northampton Saints), Rory McMichael (Wellington College/Harlequins), Stafford MacDowell (Merchiston Castle School).

Match Scorers

Home Team

Tries: Caelan Doris 3, Daniel Hurley 2, Jonathon Stewart, Ronan Kelleher; Cons: James Hume 4

Away Team