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Positives In Defeat For Ireland Under-19s
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Positives In Defeat For Ireland Under-19s

Positives In Defeat For Ireland Under-19s

There were plenty of positives to be drawn as the Ireland Under-19 team got off to a losing start in their two-match series against France U-19s at a sun-drenched Dooradoyle this evening.

Out-half Conor Fitzgerald of Ard Scoil Ris accounted for all of Ireland's points at the home of Garryowen FC, kicking three penalties in front of a good-sized crowd of enthusiastic supporters.

Kieran Campbell's youngsters got the perfect start to the game when English referee Chris Ridley awarded a penalty to the home side after just three minutes. Fitzgerald stepped up and nailed the penalty kick from 22 metres out for a deserved early lead.

France hit back a few minutes later though with their first meaningful attack. A strong lineout maul close to the line was adjudged to have been pulled down and with the referee playing advantage, out-half Antoine Hastoy put in a cross-field kick to the right wing that was collected by winger Alexandre Nicoue. He offloaded to Guillaume Cazes who touched down for the try.

Martin Carre nailed the conversion from the right touchline to give France a 7-3 lead. but Ireland came back strongly at France with John Foley, Marcus Rea and Michael McDermott all making good ground with ball in hand, and Gavin Mullin and Calvin Nash also posed problems for the French defence.
France did manage to extend their lead to 10-3 in the 21st minute when referee Ridley penalised Ireland at the scrum. Carre slotted over the relatively easy conversion.

Ireland cut the deficit to four points just before half-time when flanker and captain Rea won a penalty at the breakdown. Fitzgerald landed his second successful with a fine effort from the French 10-metre line. That penalty left the score 10-6 in favour of France at the break.
A rampaging run from inside centre McDermott nearly gave Ireland the perfect start to the secondperiod but he was stopped close to the line.
Ireland had to settle for a close range penalty and Fitzgerald cut the deficit to one point with three minutes of the second half played.

Despite the best efforts of Rea, Tadgh McElroy and Peter Cooper, France began to dominate after that penalty and got a deserved try on 61 minutes. The remainder of the third quarter saw the Irish team get through a huge amount of work in defence. The back row trio of Rea, Jonny Guy and Foley led the way and time after time the French attacks were thwarted.

That was until an Irish exit strategy was turned over by the French and left winger Alexandre Nicque was sent away to touch down from 20 metres out.
Replacement Mickael Romera kicked a late penalty to give the French an 18-9 advantage. Ireland went close to scoring themselves in the final moments – full-back Jack Kelly thought he had touched down for a try only for the referee to have adjudged a knock on in-goal.

The final whistle sounded and it was the French team that celebrated their hard-earned 18-9 victory at the end of this entertaining encounter. The two teams meet again this coming Sunday at the same venue in Limerick. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

Referee: Chris Ridley (England)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

Jack Kelly (St Michael's College); Colm Hogan (Dublin University), Gavin Mullin (Blackrock College), Michael McDermott (Dublin University), Calvin Nash (Crescent College Comprehensive); Conor Fitzgerald (Ard Scoil Ris), Niall Saunders (Epsom College) (vice-capt); Richard Mouatt (Blackrock College), Tadgh McElroy (Lansdowne), Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins), Oisin Dowling (St. Michael's College), Jack Regan (University College Dublin), Marcus Rea (Ballymena Academy) (capt), Jonny Guy (UCD), John Foley (Shannon)

Replacements used: Jordan Larmour (St. Andrew's College) for McDermott (43 mins), Gavin Coombes (Bandon Grammar School) for Dowling, Paul Boyle (Lansdowne) for Foley (both 48), Michael McCormack (St. Mary's College) for Mouatt (50), Tom de Jongh (Belvedere College) for Guy, Jack Lyons (Crescent College Comprehensive) for Saunders (both 56), Conor Maguire (Boyne) for McElroy (61), Dylan Murphy (Cistercian College Roscrea) for Cooper (65), Ciaran Frawley (Skerries) for Fitzgerald (68).

Away Team

Guillaume Cazes; Alexandre Nicoue, Theo Millet, Theo Dachary, Martin Carr; Antoine Hastoy, Baptiste Couilloud (capt); Fernandez Correa; Pierre Bourgarit, Thomas Laclayat, Florian Revert, Mickael Capelli, Hessy Jegerlehner, Willy Ndiaye, Killian Bendjaballah.
Replacements used: Mehmet Yilmaz for Laclayat (half-time), Vincent Giudicelli for Correa, Kevin Tougne for Bourgarit (both 47 mins), Gregory Alldritt for Ndiaye (52), Mickael Romera for Coullioud (56), Thibault Calmettes for Revert (61), Stelio Bessaguet for Hastoy, Ken Bikadua for Dachary (both 70).

Match Scorers

Home Team

Pens: Conor Fitzgerald 3

Away Team

Tries Guillaume Cazes, Alexandre Nicoue; Con: Martin Carre; Pens: Martin Carre, Mickael Romera