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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 24 May, 2018
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Wales running from their own 22, more tackles pouring out of green jerseys. Astounding effort from the Wolfpuppies.

FULL-TIME! Ireland 26 Wales 25

From 17 down to a win over the Grand Slam champions!

Knock-on in midfield and Ireland regather with a minute to go. We give it away again though, but it’s in the Welsh 22.

The conversion was a tough one, but Evans was unable to curl it back inside.

The try was textbook pressure. Ireland just ran out of numbers and Wales went wide to their prolific finisher who shouldn’t have needed the TMO to say he grounded in the corner.

A penalty goes Wales’ way and they’ll pack down for a scrum just left of the posts…

Ireland working to keep men out of rucks and fanning out wide, but Wales mounting pressure inside the 22.

Six minutes to go and six points the lead. It’s a dangerous one, the win still available for the Grand Slam champions.

That is absolutely stunning rugby. Max Deegan and Adam McBurney get some reckless, but delightful offloads away before a long pass puts the fullback in in the corner.

Whisper it, but that should be enough.

Ireland really flexing their muscles now, Conor O’Brien part of a choke tackle driving a Welshman back 10-12 metres before the penalty comes Ireland’s way on the 22.

Yes! Max Deegan forces a huge turnover penalty right on the 22m line. Enormous effort coming from the Irish defence now, but most importantly they’re keeping their heads and challenging the rucks legally.

The Welsh attacks are much slower, but there is still a fluidity to them with soft second row hands that would remind you of Connacht.

Wales get the nod of approval from the ref at scrum-time and Jones smashes the penalty up to the 22. Big D needed now to hold this lead.

60 mins:  The game has hit a bit of a lull here. Could do with a raft of replacements from both sides.

 

But wait, Stockdale takes a high ball out of the air and storms across the halfway mark. He can’t get away from his opposite number though, Williams smashing him low and hard.

Terrific stuff from Ireland on the counter attack. Max Deegan offloads and Shane Daly romps down the wing, he hands inside to his centre partner O’Brien, but Hugo Keenan is too well wrapped-up to burn off the last tackler and the move ends with his attempted offload to Kerins. Superb stuff.

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PENALTY ! Ireland 21 Wales 20 (Johnston ’51)

The turnaround from 17 – 0 down is complete. Now, can Ireland keep the pressure coming?

James Ryan gets a big carry in front of the posts, but he’s smacked down just short by Keddie.

It’ll be another Ireland penalty and it looks like the referee will finally give an official warning. At senior level it would surely be a sin-bin already as Dillon Lewis was spotted infringing in two places during that phase.

Ireland look the more dangerous side despite the opening score going Wales’ way. Matt Byrne gets into the game with a big aerial take out wide that sends the Wolfpups on the prowl in the 22 again.

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PENALTY! Ireland 18 Wales 20 (Johnston ’44)

Johnston looking much more comfortable as he sets a penalty sailing between the sticks to pull Ireland back within a kick.

A coach-killing penalty on the restart as Wales captain Tom Williams barges into an Irish runner. Johnston will have the chance to claw the deficit back to two points.

PENALTY! Ireland 15 Wales 20 (D Jones ’42)

Good start for the out-half, smashing a 45 metre penalty between the sticks.

Here comes the second half. Who can take control of this period first?

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Extraordinary stuff. Johnston’s conversion from the touchline is a beauty and from 17 down, Ireland are just two points behind Wales at the half-time break.

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Ireland began from 40 metres with a line-out and are now barging metre by metre inside the 22. Excellent, direct carries, not least from Conor O’Brien who breaks the line one last time before feeding…

TRY! Ireland 15 Wales 17 (Stockdale ’40)

Last minute of the half then, and Ireland are back on the attack with the chance to make a mockery of the flow of the play in this 40 minutes.

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TRY! Ireland 8 Wales 17 (McBurney ’36)

A vital score from Ireland, the hooker latching on to a James Ryan-powered maul and over the line.

Johnston’s kick is wide of the mark, but the act of crossing the line is vital.

That move turned Ireland right back into Welsh territory and they’re putting pressure on again and eking penalties…

Aw, terrific from Jacob Stockdale. Forced to go back to his own line to collect a ball, he plants a big hand on Giles to sit him down and then escapes the nippy winger’s tap tackle before offloading to Jones on a rampaging run.

Close! Stockdale hacks at a loose ball and Shane Daly hares after it into the Welsh 22. He gets a toe to it first, but he stumbles as the ball goes beyond the try-line and his claims for a penalty try fall on deaf ears.

Neither line-out is particularly firm at present, and that’s largely down to Cillian Gallagher who is angrily chasing loose balls in the air.

Johnston perhaps showing how rattled Ireland are here, he’s overcooked a kick from hands in a big way and it gives Wales the line-out back in Ireland’s half.

Though a bit of an odd call to accept a drop-goal, it was essential that Ireland got on the scoreboard with what was a rare foray into Welsh territory in this game.

DROP-GOAL! Ireland 3 Wales 17 (Johnston ’24)

The out-half takes a pop with a penalty advantage in the offing and it sneaks over despite not being the sweetest strike you’ve ever seen.

Wales’ defence holds firm, sending Ireland rumbling over and back across the 5 metre line. But we’re back where we started with a line-out after a second penalty.

Aaaand, the line-out is sloppy, and Ireland are forced to go backwards again.

Ireland have to bounce back in a big way now. A penalty won inside the Welsh half is kicked for the corner…

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TRY! Ireland 0 Wales 17 (Morgan-Williams ’19)

Terrific stuff from the Grand Slam champions, Jones attacks the weak shoulder inside the 22 and his offload gets inside to his scrum-half who cruises over.

Excellent stuff (unless you’re Irish) and Jones has even tagged on a conversion.

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TRY! Ireland 0 Wales 10 (Giles ’16)

An absolute stunner of a cross-field kick from Jones finds Keelan Giles at almost full tilt on the left wing. He catches the ball in stride and leaves Hugo Keenan for dead.

Jones hits his second kick of the game a hell of a lot better than the first, but it smacks back of the posts and he stays 0 for 2.

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Wales continuing to enjoy dominance in territory and they send a penalty into the corner to set up a maul and the red rumble is too much for Ireland to thwart.

TRY! Ireland 0 Wales 5 (Evans ’11)

Terrific effort from Johnston to clear his lines under immense pressure. Kerins’ lightening pass to the dead ball line helped too.

5 mins: Stockdale loses a kicking exchange with Jones while Kenny is down injured and getting treated in midfield. We’ll restart five metres from the Irish line with Munster’s Ben Betts fresh off the bench.

Prop Conor Kenny appears to be down with a serious injury. If he’s done for the day or the tournament, it’s a huge blow for Ireland.

3 mins: Jones makes a horrible connection with his first kicking attempt, very scoreable opportunity from about 40 metres out, but Ireland escape.

Johnston kicks deep to the Welsh 22. They secure ball and box kick away. Decent attacking position, but Wales’ line speed is quick and forces Ireland back over the halfway line. Adam Beard’s breakdown work forces Porter to hold on on the deck.

Right, that’s the anthems done with (Wales the clear winner on that score), time to get kicking off.

Bill Johnston will get us under way.

The teams are in the tunnel, Nigel Carolan and Jason Strange have had their say, now it’s down to the 15 starters to set the tone in this Pool of Death.

If you’re just turning your data on, you missed another hell of a half of Japanese rugby against South Africa. Unfortunately for them, the 14 – 19 advantage at the interval could not be built upon and instead the Baby ‘Boks put the foot down to take a 59 – 19 win.

Meanwhile, Argentina underlined their growth with an impressive 24 – 15 win over France.

Here’s how the teams will line up today, Ireland head coach Nigel Carolan has given debuts to Leinster openside David Aspil as well as Munster’s great out-half hope Bill Johnston.

Ireland U20

15. Jacob Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)
14. Matthew Byrne (Terenure / Leinster)
13. Shane Daly (Cork Con / Munster)
12. Conor O’Brien (Clontarf / Leinster)
11. Hugo Keenan (UCD / Leinster)
10. Bill Johnston (Garryowen / Munster)*
9. Stephen Kerins (Sligo / Connacht)

1. Andrew Porter (UCD / Leinster)
2. Adam McBurney (Ballymena / Ulster)
3. Conor Kenny (Buccaneers / Connacht)
4. Cillian Gallagher (Sligo / Connacht)
5. James Ryan (Lansdowne / Leinster) (captain)
6. Greg Jones (UCD / Leinster)
7. David Aspil (St.Mary’s RFC / Leinster)*
8. Max Deegan (Lansdowne / Leinster)

Replacements:

16. Vincent O’Brien (Cork Con / Munster)*
17. Vakh Abdaladze (Clontarf / Leinster)*
18. Ben Betts (Young Munster / Munster)
19. Sean O’Connor (Cashel / Munster)
20. Kelvin Brown (Shannon / Munster)
21. Niall Saunders (Epsom College / Exiles)
22. Johnny McPhillips (Queens University / Ulster)
23. Jimmy O’Brien (UCD / Leinster)

Wales

15. Rhun Williams (Cardiff Blues)
14. Tom Williams (Ospreys)
13. Joe Thomas (Ospreys)
12. Harri Millard (Cardiff Blues)
11. Keelan Giles (Ospreys)
10. Daniel Jones (Scarlets)
9. Reuben Morgan-Williams (Ospreys)

1. Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Blues)
2. Dafydd Hughes (Scarlets)
3. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues)
4. Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues)
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys)
6. Tom Phillips (captain, Scarlets)
7. Shaun Evans (Scarlets)
8. Harrison Keddie (Newport Gwent Dragons)

Replacements:

16. Liam Belcher (Cardiff Blues)
17. Rhys Fawcett (Scarlets)
18. Leon Brown (Newport Gwent Dragons)
19 Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues)
20. Josh Macleod (Scarlets)
21. Declan Smith (Scarlets)
22. Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues)
23. Billy McBryde (Scarlets)

Your summer of rugby starts here.

Ireland U20s kick off their Championship against familiar foes in Manchester at 17.30 today and we’ll be here to bring live updates throughout the clash.

Tell us all your thoughts on the game, or the other matches in this tournament, by commenting below, tweeting @rugby_ie or find us on Facebook.

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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