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Quinlan fires Ireland to dramatic victory in World U20 Championship opener

Nigel Carolan’s men were far from perfect but they got underway with victory.

Ireland 18

Argentina 16

A PENALTY FROM replacement Tomás Quinlan with the last action of the game grabbed victory for Ireland in their World Rugby U20 Championship opener against Argentina in Parma, Italy.

quinlan kick Source: TG4

The Pumitas had scored a 77th-minute penalty of their own to apparently claim the win, before referee Lloyd Linton penalised the Argentinians for a breakdown infringement with time running out.

Cork Con out-half Quinlan, a nominee for the Ulster Bank League Rising Star award this season, stepped up with confidence and fired over the penalty from the right touchline with his accurate left foot to give Nigel Carolan’s side a winning start to the tournament.

It was a stunning kick to clinch victory, coming after an excellent place-kicking display from starting out-half Joey Carbery.

Jacob Stockdale Ulsterman Jacob Stockdale bursts forward for Ireland. Source: Matteo Ciambelli/INPHO

Leinster man Carbery had slotted five of his six penalty attempts in a try-less Ireland performance to keep Carolan’s men in a game which threatened to run away from them on occasions.

Carolan will have been frustrated with the handling errors, first-half set-piece failings and general nerviness in this display, although the manner of victory is likely to buoy Ireland ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Scotland.

Ireland were denied a first-half try following a gorgeous pirouette, break and overhead offload from Carbery to left wing Stephen Fitzgerald, Linton ruling that the final pass had gone forward.

But UCD playmaker Carbery was able to kick all three of his penalties in the opening half to send Ireland into the break 9-6 ahead.

Samuel Arnold on the attack Sam Arnold was impressive before departing through injury to be replaced by Quinlan. Source: Matteo Ciambelli/INPHO

Ireland started the second period in a disastrous manner as Argentina centre Santiago Resino used his footwork to beat replacement prop Andrew Porter in midfield, before the Pumitas’ sub back row Santiago Portillo got through Carbery’s tackle to score in the right corner.

An excellent conversion from out-half Domingo Miotti, who scored a monster drop goal in the first half, sent the Argentinians in front, but Carbery was able to calmly slot a 40-metre penalty almost immediately to bring Ireland back to within a point.

Carolan’s side regained the lead in the 56th minute when Argentina lock Vittorio Rosti failed to release in the tackle and Carbery once again stepped up to kick the resulting penalty.

Quinlan Quinlan fires over the winning penalty.

Miotti had a difficult penalty chance soon after but missed wide to the right and the stage seemed set for Ireland to close out their victory. However, Carbery’s 67th-minute penalty drifted just wide to the left and a slight sense of panic seeped into Ireland’s play.

That culminated in Carolan’s men coming offside with just three minutes left to play, allowing fullback Emiliano Bofelli to ease Argentina in front with what looked like the winning penalty.

But there was time for Ireland to force the Pumitas into their breakdown penalty and Quinlan stepped up to save the day.

Ireland U20 scorers:

Penalties: Joey Carbery [5 from 6], Tomás Quinlan [1 from 1]

Argentina U20 scorers:

Tries: Santiago Portillo

Penalties: Domingo Miotti [1 from 2], Emiliano Bofelli [1 from 1]

Drop goal: Domingo Miotti

IRELAND: Billy Dardis; Jacob Stockdale, Garry Ringrose, Sam Arnold (Tomás Quinlan ’76), Stephen Fitzgerald; Joey Carbery (Fergal Cleary ’77), Nick McCarthy (capt.) (Charlie Rock ’70); Jeremy Loughman (Andrew Porter ’8), Zack McCall (Sean McNulty ’62), Oisin Heffernan (Conan O’Donnell ’62); David O’Connor, Alex Thompson (Jack Dwan ’62); Josh Murphy, Rory Moloney (Nick Timoney ’72), Lorcan Dow.

ARGENTINA: Emiliano Boffelli; Eugenio Achilli (Matias Ferro ’57), Tomás Granella, Bautista Ezcurra (capt.), Santiago Resino; Domingo Miotti (Ignacio Albornoz ’65), Lautaro Bazán Vélez (Patricio Baronio ’62); Javier Díaz (Nicolás Ocello ’50), Ignacio Calles (Gaspar Baldunciel ’65), Cristian Bartoloni (Eduardo Bello ’40); Vittorio Rosti, Ignacio Larrague; José Deheza (Ignacio Calas ’50), Lucas Gasparri, Ernesto Olmedo (Santiago Portillo ’40).

Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland).

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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