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Ireland lose World Rugby U20 Championships opener to Italy

Ireland conceded a late try to fall to a shock defeat.

Charly Trussardi is tackled by Peter Cooper.
Charly Trussardi is tackled by Peter Cooper.
Image: World Rugby Pool Images/Achi Gegenavai/INPHO

ITALY 22

IRELAND 21

IRELAND HAVE SUFFERED a surprise defeat in their opening match of the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championships today, losing by a point to Italy.

After a lacklustre first half saw them trail 15-3 at the break, Peter Malone’s men stormed back in the second with two tries in the opening seven minutes to draw level.

Two penalties, one each from Conor Dean and Ciaran Frawley, saw last year’s losing finalists take a six-point lead into the final few minutes of the game.

However, after a quiet second-half Italy — who dominated the opening 40 thanks to tries from Danilo Fischetti and Jacopo Bianchi — had one more trick up their sleeve and full-back Massimo Cioffi went over in the corner in the 77th minute to draw his side within one.

The 20-year old dusted himself down to take the conversion and, though it looked for most of the kick that it was going wide, it crept just inside the upright to give Italy a 22-21 lead.

Ireland had one more chance to snatch the win, with a penalty as time expired, but Frawley dragged his kick just wide.

Next up for Ireland is Scotland on Sunday at 10am.

Italy scorers:

Tries: Jacopo Bianchi, Danilo Fischetti, Massimo Cioffi

Conversions: Massimo Cioffi [1 from 1],  Antonio Rizzi [1 from 2]

Drop goals: Antonio Rizzi

Ireland scorers:

Tries: Calvin Nash [2]

Conversions: Conor Dean [1 from 2]

Penalties: Conor Dean [2 from 3], Ciaran Frawley [1 from 2]

As It Happened: Ireland v Italy, U20 Rugby World Championships

New Zealand and England get U20 World Championships under way in style

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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