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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 16 February, 2019

5 Under 20s that shone in Ireland's canter over Italy

A number of Leinster players stood out for Mike Ruddock’s men while Italy’s search for a goal-kicker goes on.

IRELAND U20s BEAT their Italian counterparts 18-0 at Dubarry Park on Friday night to pick spirits up after a pair of defeats to Wales and England. The Wolfpuppies dominated the tie and left a further 20 points out on the field by the final whistle.

There were a number of highlights for U20s coach Mike Ruddock ahead of a final day trip to take on France at Stade Maurice Trelut.

Adam Byrne

Adam Byrne Source: CameraSport/Chris Vaughan/INPHO

The Kildare native made numerous incisions up the left wing and showed up on the right to score his try in the second half. Fantastic turn of pace and neat footwork. Could have went to ground and presented the ball for teammates rather than ambitious offload attempts. Serious prospect.

Marco Lazzaroni

Cian Kelleher and Marco Lazzaroni Source: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Not much to get excited about from an Italian perspective but the flanker looked lively. Earned his team a couple of turnovers. Won a penalty but conceded another for not releasing. Combative presence. Out-half Filippo Buscema looked good in open play but his goalkicking attempts were poor. For Italy, the search for an accurate 10 off the tee continues.

Cian Kelleher

Cian Kelleher and Gabriele De Santis Source: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Ireland’s best player on a fair to middling night for many of his teammates. Consistently made ground and used quick feet to skip around opponents. The Leinster winger his try well in the first half and almost got through for a second before Byrne got over.

Sean O’Brien

Sean O'Brien and Dan Goggin celebrate after the game Source: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Led his team well in the absence of Dan Leavy. Caught well at the lineout apart from one blip. Opted to kick penalties in the first half but instructed his out-half to go for the corners as Ireland hunted tries. A strong ball carrier and a nuisance at the breakdown for Italy.

Max Abbott

MAX ABBOTT Source: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The hooker has been a solid dart thrower all championship and proved so again last night. Linked up well with Peter Dooley to make ground for Kelleher’s try and pitched in as an extra loose forward when his team needed numbers at the breakdown.

Which Ireland U20s stood out for you?

Wingers Byrne and Kelleher star as Ireland U20s enjoy Italian appetiser

Iain Henderson breaking the mould as Ireland bid to break Italian spirit

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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