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Second successive defeat leaves Ireland bottom of U20 World Championship pool

Peter Malone’s side were edged out by Scotland this morning.

Jack Kelly scored twice but it wasn't enough for Ireland.
Jack Kelly scored twice but it wasn't enough for Ireland.
Image: Achi Gegenava/INPHO

Ireland 28

Scotland 32

A SECOND DEFEAT of the tournament has ended Ireland’s hopes of advancing through to the knock-out stages of the U20 World Championship, with Scotland edging the make-or-break clash in Kutaisi.

After Wednesday’s shock loss to Italy, Peter Malone’s side knew they needed a bonus-point win here but a first reversal to Scotland in six meetings at this tournament means Ireland sit bottom of Pool B.

Scotland were full value for their 32-28 victory as they produced an explosive performance to cut Ireland apart with their thrilling and expansive running game.

Ireland rallied the early storm to establish a 10-0 lead but were opened up twice before the break and never regained the advantage from there as Scotland ran in five tries at the AIA Arena.

Jack Kelly’s second-half brace gave Ireland late hope of snatching a victory but overall there can be no complaints as Scotland got their campaign back on track.

While the Scots looked to move the ball through the hands at every opportunity, and certainly they caused serious damage by running from deep, Ireland’s strategy of keeping it tight and box-kicking meant they didn’t possess the same level of threat.

“Scotland are a good physical side and they just came out on top in the end,” captain Paul Boyle said afterwards. “That’s two losses in a row, but we believe we can regroup and beat New Zealand again.”

Jack Stafford’s quick thinking gave Ireland an early foothold after Conor Dean’s opening penalty but Scotland were soon in their stride as tries from Ross McCann and Fraser Renwick saw them take a 12-10 lead into the break.

Dean and Connor Eastgate then exchanged penalties before Darcy Graham’s score extended Scotland’s lead further and while Kelly’s fine finish kept Ireland in touch, Scotland were clinical at the other end.

Eastgate capped a commanding individual display with a try of his own and Robbie Nairn’s 65th minute effort was just reward for Scotland’s ambition.

Kelly gave Ireland a late lifeline but it was too little, too late as Scotland closed the game out to earn their first win of the campaign. Ireland’s wait goes on.

Ireland scorers:Tries: Stafford, Kelly [2]

Penalties: Dean [2], Tynan

Conversions: Dean, Tynan.

Scotland scorers:

Tries: McCann, Renwick, Graham, Eastgate, Nairn.

Penalties: Eastgate

Conversions: Eastgate [2]

IRELAND: 15. Alan Tynan (Young Munster/ Munster), 14. Jack Kelly (Dublin University/ Leinster), 13. Gavin Mullin (UCD/ Leinster), 12. Ciaran Frawley (UCD/ Leinster), 11. Calvin Nash (Young Munster / Munster), 10. Conor Dean (St. Mary’s/ Leinster), 9. Jack Stafford (Shannon/ Munster); 1. Jordan Duggan (Naas/Leinster), 2. Ronan Kelleher (UCD/ Leinster), 3. Charlie Connolly (Dublin University/Leinster), 4. Fineen Wycherley (Young Munster/ Munster), 5. Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne/ Leinster), 6. Sean Masterson (Corinthians/ Connacht), 7. Paul Boyle (Lansdowne/ Leinster) Captain, 8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster).

Replacements: 16. Adam Moloney (Shannon/Munster), 17. Greg McGrath (Lansdowne/ Leinster), 18. Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins/ Ulster), 19. Jack Regan (UCD/ Leinster), 20. Gavin Coombes (Young Munster/ Munster), 21. Jonny Stewart (Queen’s University/ Ulster), 22. Angus Curtis (Queen’s University/ Ulster), 23. Michael Silvester (Dublin University/Leinster).

SCOTLAND: 15. Blair Kinghorn, 14.Robbie Nairn, 13. Ross McCann, 12. Stafford McDowall, 11. Darcy Graham, 10. Connor Eastgate, 9. Andrew Simmers; 1. George Thornton, 2. Fraser Renwick, 3. Adam Nicol, 4. Alex Craig, 5. Callum Hunter-Hill (captain), 6. Bruce Flockhart, 7. Luke Crosbie, 8. Matt Fagerson.

Replacements: 16. Robbie Smith, 17. Fergus Bradbury, 18. Ross Dunbar, 19. Hamish Bain, 20. Tom Dodd, 21. Charlie Shiel, 22. Josh Henderson, 23. Patrick Anderson.

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As it happened: Ireland v Scotland, U20 Rugby World Championships

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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