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Carolan's U20s make it two wins from two for Ireland in Scotland

Paul Boyle’s late try won it for the visitors at Broadwood Stadium.

Scotland 19

Ireland 20

Murray Kinsella reports from Broadwood Stadium

IT WAS AN evening of Irish smash-and-grabs in Cumbernauld, as the Ireland U20s echoed the Ireland Women by scoring a late winning try against their Scottish counterparts.

Scotland U20 out-half Josh Henderson missed a chance to win it for his team in the last three minutes with a long-range penalty shot off the tee, meaning Ireland were let off the hook.

Alex Craig tackles Caelan Doris Source: Craig Watson/INPHO

Two wins from two for the Irish sides, in the kind of poor weather conditions that are expected at Murrayfield tomorrow, bode well – even if these performances at Broadwood Stadium were far from convincing.

On a cold, wet night, Nigel Carolan’s U20s will take their victory with pleasure, though we can be sure the head coach will be demanding more from his young men next weekend in Italy.

Johnny McPhillips’ 100% return off the tee was important for Ireland, while hooker Tadhg McElroy and flanker Paul Boyle scored the crucial tries – both of them efforts from the pack. Cillian Gallagher was a totem in the back row.

The Ireland scrum did, however, have a poor night and allowed Scotland good field position and several shots at goal from penalties. Despite some of those negatives, Ireland displayed grit to grind to their victory.

Henderson missed an early long-range shot at goal, but the Scots had the first try of the game in the 8th minute as centre Cameron Hutchinson picked a sharp line to dot down, with his out-half converting for 7-0.

Two penalties from McPhillips were all Ireland had to show for their first-half efforts as they struggled to hold onto the wet ball.

Darcy Greame and Colum Hogan Darcy Graham wins the high ball over Colm Hogan. Source: Craig Watson/INPHO

Henderson knocked over two penalties in the second quarter to ensure a 13-6 half-time lead, with only a brilliant try-saving tackle in the left corner from Jordan Larmour and captain Jack Kelly – after the fullback had spilled a cross-field kick – preventing Darcy Graham from ensuring that advantage was greater with a second Scotland try.


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Carolan’s men finally adapted to the conditions after the break, kicking a penalty up into the left corner through McPhillips, hitting Oisin Dowling in the lineout and then powering up their maul for hooker McElroy to score.

McPhillips converted to bring Ireland level, but that didn’t last long as a 53rd-minute scrum penalty allowed Henderson to fire over three points for Scotland.

The Glasgow Hawks out-half was able to extend that lead out to 19-13 with his fourth successful penalty heading into the final quarter, as referee Christophe Ridley punished Ireland for failing to roll away.

A crooked throw into a five-metre lineout cost the visitors their next attacking opportunity in Scotland territory, as the frustration threatened to grow.

But, as with the Ireland Women earlier, this Irish team mastered the difficult situation they found themselves in and showed composure to eke out the winning score.

Darcy Graeme and Ross McCann tackle Ciaran Frawley Ciaran Frawley is wrapped up in the tackle. Source: Craig Watson/INPHO

From a right-handed lineout around 35-metres out, Ireland put together another superb maul to get them rolling, before a rampaging series of pick and jams, led by the superb Gallagher and the powerful Caelan Doris.

It was openside Paul Boyle who put the finishing touch to the passage, forcing his way over from a metre out and to the left of the posts.

The reliable McPhillips converted to send Ireland into the 20-19 lead that they didn’t give up – albeit due to Henderson’s miss – ensuring a successful start to their Six Nations campaign.

Scotland scorers:

Tries: Cameron Hutchinson

Conversions: Josh Henderson [1 from 1]

Penalties: Josh Henderson [4 from 5]

Ireland scorers:

Tries: Tahdg McElroy, Paul Boyle

Conversions: Johnny McPhillips [2 from 2]

Penalties: Johnny McPhillips [2 from 2]

SCOTLAND U20: Darcy Graham; Robbie Nairn, Craig Pringle, Cameron Hutchison (Stafford McDowall ’75), Ross McCann; Josh Henderson, Andrew Simmers (Charlie Shiel ’13 to ’18); George Thornton (Frank Bradbury ’40), Fraser Renwick, Adam Nicol (Daniel Winning ’74); Alex Craig (Hamish Bain ’55), Callum Hunter-Hill (captain); Luke Crosbie, Matt Fagerson, Tom Dodd (Bruce Flockhart ’55).

Replacements not used: Robbie Smith, Jamie Ure.

IRELAND U20: Jack Kelly (captain) (Tommy O’Brien ’63); Jordan Larmour, Gavin Mullin, Ciaran Frawley, Colm Hogan; Johnny McPhillips, Johnny Stewart (Jack Lyons ’66); Joey Conway (Rory Mulvihill ’76), Tadgh McElroy (Adam Moloney ’78), Peter Cooper (Charlie Connolly ’63); Fineen Wycherley, Oisin Dowling; Cillian Gallagher (Jack Regan ’76), Paul Boyle, Caelan Doris (Marcus Rea ’75).

Replacements not used: Conor Fitzgerald.

Referee: Christophe Ridley.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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