Rhys Ruddock captained the side in their second game in Georgia and we were there for every minute of it.
Summer’s here, it’s World Cup year and that means… well, that means we can’t think of anything that rhymes with beer to signify that Ireland’s second tier players are hoping to climb the depth chart with some impressive displays in Georgia.
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Happy lunchtime, one and all.
Boy, have we got a chunky snack for you. Allen Clarke’s Emerging Ireland will take on Uruguay in the second Tbilisi Cup game at 2pm..
Last time out, the shadow Irish team ran out convincing winners over Emerging Italy. How do you think they will fare against the South Americans?
There has been one late change to the Emerging Ireland starting line-up. Connacht winger Matt Healy, who played 80 minutes against Italy, has come down with a stomach bug and will be replaced on the left by Andrew Conway.
Here are the team-sheets.
EMERGING IRELAND: Peter Nelson (Malone/Ulster); Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster), Eoin Griffin (London Irish), Noel Reid (Clontarf/Leinster), Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster); Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster), John Cooney (Terenure College/Connacht); James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster), Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht), Stephen Archer (Cork Constitution/Munster), Andrew Browne (Galwegians/Connacht), Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster), Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) (capt), Frankie Taggart (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Eoghan Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht).
Replacements: Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Denis Buckley (Corinthians/Connacht), Andrew Warwick (Ballymena/Ulster), Ben Marshall (Old Belvedere/Connacht), Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster), Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster), JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster).
URUGUAY: Jerónimo Etcheverry; Leandro Leivas (capt), Joaquín Prada, Andrés Vilaseca, Santiago Gibernau; Alejo Durán, Agustín Ormaechea; Mateo Sanguinetti, German Kessler, Carlos Arboleya, Franco Lamanna, Mathias Palomeque, Agustin Alonso, Diego Magno, Alejandro Nieto.
Replacements: Nicolás Klappenbach, Mario Sagario, Alejo Corral, Santiago Vilaseca, Fernando Bascou, Mathias Braun, Manuel Blengio, Alberto Román.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Aaaaaaand here’s how Georgia beat Uruguay in their opening fixture.Source: Georgian Rugby Union (Official)/YouTube
Right, the anthems are under way and the Champions Cup pool draw is done (it’s not good news for Leinster and Ulster fans).
You can find the draw in full on The42.ie, right here, right now, we’re all about taking down Uruguay.
After a minute’s silence for the Berkeley tragedy and those killed in the Tbilisi floods, we are off and running in Georgia.
Ireland defend for a set of phases before forcing knock-on. First scrum sees Ireland march forward, but we’re re-setting.
And there comes the penalty, Marius Mitrea penalises the loosehead. Scannell drives the penalty well in to the Uruguayan 22.
Ireland’s maul is a bit on the messy side, but they’re still on the attack. Probing back and forth on 5-6 metres out before Reid finds Conway and he’s through the gap!
TRY! Emerging Ireland 5 Uruguay 0 (Conway ’5)
Rory Scannell added the extras.
Emerging Ireland 7 Uruguay 0
TRY! Ireland 12 Uruguay 0 (J Cooney ’10)
Conversion missed, but otherwise a carbon copy from Emerging Ireland. Maul on the left side of the 22 set them a platform to rumble through the phases.
This time though they weren’t forced to come back left and then right again, this time Uruguay were rocked back and Cooney just had to break one tackle to cross the whitewash.
TRY! Emerging Ireland 17 Uruguay 0 (C Kelleher ’14)
Scannell adds the conversion after Ireland’s best score of the three so far.
Kelleher finished off in the right, but the hard work was done with an offload from Browne to Dave Heffernan who stormed through the gap and made a solid 15 yards to set Ireland on the front foot in the 22.
Easy pickings at the moment.
Emerging Ireland 19 Uruguay 0
There’s the first sign of Ireland on the back foot.
Masterson tosses the ball out of a backpedaling scrum and Griffin’s subsequent pass is behind the target and in to touch just outside Ireland’s 22.
Rhys Ruddock has jogged to the sideline after Ireland defended that phase. No close up of whether it’s a blood sub, but doesn’t look too serious. Dan Leavy is on in his place.
Ireland just losing the accurate edge in the last few minutes and Holland is pinged at the breakdown after EI had forced the blue shirts back onto their 22.
Back they come, more phases without the ball.
Might be no harm to make a job of this with such a big lead open.
With possession back, EI attempt to run out of their 22. Kelleher checks back in from the right wing, but with Peter Nelson and Rory Scannell in support, the ruck is a bit of a mess.
Though a green penalty does come after Cooney attempts to scramble clear.
Water break time.
We’re back under way and back on defence as the blues pour forward.
Brilliant turnover penalty won by Eoin Grffin: wide base, low centre of gravity, hands everywhere!
Scannell drills play up to the Uruguay 10.
Ah, it’s very scrappy now.
I didn’t catch the ball-carrier, but he didn’t have enough support in the centre of the field and Uruguay counter-rucked well.
Oh, here we go.
Ireland attack from a deep line-out and create space for Conway. The Munster flier skips by the defender, tip-toeing on the sideline and passing inside, but yet again the more ambitious plays quickly break down and possession is turned over.
Another chance to move the ball as Masterson collects an overthrown line-out and powers across the gain-line. Scannell looks wide to Porter and Kelleher, but the pass to the fullback is forward.
We’re in need of a try to lift this game and EI are in position to deliver it, another maul from the left side of the 22.
Yellow card. Uruguay down to 14
Ireland take the scrum option on the penalty as blindside Augustin Alonso takes a walk to the sin-bin.
PENALTY TRY! Emerging Ireland 26 Uruguay 0
Mitrea losing patience with the South Americans now and he back-tracks under the posts after the second scrum penalty in succession after binning Alonso for the accumulation of penalties.
HALF-TIME Emerging Ireland 26 Uruguay 0
Ready for more? The second half is off and running.
Another bright start to a half from Emerging Ireland, Frank Taggart doing some good work on the ground before a knock-on ends the move as Ireland sought out Kelleher on the left.
Scrummaging 10 metres out.
Just a lack of fluency frustrating EI now. Noel Reid received the ball behind him after that set-piece, but he then forced the pass and was intercepted. The centre hacks clear.
Ireland recycle through around 10 phases, with a big carry from Dan Leavy in the middle, before Scannell is penalised for holding on. Again, the support just didn’t arrive in time to help out the out-half.
It’s time for a raft of replacements to begin. Billy Holland heads off after making a big carry in Uruguayan territory and he is joined by Stephen Archer, another good shift from the tighthead.
Andrew Warwick and Ben Marshall come on in their place.
Ireland continue to lumber forward minute by minute, there’s another hint of a scrap, but Big Ben Marshall acts as bouncer to stop chippy backs joining in and it soon dies down.
A bit of housekeeping before we go any further. The man wearing Dan Leavy’s number 20 jersey looks suspiciously like Jack Conan. So all that good stuff we were saying about Leavy, sub Conan’s name in there.
Uruguay come close to putting a deserved gloss on the scoreboard, but they’re held up over the Irish line after a swift line-out and maul.
Here comes Leavy now in place of Masterson.
Rob Herring and Denis Buckley in the game now too… and their first job is to frustrate the blue scrum.
Ireland still defending, as Uruguay lay siege to the try-line. There was a long advantage to that play, but nothing comes as heaps of green jerseys get under the ball.
We go back for penalty and Uruguay try again.
Oh, Cian Kelleher will be in trouble here. Looked like a deliberate knock on on Uruguay’s last attack.e
SIN-BIN: Cian Kelleher (63)
Ah, more heroic stuff from Conan, bursting out of his 22 and starting a counter-attack.
Unfortunately, after Cooney did well to race across halfway and into blue territory, his pass was rushed and picked off by the scrambling defenders.
Ireland just not looking composed with the ball.
JJ Hanrahan is on for Noel Reid. We’d presume he’ll switch into 10 with Scannell moving to his more natural position of 12. It hasn’t been an easy day for him at the reins.
Luke McGrath, one of two backs on the bench, also comes into the game with Cooney heading for the sideline.
Quite a fortunate escape for EI there as Uruguay raid to the right and manage a touchdown on the line only for the winger to be called for a foot in touch 5 metres out.
PENALTY TRY! Emerging Ireland 26 Uruguay 7
The 14 men are punished by Marius Mitrea as the penalty count got one too high for his liking.
No more than the South Americans deserved. And, hopefully, a bit of a wake-up kick for the EI side who now have eight fresh bodies on the park.
Excellent work at the breakdown from Denis Buckley quashes the Uruguayan momentum. Set his base and held tight to force the penalty.
Ireland can attack now with their full compliment of players as Kelleher returns.
TRY! Emerging Ireland 31 Uruguay 7 (Marshall ’80)
Perhaps the best try is saved for last as Cian Kelleher bursts through a gap just in blue territory, steps once, then twice to try and make space around the covering defenders, and occupies both of them as he offloads to Ben Marshall.
Scannell adds the conversion with the last kick of the game.
FULL-TIME: Emerging Ireland 33 Uruguay 7
There you go, two wins from two and a bonus point to boot. However, there have been long stretched in both wins when Ireland looked out of sorts and nobody today was really able to grab the game by the scruff.
Thanks for stopping in to check out the boys in green, they’ll be back in action on Sunday against hosts, Georgia.