Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Camerasport/Dave Howarth/INPHO Paul Kiernan in action for Ireland in yesterday's World Rugby U20 Championship.
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'Never mind top our group, but to win the three games!' - Ireland coach proud of U20s
A semi-final against Argentina is next up for Ireland.

U20 COACH NIGEL Carolan said he is so proud of the way his young charges have become the first Irish side to win all three pool games at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Carolan knew his side would be up against it in a pool containing Six Nations grand slam winners Wales and reigning world champions New Zealand.

“I never thought coming to these world championships we were going to, never mind top our group, but to win the three games!”, reflected Carolan after yesterday’s 35-7 win over Georgia.

“The fact that we made so many changes, we were going to lack that cohesion.

“There were some great individual displays and to get the try, the bonus point, in the last minute was very pleasing indeed,” added the winning coach.

They will go into Monday’s semi final against Argentina buoyed by a 35-7 win over Georgia and also by the fact that their 33-24 win over New Zealand meant that the most prolific winners of the title have failed to make it to the semi-finals for the first time in the nine years of the championship.

“There are no easy games in this tournament,” added Carolan.

“Coming into it, our focus was all about Wales and when we came over that hurdle, there was a great opportunity against New Zealand.

“And again, that momentum was massive and to come away with that one was just huge for us.

“We were always going to be a little bit concerned about what Georgia were going to bring because of the physicality, and how direct and how difficult they are to play against.

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“So it’s very pleasing as a group to top the group at this stage and to be in the top 4, it’s superb.”

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