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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Ireland celebrate their late win.
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'It's an extraordinary achievement... their first win in France since 2012'
The Ireland U20s had a thrilling win over France last weekend.

THERE WAS DISAPPOINTMENT for the senior men’s Ireland team in Paris on Saturday, but it was joy for the Irish U20s side down in Aix-en-Provence the night before.

Richie Murphy’s Ireland U20s pulled off an outstanding 17-16 win over their French counterparts thanks to centre Ben Brownlee’s last-minute try and out-half Charlie Tector’s subsequent conversion.

It means that Ireland are now two wins from two games in the U20 championship heading into the first break weekend, as Eoin Toolan and Murray Kinsella discussed on today’s edition of The42 Rugby Weekly Extra – an analysis podcast available to members of The42 every Monday. 

Murray: “Good signs for the future, Eoin. It was dramatic with the late try from Ben Brownlee and Charlie Tector converting it. 

“This is a quality result and I honestly didn’t see this coming. I had watched the France U20s game against Italy the previous weekend and they had looked good. Honestly, even within Irish rugby, I don’t think there was a huge amount of expectation on this U20s group but that is a fine result.”

Eoin: “Yeah, it’s their first win in France since 2012, it has been a long time since a 20s team has gone to France and won.

“It’s an extraordinary achievement when you think that a lot of those players were denied any type of competitive rugby whether it was schools rugby a couple of years ago or inter-provincials over the last two seasons have been difficult to come by.

“So yeah, a massive achievement. That team has probably flown under the radar a little bit without that much expectation on them but they showed a huge amount of resolve at the end to be able to get over and be accurate to come away with the match-winning try.

ireland-players-celebrate-winning-with-a-last-minute-try-and-conversion Evan Treacy / INPHO Ireland are now two from two. Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

“It was still a nervy conversion, they’re the difficult ones where you’re just to the left of the posts and expected to kick it but at the end of the day, it’s still a kick to win the game.

“I was delighted for them and you hope they can continue that momentum. They have Italy to come after the break and with England losing 6-0 to Italy last weekend, Ireland will be licking their lips going over to England too because that was the result of the competition.

“Italy knocked off Ireland in a warm-up game before the Six Nations and they have flagged themselves as a coming force at that age grade. To beat England was a huge injection of excitement for the competition.

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Murray: “It’s just a fascinating championship. Wales bounced back from being hammered by Ireland to beat Scotland last weekend.

“It’s hard to know after two rounds exactly how it’s going to pan out but Ireland, to their credit, have been excellent.

“It wasn’t a classic game in France. James McCormick scored the other try, he looks really good at hooker and several of the Irish players showed their qualities. Richie Murphy and co. are doing a really good job coaching that team, so it’s a brilliant result for Irish rugby.”

Meanwhile, today’s edition of The42 Rugby Weekly Extra also involved Eoin and Murray having an in-depth discussion about Ireland’s defeat to France in Paris in the senior Six Nations, analysing their big penalty decision, how the French defence limited the Irish attack, Joey Carbery’s influence, and much more.

The lads also spoke about England’s big win over Italy and Wales’ narrow success against Scotland.

You can sign up as a member of The42 here in order to listen to the extra rugby podcasts and a wide range of other shows on sportswriting, football, GAA, and coaching, as well as getting weekly newsletters and access to our lively member-only Whatsapp groups.

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