Ireland back in contention at Junior World Cup after triumph over Wales
Published 06/06/2014 | 10:41
Mike Ruddock's Ireland stayed in contention in Pool B of the Junior World Cup with a 35-21 bonus-point win over Wales.
Ireland proved too strong for last year's runners-up in Pukekohe despite leaking two tries via scrum pressure and having Peter Dooley and Alex Wootton sin-binned either side of half-time.
Ireland made the perfect start with front row Rory Burke and centre Garry Ringrose crossing the tryline inside the opening 11 minutes.
Wales' powerful scrum helped them close the gap to 17-14 by half-time, a late penalty try coming after Dooley was carded.
Ireland were down to 13 men when winger Wootton saw yellow for a clumsy challenge on Welsh out-half Angus O'Brien and the young Dragons duly took advantage as number 8 James Benjamin scored from an advancing scrum.
Wales converted and led by four points after 47 minutes but Ireland then stepped up a gear.
Ringrose grabbed a second try in the 51st minute with Ross Byrne converting and Ireland were in front.
Ireland managed to control territory and Byrne slotted a penalty to make it 27-21 as the game entered the last quarter.
The Welsh remained within a converted score until they were caught offside from an Afon Bagshaw kick and Byrne nailed the three-pointer on this occasion, taking his own tally to 15 points.
The fourth try alluded Ireland until the dying minutes when Cian Kelleher raced over in the corner for his second try of the tournament.
The result puts Ireland second in the pool and gives them a shot at reaching the semi-finals. They face Fiji next Tuesday, hoping for another bonus point success and also a favourable outcome from the France-Wales clash.