Gilroy grabs late brace to see off Italians
Italy U-20 9 Ireland U-20 28
Ireland got their defence of the U-20 Six Nations Championship off to a good start in Parma, helped by a brace of tries from Craig Gilroy in the closing stages.
Mike Ruddock's men were made fight all the way by a battling Italian side, who seemed to be in with every chance of securing a shock win when they trailed by just 11-9 with 14 minutes remaining.
However, as the home team went forward in search of a lead score, Ireland's class came to the fore.
Prop Jack Tracy got Ireland's opening try after 32 minutes following a superb jinking run by Andrew Boyle on the left wing.
Paddy Jackson provided the rest of the points, with some excellent kicking from three penalties and two conversions.
Ireland -- C Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster); A Conway (Blackrock/Leinster), A Kelly (UCD/Leinster), L Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster), A Boyle (UCD/Leinster); P Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), B McIlroy (Ballymena/Ulster); J Tracy (UCD/Leinster), N Annett (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), M Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster); M Kearney (Clontarf/Leinster), D Qualter (Buccaneers/Connacht); J Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster), A Conneely (Corinthians/Connacht), E McKeon (Galwegians/ Connacht). Reps: I Henderson (Queen's University/Ulster) for McKeon 13, C Carey (Ballymena/Ulster) for Moore 32-40 (blood), D Doyle (UCD/Leinster) for Kearney 55-62 (blood), B Macken (Blackrock/Leinster) for Kelly 60; P du Toit (UCD/Leinster) for McIlroy 75; F Bealham (Exile) for Murphy 75, C Marsh (Dublin University/Leinster) for Jackson 78.
Ref -- N Hennessy (Wales).