Tuesday 23 May 2017

Carolan's boys sign off in style

IRELAND Under 20: 17 - SCOTLAND Under 20: 9

Shannon's Stephen Fitzgerald, pictured as he touches down to score a try, was the hero as Ireland wrapped up their World Rugby Under 20 Championship with a third win in five games in Viadana
Shannon's Stephen Fitzgerald, pictured as he touches down to score a try, was the hero as Ireland wrapped up their World Rugby Under 20 Championship with a third win in five games in Viadana
Charlie Rock, Ireland, clears the ball under pressure from Scotland

John Fallon in Viadana

Shannon's Stephen Fitzgerald was the hero as Ireland wrapped up their World Rugby Under 20 Championship with a third win in five games in Viadana.

The victory, hard-earned against a Scottish side who had beaten them in the Six Nations but lost to them in this tournament in the pool stage, sees Ireland finish the championship in seventh place.

"We really wanted to finish this tournament with a win but we knew it would be tough against Scotland. But I was very proud of the way they went about their business and they got what they deserved in the end," said coach Nigel Carolan.

Ireland led 7-6 at the break thanks to Fitzgerald's first try after seven minutes when a chip from Joey Carbery bounced kindly for him. Carbery added the touchline conversion but Scotland kept in touch with a couple of penalties from Blair Kinghorn.

With Joe Schmidt, along with Les Kiss and Simon Easterby, watching from the stand, Ireland extended their lead after the restart when Garry Ringrose, who took over the kicking duties after Carbery went off injured, landed a penalty after 50 minutes.

But Scotland never gave up and they enjoyed sustained pressure but could not find a way through to a solid rearguard. George Horne reduced the margin to a point ten minutes from the end with a good penalty from 40 metres.

But Ireland got on top and a sustained barrage on the Scottish line did enough to create space when they let it out to the backs and Fitzgerald cut a great line coming in off his wing to score under the posts.

Ringrose tapped over the conversion to put nine between them and that was enough to wrap up the issue.

Scorers - Ireland: S Fitzgerald 2 tries; G Ringrose pen, con; J Carbery con. Scotland: B Kinghorn 2 pens; G Horne pen.

Ireland: B Dardis; S Fitzgerald, G Ringrose, S Arnold (C Gaffney 66), J Stockdale; J Carbery (F Cleary 39), C Rock (J Cullen 69); A Porter (L O'Connor 40), Z McCall (A McBurney 42), C O'Donnell (O Heffernan 60); D O'Connor, A Thompson (C Romaine 66); J Murphy, R Moloney (N Timoney 42), L Dow.

Scotland: B Kinghorn; R Nairn, A Coombes, P Kelly, R Galloway; R Hutchinson, B Vellacott (G Horne 57); M McCallum (D Elkington 50), S James (R Graham 64), Z Fagerson (J Owlett 75); S Cummings (L Wynne 60), A Miller (R Knott 68); N Irvine-Hess, J Ritchie, M Bradbury.

Referee: S Kubo (Japan).

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