Tuesday 17 October 2017

Relief for Boyle as U-20s get job done

Ireland U-20s 52 Samoa U-20s 26

U-20s captain Paul Boyle: 'It's definitely a relief'. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
U-20s captain Paul Boyle: 'It's definitely a relief'. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Nigel Whittaker

The Ireland U-20s breathed a collective sigh of relief after they finally got a win on the board that ensures their place at next year's World Cup.

In the end, it was a routine victory which was a far cry from the struggles that they endured in their three pool defeats. That said, Peter Malone will be disappointed by the manner in which his side conceded three tries against a second-string Samoan side.

The contest was as good as over by half-time as a dominant display from the pack, that saw them score four tries, had them 26-5 in front. Another four would arrive in the second half.

"It's definitely a relief," captain Paul Boyle admitted. "There were a few harsh words after the first few games and we really stepped it up."

Ireland will take on hosts Georgia in Sunday's ninth-place play-off as they round off what was been a disappointing campaign blighted by a plethora of injuries.

Hooker Ronan Kelleher got Ireland off to a flying start with a try inside five minutes. Peter Cooper soon followed his front-row partner over before Fineen Wycherley and his fellow lock Oisin Dowling capped an utterly one-sided half. Conor Dean converted three of the four scores.

With Howard Tagoai in the bin, Theodore Solipo did manage to cross for Samoa but they never threatened to cause an upset.

Calvin Nash scored a fine try shortly after the restart but when Dowling was shown a yellow card, Setu Enoka got over for a try that Ricky Ene converted. Ireland regrouped however and Kelleher dotted down for his second try before Ciaran Frawley and Caelan Doris brought Ireland's tally to eight tries with Tanielu Tele'a in the bin. Dean took his own haul to 12 points.

Pupi Ah See and Afioga Ielemia did manage to get over for two more tries for Samoa that were converted by Ene but, by that stage, Ireland's minds had already drifted after getting the job done.

Ireland U-20 - A Tynan (M Keane 66); M Silvester, G Mullin (D McCarthy h-t), C Frawley, C Nash; C Dean, J Stafford (J Stewart 70); J Duggan (J Conway 65), R Kelleher (A Moloney 70), P Cooper (C Connolly 65); F Wycherley (J Regan 66), O Dowling; G Coombes (J Foley 65), P Boyle (capt), C Doris.

Samoa U-20 - E Ene; D Moore, T Tele'a, K Foaese (G Tinei 75), A Pohla-Murray; T Fonoti, H Tagoai (P Ah See 46); S Enoka (S Asomua 68), N Sanft (capt) (P Ikenasio 46), A Ielemia; T Solipo (P Toeafe 66), J Togafau (F Tupuola 65); F Ah Him (S Solomona 62), C Faalili (W Setu 50), F Tuipolotu.

Ref - T Foley (England)

Irish Independent

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