Saturday 29 July 2017

U-20s slip but Johnston vows to spoil England's party

Wales U-20 41 Ireland U-20 27

Calvin Nash of Ireland goes over to score his side's first try. Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportsfile
Calvin Nash of Ireland goes over to score his side's first try. Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland's Under-20s are determined to wreck England's St Patrick's Day party after conceding the Six Nations title in Wales.

Nigel Carolan's men fought back from 14 points down in a thrilling eight-try encounter, but the hosts rallied to end their Grand Slam dreams.

Ireland's Oisin Dowling is tackled by Sean Moore of Wales during the RBS U20 Six Nations match. Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportsfile
Ireland's Oisin Dowling is tackled by Sean Moore of Wales during the RBS U20 Six Nations match. Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportsfile

England claimed their fourth bonus-point win of the tournament against Scotland to match the seniors and take the title with a week to spare.

But out-half Bill Johnston, who kept his side in-touch with 12 points from the boot, is desperate to spoil the celebrations when they meet at Donnybrook next weekend.

He said: "We're bitterly disappointed to come away without the win, but now we're all looking forward to getting home and delivering a performance in front of our home fans.

"England will be coming over to celebrate their title but our aim is to spoil the party and show what we can do. They're a good side but next week is about us and what we can do, especially with it being St Patrick's Day."

Ireland's Oisin Dowling is tackled by Aled Ward of Wales during the U20 Six Nations match. Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportsfile
Ireland's Oisin Dowling is tackled by Aled Ward of Wales during the U20 Six Nations match. Photo: Simon Bellis/Sportsfile

Captain Calvin Nash scored to put his men on the front-foot, before Wales reacted with tries from Corrie Tarrant, Dane Blacker and Williams. But Johnston kept them in touch from the tee before Tadhg McElroy and Paul Boyle levelled the scores.

Williams showed why he is being touted as the next start off the Ospreys production line though to score his second try to wrap-up the bonus-point triumph before they made sure of victory through replacement Jack Pope.

"This is a team that never gives up and we saw that with the way we fought back, it was just a shame we couldn't finish the job," added Johnston. "We let Wales back into the game with our defence. But fair play to them, they took their chances well."

Wales U-20 - R Williams; C Baldwin, C Lewis (I Nicholas 72), K Williams; R Conbeer; B Jones, D Blacker (R Morgan-Williams 61); R Carre ( S Thomas 69), C Tarrant (O Hughes 65); K Assiratti (C Coleman 65); A Dombrandt (J Pope 75), Moore; S Lewis-Hughes, W Jones (capt) (J Botham 59), A Ward.

Ireland U20 - J Larmour; T O'Brien, J Kelly (C Hogan 50), C Frawley, C Nash (capt) (C Fitzgerald 54); B Johnston, J Stewart; J Conway, T McElroy (R Kelleher 57), C Connolly (M Burke 72); F Wycherley (J Regan 69), O Dowling; G Coombes (M Rea 64), P Boyle, C Doris.

REF - C Ridley (England)

Irish Independent

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