IRELAND U-19 15 FRANCE U-19 24
Ireland simply ran out of muscle and steam as they were overpowered by France at Templeville Road yesterday.
It looked like a good day at the office for coaches Colin McEntee and Ronan Carolan when Ireland got off to their customary fiery start -- in the second minute full-back Darragh Leader crashed over from centre Thomas Daly's nice inside line, the latter converting from the right.
It was looking even better when Daly struck a penalty in the 19th minute and his midfield partner Tom Farrell burst over right on half-time for a 15-point cushion.
This lead was quickly eroded by a raft of French replacements who added weight to the argument. As players tired in the heat, the Gallic offloading started to work.
Replacement hooker Raphael Carbou and No 8 Clement Ancely, from a 20-metres driving maul, swiftly cut the lead to three points.
French replacement out-half Clement Otazo was also beginning to have an influence, and he converted Ancely's try in the 58th minute and arrived like a train to provide their third on the hour.
The momentum was with the French and they made it pay, with another replacement Gabriel Lacroix blasting around the outside for the fourth and final try.
Ireland -- D Leader; M McFarland, T Farrell, T Daly, R Scholes; S Crosbie, B Digby (J Creighton 66); E Byrne, B Byrne, J Dever (C Taylor 49); U Dillane , G Thornbury (S McCarthy 63); C Joyce (capt), J Van Der Flier, R Murphy (D Lawlor 63).
France -- J Farnoux; F Cabantous ( V Martin h-t), T Regard, F Vialelle, B Douillard (G Lacroix 56); A Neisen (C Otazo h-t), Y Domenech (E Quiniou h-t); C Baille (J-P Custoja h-t), R Hollet (R Carbou h-t), K Vartanov; L Bastien, V Moreaux (R Fourcade h-t); L Barba (C Pielotto 60), S Cerqueira, C Ancely (capt).
Ref -- R Thomas (Wales).