Monday 19 March 2018

Flourish in Irish finish

U-18 Five Nations festival

Ireland produced a three-try second-half blast to execute their first win at the third attempt in Llandovery, West Wales.

Previously, the Irish had been overwhelmed physically by Wales and England and they looked like losing again as they trailed Scotland 17-9 at half-time, thanks mainly to the brilliance of centre Mark Bennett, who converted four penalties and set up Harry Leonard's 19th-minute try.

Ireland were a transformed team in the second half as a host of replacements lifted the pace of the game and left wing Sam Coghlan-Murray put his stamp on the match by crossing for one try and making two others for replacement centre Peter Nelson and full-back Ross Jones.

"There were a few harsh words said at half-time," said coach Terry McMaster. "We were slow at the breakdown and lagged a bit at the ruck, but we sorted it out. The boys reacted with a great second-half performance, playing with the style we aspired to all year."

Ireland U-18 -- R Jones (Castleknock); S MacAuley, G O Suilleabhain (both Clongowes), P Jackson (Methodist), S Coghlan-Murray (Newbridge); R McMaster (Coleraine AI), H Doyle (R Armagh); N Scannell (PBC Cork, capt), J Rael (Castletroy), P Reilly (Castleknock), Y Browne (CBC Cork), D Qualter (Sligo Grammar), E Cross (Crescent), C Gilsenan (Clongowes Wood), J Conan (St Gerard's). Replacements: JJ Hanrahan (Rockwell) for McMaster (34), A Conneely (Col Iognaid) for Cross (h-t), P Nelson (R Dungannon) for O Suilleabhain, L McGrath (St Michael's) for Doyle (both 40), S Buckley (Rockwell) for Conan (47), A Clarkin (Terenure) for Gilsenan (61), G McConnell (Sligo Gr) for Rael (69).

Irish Independent

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