Saturday 24 February 2018

Quinlan keeps cool to land dramatic late kick for U-20s

Ireland U-20 18 Argentina U-20 16

Ireland’s Josh Murphy attempts to break through the Argentina defence yesterday in Parma
Ireland’s Josh Murphy attempts to break through the Argentina defence yesterday in Parma
Sean McNulty and Jack Dwan celebrate Ireland's dramatic win against Argentina at the World Rugby U-20 Championship
Joey Carberry kicks for Ireland

John Fallon

There weren't too many cool things in Parma's sweltering heat yesterday, but when the moment presented it Tomas Quinlan had ice in his veins to land a winning penalty in the final play of this World Rugby U-20 Championship.

The Corkman had only been on the field for a few minutes in what was his debut at U-20 international level, having just been added to the squad last week when experienced out-half Ross Byrne was ruled out of the tournament.

Joey Carbery took over Byrne's position for his first start after four appearances off the bench and he kicked his first five penalties in a solid performance before suffering his only miss of the day.

But that miss 13 minutes from time looked set to be costly as Argentina hit back and sneaked in front three minutes from time with a penalty from the right from full-back Emiliano Bofelli.

However, Nigel Carolan's men mounted one final attack and Argentina were pinged about 25 metres out on the wing and Quinlan stepped up and nailed it.


The win was no more than Ireland deserved but they almost paid a big price for not being able to turn chances into scores, but Carolan believes they can step when they meet Scotland on Saturday.

"It is important for us that we got off to a winning start. It keeps us alive and our guys certainly won't fear Scotland. We just need to tidy up and tighten the screws in terms of accuracy," he said.

"The character that we showed to come back in the end was tremendous."

Three Carbery penalties saw Ireland lead 9-6 at the break but Stephen Fitzgerald knocked on with the line in sight and when he later crossed the move was whistled back when Carbery was harshly pinged for a forward pass.

With Garry Ringrose showing deft touches in the centre, there was no doubting Ireland's superiority and they responded well to the concession of the game's only try after the interval from Santiago Portillo to recover from 13-9 down to go back in front with two more penalties from Carbery.

Ireland should have closed out the game but when a cool head was needed, not for the first time a kicker with nerves of steel from Cork Con steered them home.

Ireland - B Dardis; J Stockdale, G Ringrose, S Arnold (F Cleary 78), S Fitzgerald; J Carbery (T Quinlan 78), N McCarthy (capt) (C Rock 71); J Loughman (A Porter 8), Z McCall (S McNulty 63), O Heffernan (C O'Donnell 63); D O'Connor, A Thompson (J Dwan 63); J Murphy, R Moloney (N Timoney 63), L Dow.

Argentina - E Boffelli; E Achilli (J Cruz Mallía 58), T Granella, B Ezcurra (capt), S Resino; D Miotti (I Albornoz 66), L Bazán Vélez (Baronio 63); J Díaz (N Ocello 51), I Calles (G Baldunciel 66), C Bartoloni (E Bello 40); V Rosti, I Larrague; J Deheza (I Calas 51), L Gasparri, E Olmedo Paz (S Portillo 12-15, 40).

Ref - L Linton (Scotland)

Irish Independent

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