Sport Rugby

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Irish eyes smiling at last as Boyle hat-trick helps see off Samoa

SAMOA U-20 10

Ruaidhri O'Connor in Parana

IRELAND finally had reason to smile in Argentina as they gained their first victory at the Junior World Championships over Samoa yesterday.

The Six Nations champions showed character to bounce back from finishing bottom of their pool to overrun the Samoans.

Ireland will now play for ninth place and a favourable pool at next year's tournament on Monday, thanks to a hat-trick of tries from debutant Andrew Boyle and scores from captain Niall Annett and Eoin Griffin.

Ireland led 18-10 at half-time. They dominated the set-pieces, winning every Samoan line-out and scored after Noel Reid had kicked them 6-3 ahead, Annett going over after a close range maul.

Samoa hit back through replacement hooker Tony Keresoma, but quick thinking from Reid saw the UCD man tap a penalty and cross-kick to Boyle who did well to catch and score.

The tough-tackling Samoans fell apart after the break, with prop Joe Sililoto and out-half Patrick Fa'apale sinbinned.

Boyle touched down in the corner with Reid converting, before Boyle turned provider for substitute Eoin Griffin to score Ireland's fourth try.

Boyle capped a fine afternoon with a late score as Allen Clarke's men won and the coach praised his side's character.

"It was important to get the feel good factor of winning," he said. "It's testament to them that on the back of three defeats -- particularly after coming with the ambitions that we had -- that we stuck together."

"It tells you a lot about them as individuals and as a group."

IRELAND -- A Conway (J McKinney 70); A Boyle, B Macken (E Griffin 63), D McSharry, S Zebo; N Reid, M Heaney (J Cooney h-t); B Cagney (D Buckley 70), N Annett (capt) (D Doyle 68), M Moore; B Hayes, B Marshall (D O'Callaghan 56); J Murphy, B O'Hara, P Butler (D Ryan 58).

SAMOA -- S Nuie (W Mateai 78); T Tulolo (F Tuua 57), M Gandy, K Malielegaoi, T Sufia; P Fa'apale, J Malo; J Sililoto, A Vaiomanu (T Keresoma 25) (S Tuiletufuga 61), F Faatu; J Tyrell (capt), S Luatua; J Aloalii, I Timu-Sa, J Tupe.

REF -- J Peyper (South Africa).

lFormer England international Andy Ripley has passed away aged 62 following a long battle with prostrate cancer. Ripley won 24 caps and was on the triumphant 1974 Lions tour to South Africa.

Irish Independent

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