Last-gasp Ben Brownlee try helps Ireland to U20 Six Nations victory over France
France 16 Ireland 17
Ireland made it two wins from two in the Six Nations thanks to a dramatic last-gasp try from Ben Brownlee and winning conversion kicked by Charlie Tector.
With the clock already red, Tector's conversion put the Irish in the lead for the first time after they had fought back from being 10-0 in arrears at Stade Maurice David in Aix-en-Provence.
Tector had earlier converted James McCormick’s first half try and had also added a penalty in a scrappy contest where Ireland’s greater cohesion and discipline were ultimately key.
Max Auriac missed a second minute long range penalty but nailed a more straightforward effort just two minutes later.
Then on the quarter of the hour, Ireland put a penalty to the corner and the subsequent maul barrelled over the line only for Scottish referee Hollie Davidson and the TMO to rule the score out due to obstruction.
After Louis de Brun was short with an optimistic penalty shot from halfway, the French then managed to shore up what was already a creaking lineout after working a move off the back which saw hooker Victor Montgaillard score.
Aurilac converted and the hosts led 10-0.
Ireland, still backing their own lineout, then went for the corner again just after the half hour following yet more French ill-discipline and Ballymena’s James McCormick drove over near the posts
Tector’s conversion cut France’s lead to three points which is how it ended at half-time.
Three minutes in and Auriac kicked a penalty after an impressive attack ended with Ireland straying offside but Tector cut that lead with his own strike on 55 minutes.
Two minutes later, Auriac punished the visitors with his third penalty making it 16-10 to Les Bleus though out-half Louis Foursans-Bourdette then hit the upright with a 64th minute penalty.
The last 10 minutes were frantic though lock Samuel M’Foudi’s yellow card was crucial with Ireland cranking up the heat before Brownlee’s 79th minute try allowed Tector seal it.
Ireland: P Campbell; A King, B Brownlee, D Hawkshaw, S Mallon; C Tector, E Coughlan; J Boyle, J McCormick, R McGuire; C O’Tighearnaigh, M Morrissey; J McNabney, R Crothers, J Culhane. Replacements: D McSweeney for McGuire 65mins, A McNamee for Morrissey 69mins, C Moloney for McNabney 68mins, M Devine for Coughlan 45mins, D O’Grady for Mallon 69mins.Not used J Hanlon, O Michel, T Butler