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Overpowered Ireland slump to defeat as Scots flex their muscles

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A dejected Stephen Fitzgerald, right, Ireland, after the final whistle

A dejected Stephen Fitzgerald, right, Ireland, after the final whistle

SPORTSFILE

Nick McCarthy, Ireland, breaks away from George Horne, left, and Rory Hutchinson, Scotland

Nick McCarthy, Ireland, breaks away from George Horne, left, and Rory Hutchinson, Scotland

SPORTSFILE

Ciaran Gaffney, Ireland, makes a break down the pitch on the way to setting up his side's first try

Ciaran Gaffney, Ireland, makes a break down the pitch on the way to setting up his side's first try

SPORTSFILE

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A dejected Stephen Fitzgerald, right, Ireland, after the final whistle

Ireland U-20s made history but in the wrong way after recoding a third successive defeat in the junior Six Nations Championship with a loss to Scotland in the final round at Netherdale last night .

The Irish side were unable to match the forward power of the Scots, who repeatedly won the scrummaging contest and who were adept at the driving line-out.

Behind the scrum Ireland looked much the better of the two back divisions but even so they were unable to break down a determined Scotland defence

Ireland put themselves under pressure straight from the kick-off after Nick McCarthy knocked on deep inside the Irish 22.

Scotland took advantage first by attacking off the ensuing scrum and then driving a penalty line-out giving skipper Magnus Bradbury a try, converted by scrum-half George Horne.

The Irish threatened when winger Stephen Fitzgerald cut through in midfield but a brave tackle by Rory Hutchinson stopped the move.

There was further disappointment for Ireland when Ross Byrne failed with a 40-metre penalty attempt but not for Scotland as a second driven line-out produced a try for lock Lewis Carmichael.

If Ireland's talents had been suppressed by Scotland's aggressive defence and forward power then perceptions changed with a fine score by Stephen Fitzgerald.

The left wing finished off clever handling from the Irish backs with Byrne, centre Garry Ringrose and right wing Ciaran Gaffney key players in the move.

Byrne's conversion adding to an earlier penalty brought Ireland to within two points but the men in green were unable to make any further dents in the first half leaving the Scots ahead at half time by 12-10.

Ireland looked much more purposeful in the second half but against a Scotland forward pack that always caused problems for the Irish eight they failed to add to their points tally, the nearest they came to a try being a short-range effort by centre Sam Arnold.

Thereafter Scotland dominated and were rewarded when Carmichael was driven over from a lineout to seal a fine win for the young Scots who recorded their highest ever finishing place in the championship.

Scotland U-20 - R Howarth; B Robbins, T Galbraith (Russell, P Kelly, A Coombes; R Hutchinson, G Horne; M McCallum (D Elkington 55), S James (R Graham 63), Z Fagerson, S Cummings (A Davidson 71), L Carmichael, N Irvine-Hess, A Mille (R Knott 66), M Bradbury .

Ireland u-20 - B Dardis (J Stockdale 59); C Gaffney, G Ringrose, S Arnold (J Stockdale 59), S Fitzgerald; R Byrne, N McCarthy (C Young 62); M Lagan (A Porte 53), Z McCall, C O'Donnell (O Hefferman 53), D O'Connor, A Thompson (J Dwan 63), J Murphy, N Timoney, L Dow.

Ref - T Foley (England)

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