| 5.9°C Dublin

Crowley's brace helps U-20s get title defence off to impressive start

Ireland U-20s 38 Scotland U-20s 26

Close

Jack Crowley of Ireland avoids the tackle of Ollie Smith of Scotland on his way to scoring his side's third try. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Jack Crowley of Ireland avoids the tackle of Ollie Smith of Scotland on his way to scoring his side's third try. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Jack Crowley of Ireland avoids the tackle of Ollie Smith of Scotland on his way to scoring his side's third try. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Ireland started the defence of their U-20 Grand Slam in impressive fashion as Noel McNamara's men scored a decisive win at Irish Independent Park last night.

Ireland enjoyed a strong start when Jack Crowley got in for his opening try after a superb break by centre Dan Kelly.

Bandon native Crowley added the conversion but Scotland showed they were up for it and hooker Ewan Ashman barged through to score after 16 minutes.

A kick from out-half Nathan Chamberlain went dead and Ireland made the bounce count, when tighthead Tom Clarkson managed to get over.

Close

Thomas Ahern of Ireland goes over to score his side's fifth try. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Thomas Ahern of Ireland goes over to score his side's fifth try. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Crowley's conversion made it 14-5 but Scotland hit back and after winger Jacob Henry failed to get his fingers to a cross-field kick from Chamberlain, they got in on the other wing when Jack Blain scored in the corner to cut the gap to 14-12.

Scotland pushed forward before the break but replacement prop Thomas Lambert knocked on and Crowley broke from inside his own 22 to score, fending off the challenge of Scotland full-back Ollie Smith, before adding the points to lead 21-12 at the break.

The latest Sean O'Brien to arrive on the scene - this one is through Blackrock College and UCD - set up winger Andrew Smith for the bonus point three minutes after the restart.

And then 6ft 9in lock Tom Ahern from Waterford showed remarkable pace down the right wing to finish a turnover from deep by stretching to score in the right corner and make it 33-12.

But Scotland, who finished with 14 men when replacement winger Rufus McLean was binned for a clumsy challenge on Irish full-back Oran McNulty, didn't give up.

Out-half Chamberlain scored with a dummy which will make for unpleasant viewing in the Irish video review, and while replacement hooker John McKee hit back with their sixth try six minutes from the end, Scotland secured a bonus point in the final play when replacement centre Cameron Scott got through to score.

Close

Andrew Smith of Ireland escapes the tackle of Roan Frostwick of Scotland. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Andrew Smith of Ireland escapes the tackle of Roan Frostwick of Scotland. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Scorers - Ireland: J Crowley 2 tries, T Clarkson, A Smith, T Ahern, J McKee try each; Crowley 4 cons. Scotland: E Ashman, N Chamberlain, J Blain, C Scott try each; Chamberlain 3 cons

Ireland - O McNulty (Connacht); E McIlroy (Ulster), D Kelly (IQ Rugby), H Hyde (Ulster) (L Faria (Leinster) 52), A Smith (Leinster); J Crowley (Munster) (T Corkery (Leinster) 71), L Finlay (Ulster) (B Murphy (Leinster) 77); C Ward (Leinster) (C Ryan (Munster) 58), T Stewart (Ulster) (J McKee (Leinster 58), T Clarkson (Leinster) (R McMahon (Leinster 75); B Deeny (Leinster), T Ahern (Munster) (J McCarthy (Leinster) 65); S O'Brien (Leinster) (A Soroka (Leinster) 71), M Hernan (Leinster), D McCann (Ulster).

Scotland - M Currie; O Smith, J Henry, R McCallum (C Scott 77), J Blain (R McLean 46); N Chamberlain, R Frostwick (K McGhie 60); A Maxwell (T Lambert 45), E Ashman (R Jackson 35-50, 77), M Wilson (G Breese 66); K Watt (J Campbell 71), C Henderson (G Brown 71); C Boyle, J Hill, R Darge.

Ref - G Gnecchi (Ita).

Indo Sport