Ireland U19s too strong for France
RUGBY: Early tries by Sean O’Hagan and Jack Owens set the foundations for the Ireland U19s at Templeville Road, as Colin McEntee’s men overcame their French counterparts 31-20 in the first of two encounters between the sides.
With Ireland senior coach Joe Schmidt in attendance, the hosts broke the deadlock inside the opening 60 seconds of play through Corinthians out-half O’Hagan, before Ulster winger Owens displayed great pace to add a second try five minutes in.
A brace of Gary Ringrose conversions further enhanced Ireland’s superiority, but outside centre François Fontaine finally got France’s running with a try on 12 minutes.
Les Bleus retook the lead with a Lucas Meret drop goal and an Anthony Meric Audibert try five minutes into the second period but Ireland appeared to have stemmed the tide when lock Alex Thompson finished off a strong 50th minute maul.
France came again though with a Lucas Bachelier try only for Ringrose to grab a crucial score seven minutes from the end.
IRELAND U19: B Dardis; C Gaffney, G Ringrose, H Brewer, J Owens; S O’Hagan, J Cullen; J Loughman, S McNulty, O Heffernan; J Murphy, A Thompson; S McVeigh, B Kilkenny, L Dow.
Replacements: J Bingham for O’Hagan (55).
Referee: C Evans (Wales).