O’Sullivan inspires thrilling Ireland victory
U20 Six Nations
A Jack O’Sullivan-inspired Ireland edged out Scotland in a high-scoring U20 Six Nations Championship encounter at Donnybrook last night.
O’Sullivan contributed two tries in Ireland’s narrow reversal to Wales in the last round, and the dynamic Munster back-row crossed over the Scottish whitewash with just three minutes gone on the clock.
A brace of routine Harry Byrne penalties increased their advantage, before Scotland moved back into contention with a six-point salvo from Ross Thompson.
However, after flanker Matthew Agnew touched down in devastating fashion, Ireland entered the interval with an 18-6 buffer at their disposal.
They looked set to push on after the restart, but following an unfortunate slip by Angus Kernohan on 51 minutes, Scotland winger Kyle Rowe dived over on the left-wing.
Indeed, after a Matthew Dalton five-pointer settled the Irish nerves, Martin Hughes’ finish at the back of a line-out maul set-up a grandstand finale in the south Dublin venue.
Yet, O’Sullivan effectively placed the outcome beyond doubt with a superb individual score six minutes from the end.
There was enough time for Scotland to claim a final try through Nathan McBeth, but it was Ireland who emerged with a bonus-point success in the end.
This is Ireland’s second win from four in this year’s competition, and they now leap-frog Wales in the Championship table following the latter’s surprise defeat to Italy in Colwyn Bay yesterday.
Scorers for Ireland: J O’Sullivan 2 tries, M Agnew, M Dalton try each; H Byrne 2 pens, con; C Dean con.
Scorers for Scotland: K Rowe, M Hughes, N McBeth try each; R Thompson 2 pens, 2 cons.
IRELAND: M Silvester; A Kernohan, T O’Brien, A Curtis, M Keane; H Byrne, H O’Sullivan; J French, R Kelleher, T O’Toole, M Dalton, J Dunne, J Dunleavy, M Agnew, J O’Sullivan.
Replacements: E Clarke for Kelleher (22), J Duggan for French (62), J Aungier for O’Toole, J Stewart for H O’Sullivan, C Dean for Byrne (all 64), J Hume for Keane (66), R Foley for Dunleavy (73).
SCOTLAND: P Dewhirst; R McMichael, F Strachan, S McDonnell, K Rowe; R Thompson, C Chapman; S Gunn, R Smith, F Richardson, E Johnson, J Hodgson, M Hughes, R Darge, D Onojaife.
Replacements: B Clements for Smith (32), N McBeth for Gunn, L Trotter for McMichael (both 53), M Sykes for Johnstone (60), M Walker for Richardson, C Boyle for Darge (both 71).
Referee: L Cayre (France).