O’SULLIVAN SALVO HELPS SEE OFF SCOTS
U20 SIX NATIONS
By DAIRE WALSH
TRIES in each half by the outstanding Jack O’Sullivan helped Ireland to edge out Scotland in a high-scoring Under-20 Six Nations Championship encounter at Donnybrook last night.
With O’Sullivan and Matthew Agnew crossing over, Ireland were in the driving seat at the midway point. The visitors worked their way back into contention with a series of second half scores, before Noel McNamara’s charges ultimately secured a bonus-point success.
O’Sullivan’s third-minute try – converted by fly-half Harry Byrne – provided Ireland with a dream start.
The hosts then increased their advantage with a brace of routine Byrne penalties. Ross Thompson’s six-point salvo subsequently moved Scotland back into contention, before flanker Matthew Agnew reinforced Ireland’s superiority with a superb touchdown.
Although Byrne’s bonus kick drifted past the target, Ireland entered the interval with an 18-6 lead. They looked set to push on after the restart, but following an unfortunate slip by Angus Kernohan on 51 minutes, Scottish winger Kyle Rowe dived over on the left-wing.
A Matthew Dalton five-pointer settled Irish nerves, but Martin Hughes’ finish at the back of a line-out maul set-up a grandstand finale in the south Dublin venue.
However, O’Sullivan effectively placed the outcome beyond reach six minutes from the end. Scotland claimed a final try through Nathan McBeth, but it was Ireland who emerged with the spoils on the night.
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), C Ryan for Dalton (78).
Scorers – Tries: J O’Sullivan 2, M Agnew, M Dalton Cons: H Byrne, C Dean Pens: H Byrne 2
SCOTLAND: P Dewhirst; R McMichael, F Strachan, S McDowall, 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).
Scorers – Tries: K Rowe, M Hughes, N McBeth Cons: R Thompson 2 Pens: R Thompson 2
Referee: L Cayre (France).