Ireland U20s turn screw with devastating second-half show
U20 Six Nations warm-up
Ireland U20 38
Leinster Development XV 17
The Ireland U20s produced an impressive second-half display at Energia Park yesterday afternoon to claim a 38-17 win over a Leinster Development XV.
Played as part of their preparations for next year’s Six Nations Championship, the international side found themselves level (12-12) at the break – before pushing on after the resumption with a succession of tries.
Following an initially cagey opening, Ireland broke the deadlock in the 11th-minute with a try from loosehead Michael Milne.
While fly-half Harry Byrne (younger brother of senior international Ross) converted to stretch their lead, Leinster hit back impressively.
Liam Turner raced over the line via superb build-up from full-back Rob Russell – who was also on hand to supply the conversion.
While Jake Flannery completed an extended attacking move to get Ireland back on track, Terenure College star Adam LaGrue restored party for Leinster prior to the interval.
Both teams made changes to their starting line-up as the action progressed. Byrne’s seven-point salvo on the 50-minute mark created daylight between the teams once again – and acted as a springboard for Ireland to placed the tie beyond doubt, as a matter of fact.
Inside the final-quarter, Niall Murray and replacement back Jonathan Wren had tries in as many minutes to increase the Irish cushion to 31-12.
Cian Pendergast responded for a spirited Leinster in the closing moments, only for Noel McNamara’s Irish outfit to have the final say with a John Hodnett try on the stroke of full-time of an entertaining encounter.
Scorers for Ireland U20: H Byrne try, 3 cons, M Milne, J Flannery, N Murray, J Wren, J Hodnett try each.
Scorers for Leinster Development XV: L Turner, A LaGrue, C Prendergast try each, R Russell con.
IRELAND U20: J Flannery; A Kernohan, S French, S Moore, J McCarthy; H Byrne, C Casey; M Milne, D Tierney, R Lomas; B Luney, C Ryan; N Murray, M Moloney, J Hodnett.
Replacements: B Scanell, J Wycherley, T Clarkson, JJ McKee, C Huxford, C Reilly, D Hawkshaw, I Hughes, C Phillips, J Wren.
LEINSTER DEVELOPMENT XV: R Russell; A LaGrue, O Morris, D Ryan, L Turner; C Kelly, G Curtis; G Coyne, J McKee, C Ward; G Murray, B Deeny; R Byron, R Waters, D McCann.
Replacements: H Noonan, D Adamson, M McCormack, C Prendergast, A Flemming, L O’Reilly, S Madigan, L Faria, H Conway.
Referee: J Lacey (IRFU).