Australia Schools prove too strong for Ireland under-19s

Andrew Smith had gone over for a try in the opening half but the visitors turned it around

Ireland under-19s 5 Australia Schools and under-18s 17

Despite registering a first-half try through Andrew Smith, the Ireland under-19 side suffered a 12-point reversal at the hands of an Australia Schools & under-18 outfit at Energia Park on Saturday afternoon.

Reesjan Pastioa, John Connolly and Angus Bell all crossed over for the visiting team, who had previously faced the Munster and Ulster under-19s during an extensive tour of Ireland.

In a fiery opening the contest, Ireland outhalf Jack Delaney was wide of the mark off a 35-metre penalty. This miss was subsequently punished at the opposite end – when Spencer Jeans passed out wide to half-back partner, Pastioa, for a powerful drive over the whitewash.

However, following an extended attacking spell, lock Paddy Kelly released Leinster wing Smith for a clinical finish in the right-corner.

Yet, this only provided the hosts with a temporary respite. Capitalising on a defensive mix-up by their northern hemisphere counterparts, Australia grabbed a second try via full-back Connolly.

In spite of Pastioa’s wayward bonus strike, Andrew Moloney’s visitors brought a 10-5 lead into the break.

Tom Tierney’s hosts were left with significant ground to make up on the resumption, though the 41st-minute sinbinning of Jeans did offer them a significant boost amidst the wind and rain in Donnybrook.

Australia held firm under intense pressure, however, and a seven-point salvo by outside centre Angus Bell – just shy of the hour mark – placed the outcome beyond all doubt.

Scorers – Ireland under-19: A Smith try. Australia Schools & under-18s: A Bell try, con, R Pasitoa, J Connolly try each.

IRELAND UNDER-19: O McNulty; A Smith, H Hyde, T Downes, A Sexton; J Delaney, C O'Doherty; H Noonan, J McKee, C Ward; C McMenamin, P Kelly; C Prendergast, C Booth, D McCann.

Replacements: L Finlay for O’Doherty, half-time; B Deeney for McMenamin, 37 mins; L Bruce for Downes, 50; S O’Brien for C Prendergast, D Prendegast for Delaney, both 55; S Buckley for McKee, 58; L Winnett for Ward, 61; A Hennessy for Noonan, 66.

AUSTRALIA SCHOOLS & UNDER-18S: J Connolly; D Ala, A Bell, J Walton, V Lea; R Pasitoa, S Jeans; A Bell, B Pollard, Z Hogan; T Van der Schyff, J Williams; L Reimer, C Tizzano, W Harris.

Replacements: M Douglas for Van der Schyff, 46 mins; S Strang for Jeans, 51, T Kopua for Pollard, 55; R Scott for Tizzano, 61.

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