U20 Six Nations: Ireland make it two from two in impressive fashion
Visitors run in three tries as Netherdale to back up England win
Ireland’s Liam Turner is tackled by Robbie McCallum of Scotland during the Under-20 Six Nations Championship match at Netherdale in Galashiels. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Scotland U20 5 Ireland U20 24
Ireland added to their success over England in the opening round by running in three tries in victory over Scotland at Netherdale to make it two wins from two in the Under-20 Six Nations Championship.
Playing with the blueprint Joe Schmidt style Ireland dominated throughout, and fittingly it was the forwards, with telling performances from the likes of their powerhouse UCC number eight John Hodnett and their mobile Corinthians hooker Dylan Tierney-Martin, who claimed two of the three Irish tries.
Behind the scrum the steady play of outhalf Harry Byrne suggested he might well emulate his elder brother Ross, but the star of the Ireland backline was outside centre and man of the match Liam Turner, whose running, and indeed shape, was reminiscent of Brian O’Driscoll.
Playing with the strong wind at their backs, Ireland made a shaky start to the match by kicking the ball dead but the visitors soon made amends with powerful driving forward play that ultimately resulted in a penalty under the posts and an easy three points for Byrne.
Then after fullback Jake Flannery had put the Scots on the back foot with a long kick upfield Ireland attacked the home line. Flanker Scott Penny was held up over the Scotland line but minutes later Tierney-Martin burrowed over leaving Byrne with a simple conversion kick.
The Scots, however, produced their own attacking efforts and twice threatened the Ireland line only for hooker Ewan Ashman to lose possession from a driving maul and for wing Jack Blain to be denied a touchdown after a brave tackle from Jonathan Wren.
Despite facing the elements, Ireland continued to dominate both territory and possession in the second half and after repeatedly battering the Scotland defence they finally made it pay when the abrasive Hodnett crashed over from short range, Byrne converting for a 17-0 lead.
Scotland had dug in defiantly and finally received a reward for their efforts, when from a lineout five metres from the Irish line, the home forwards mauled effectively for skipper Conor Boyle to dive over for his side’s only try of the game. Replacement Nathan Chamberlain missed the conversion.
Ireland hit back effectively, controlling the closing stages and on the final whistle claimed their third try when Wren outpaced the defence to touch down under the posts giving Byrne, for the third time in the game another straightforward conversion to seal their win.
SCORING SEQUENCE – 6 mins: H Byrne pen, 0-3; 21 mins: D Tierney-Martin try, Byrne con 0-10 Half-time, 53 mins: J Hodnett try, Byrne con 0-17; 64 mins: C Boyle try, 5-17; 80 mins: J Wren try, Byrne con, 5-24
SCOTLAND UNDER-20: R McLean; R McMichael, C Anderson, R McCallum, J Blain; R Thompson, R Frostwick; S Grahamshaw, E Ashman, M Walker; C Henderson, E Johnson; C Jupp, C Boyle, K Van Niekirk.
Replacements: N Chamberlain for Thompson (46 mins), M Davidson for Anderson (48), J Mann for Van Niekerk (57), R Bundy for Johnson, K McGhie for Frostwick (both 60), A Fraser for Ashman (63), W Hurd for McLaren (65).
IRELAND UNDER-20: J Flannery; C Phillips, L Turner, D Hawkshaw, J Wren; H Byrne, C Foley; J Wycherley, D Tierney-Martin, T Clarkson; C Ryan, N Murray; M Moloney, S Penny, J Hodnett.
Replacements: J McKee for Tierney-Martin, M Milne for Wycherley (both 62 mins); D McCann for Penny, C Reilly for Foley (both 63), R Russell for Phillips (64).
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)