Tomás Quinlan relieved chance of reprieve went to routine

Debutant’s success with difficult penalty makes up for earlier mishap against Argentina

Tomás Quinlan celebrates with team-mates after Ireland defeat Argentina in their Pool C game at the World Under-20 Championships in Parma, Italy, on Tuesday. Photograph: Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho.

Tomás Quinlan celebrates with team-mates after Ireland defeat Argentina in their Pool C game at the World Under-20 Championships in Parma, Italy, on Tuesday. Photograph: Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho.

 

The thin line between success and heartbreak was neatly encapsulated by Ireland debutant Tomás Quinlan when he landed the winning penalty to snatch an 18-16 win over Argentina in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship on Tuesday night.

The Cork man was not included in the original 28-man squad and was only drafted in last week when regular outhalf Ross Byrne was ruled out of the tournament with a back injury.

With players dying on their feet in the sweltering 28 degrees heat in Parma, Quinlan was handed his big moment – and promptly gave away the penalty which edged Argentina in front three minutes from the end.

Caught out

“I suppose stick to your routine. Just before that I gave away a penalty so I felt like I had to do something. I only had a short period of time to get the team back into the game. I got an opportunity and I was lucky enough to put it over. You stick to your routine and just go through the paces and keep the head and trust yourself,” said the Cork Con man, his effort not going unnoticed by another unflappable number who came through that stable with Ronan O’Gara tweeting his admiration before the teams were off the field.

“It’s weird to hear things like that now, that such superstars like himself are tweeting about it. You get a chance and you have to take it,” Quinlan said.

“I didn’t think it would go over because usually they go more straight as opposed to coming in. When I saw it go out my heart kind of dropped then it came back in and I saw it go over and I just put my head down and ran back. It was just the relief more than anything, get the win for the boys and for myself, yeah I am delighted.”

Neither Quinlan nor the Irish squad have much time to dwell on their dramatic win and have turned their attentions to playing Scotland in Cavisano on Saturday. Coach Nigel Carolan and his management remained on in Parma to see New Zealand run in nine tries in a 68-10 hammering of the Scots.

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