REPORT Ireland U19 I XV 13 v France U19s 10!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The Ireland U 19 team emulated the success of their U18 counterparts when they recorded a hard earned, but justified, 13-10 win against the equivalent French team at the French headquarters at Marcoussis.

The Ireland team took some time to settle into the game and it difficult to stamp their authority on the first half proceedings. They did take a 3-0 lead when David O’Mahony was successful with a penalty kick eight minutes into the game.

The French team responded in a positive manner and took a 7-3 lead, midway through the first period, when their right wing scored a try following good work from his team mates. The try was converted by the French outhalf.

This became 10-3 on the stroke of halftime when the Ireland team was penalised. The French outhalf stepped up to convert the penalty and the French took their 10-3 lead into the break.

The Ireland team stepped up a gear or two after the break. They had the French team on the back foot for long periods of time. Fifteen minutes into the second period the Ireland team was certain they had scored a try only for the referee to blow for a knock on just before the grounding.

David O’Mahony then had a second successful penalty kick some three minutes later to reduce the deficit to 10-6.

With the French team appearing to tire the Ireland team raised their level of performance yet again. Good work from the Ireland pack, with Greg Jones, Neil Reilly and Max Deegan , to the fore paved the way for the production of quality possession. Good hands from John Poland, Jimmy O’Brien, Paul Kiernan, Conor O’Brien and Jacob Stockdale presented David O’Mahony to cap a fine personal performance with a try. David converted the try to see his team into a 13-10 lead with just minutes remaining.

The Ireland U19’s pack held firm with Andrew Porter and Conor Kenny causing all sorts of problems for their opposite numbers. Ireland ended the game on the attack but there were no further scores.

On the final whistle it was a delighted Ireland U19’s squad that celebrated their 13-10 victory. However, there was also the realisation that there is much room for improvement in all departments before they face the French for the second time at Marcoussis on Saturday 4th April in a game that will kick off at 7-00pm.

For the Ireland team Neil Reilly replaced Conall Boomer after 19 minutes, John Poland replaced Liam Free at halftime, Michael Melia replaced Peter Claffey after 50 minutes and Conor Kenny replaced Ben Betts after 60 minutes.

Barney McGonigle
(Manager, Ireland U19’s)

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