Ireland U-20 in Action at World Cup
Ireland U-20 in Action at World Cup
Ireland U-20 Finish on a High
6 June 2010, 9:38 am
The Ireland Under-20s completed the IRB Junior World Championsip in Argentina with two wins on the trot as they swept Scotland aside to become 9th place in the world rankings.
IRELAND UNDER-20s 53, SCOTLAND UNDER-20s 23, Club Atletico Estudiantes, Parana

Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Andrew Conway 3, Noel Reid, Simon Zebo (Munster), Niall Annett, John Cooney; Cons: Noel Reid 6; Pens: Simon Zebo (Munster), Noel Reid
Scotland: Tries: Robert Harley, Stuart McInally; Cons: Duncan Weir 2; Pens: Duncan Weir 3

Full-back Andrew Conway helped himself to a hat-trick of tries as his Ireland side completed their time in Argentina on a very positive note.

The Irish scored seven tries in all, with half-backs Noel Reid and John Cooney, Munster winger Simon Zebo and team captain Niall Annett also crossing the Scottish whitewash.

Reid finished the game with 20 points, including six conversions and a penalty. Having led 25-16 at half-time, Allen Clarke's youngsters put the result beyond doubt with tries from Zebo and Annett in the early stages of the second half.

After three tough defeats in the pool stages, the Six Nations champions have come to life in the play-offs, scoring 12 tries in their victories over Samoa and Scotland.

Clarke dubbed their performance against the Scots as 'top drawer', and it must have been pleasing for the Irish management to see the players create and finish their scoring chances so well.

Conway, who only turns 19 next month, celebrated the recent signing of his first professional contract with Leinster in some style. The Blackrock College clubman was razor sharp in collecting his tries, moving his tally for the international season to eight tries in 10 matches.

As they showed during their successful Six Nations run, this Ireland squad has the ability to cut teams apart and they were back to their clinical best in Parana.

Conway took just 12 minutes to cross for his first try and by the time he touched down his second, Clarke's charges had established a 25-6 lead with Scotland's only response being two penalties from the boot of Duncan Weir.
Winger Zebo was involved in the build-up to both of Conway's early scores, providing the scoring passes for Conway to scorch through on the left on two occasions.

In between, out-half Reid had taken a pass from Conway to register Ireland's second try, having already got on the scoreboard with two penalties after Zebo had kicked his side into a seventh minute lead.

Scotland did cut the deficit with a Robert Harley try around the half-hour mark, with Weir adding his third penalty of the day, but there was simply no stopping Ireland as they added four more tries after the break.

Munster's Zebo, who was impressive once again, crossed for Ireland's fourth try within minutes of the restart, taking a pass back inside from Reid, and there was no let-up for Scotland with industrious hooker Annett following suit shortly afterwards.

Scotland captain Stuart McInally crashed over for a pushover effort, but this was merely a catalyst for Conway to complete his hat-trick, latching onto a chip through from scrum half Cooney after a terrific counter attack.
Cooney then got in on the try-scoring act, collecting a lineout tap down from number 8 Paddy Butler before outfoxing the Scottish defence.

Recent call-ups Robin O'Sullivan and Munster's Mike Kelliher were brought on as second half replacements, making it 29 players who have seen action for Ireland at this year's tournament.

The runaway success was Ireland's second win over Scotland this season, after their Six Nations title-clinching 44-15 triumph in Athlone in March.

Exposure to such an event as the IRB Junior World Championship is a vital part of an international player's development and when speaking afterwards, Clarke praised his players for their efforts on the final day. "This performance shows the ambition of the group and the attitude of the group, it has been there all along," he said.
"I''ve said it before that the pool we came out of was tough, we lost narrowly in three games and it was difficult to keep ourselves focused but it's testament to the players there, they've been absolutely fantastic. "I'm delighted for them because they've shown their true ability today."

Annett, who took on the captaincy in Rhys Ruddock's absence, added: "Obviously to get a win is brilliant for us. There's always aspects (of the game) you can work on, but to finish here with that sort of scoreline is brilliant.
"It wasn't an easy tournament for us but at the end of the day we can be happy. We started off poorly, we were very disappointed with our first series results, but we came back here, reassessed our options and got two wins in the play-offs for a strong finish."

TIME LINE: 7 minutes - Ireland penalty: Simon Zebo - 3-0; 11 mins - Ireland penalty: Noel Reid - 6-0; 12 mins - Ireland try: Andrew Conway - 11-0; conversion: missed by Noel Reid - 11-0; 14 mins - Scotland penalty: Duncan Weir - 11-3; 17 mins - Ireland try: Noel Reid - 16-3; conversion: Noel Reid - 18-3; 20 mins - Scotland penalty: Duncan Weir - 18-6; 22 mins - Ireland try: Andrew Conway - 23-6; conversion: Noel Reid - 25-6; 28 mins - Scotland try: Robert Harley - 25-11; conversion: Duncan Weir - 25-13; 31 mins - Scotland penalty: Duncan Weir - 25-16; Half-time - Ireland 25 Scotland 16; 46 mins - Ireland try: Simon Zebo - 30-16; conversion: Noel Reid - 32-16; 50 mins - Ireland try: Niall Annett - 37-16; conversion: Noel Reid - 39-16; 61 mins - Scotland try: Stuart McInally - 39-21; conversion: Duncan Weir - 39-23; 63 mins - Ireland try: Andrew Conway - 44-23; conversion: Noel Reid - 46-23; 70 mins - Ireland try: John Cooney - 51-23; conversion: Noel Reid - 53-23; 80+9 mins - Scotland yellow card: Duncan Weir; 80+10 mins - Scotland yellow card: Adam Fedorciow; Full-time - Ireland 53 Scotland 23
IRELAND: Andrew Conway; Andrew Boyle, Eoin Griffin, Nevin Spence, Simon Zebo; Noel Reid, John Cooney; Bryan Cagney, Niall Annett (capt), Martin Moore, David O'Callaghan, Brian Hayes, Dominic Ryan, Brian O'Hara, Paddy Butler.
Replacements used: Jordi Murphy for Hayes (half-time), Robin O'Sullivan for O'Hara (54 mins), David Doyle for Annett (59), James McKinney for Conway (64), Denis Buckley for Cagney (65), Mike Kelliher for Spence, Michael Heaney for Cooney (both 72).
SCOTLAND: Tom Brown; Callum MacBurnie, James Johnstone, Alex Dunbar, Michael Tait; Duncan Weir, Alex Black; Anthony Kent, Alun Walker, Nicky Little, David Denton, Grant Gilchrist, Robert Harley, Callum Stidston-Nott, Stuart McInally (capt).
Replacements used: Michael Fedo for Stidston-Nott (19 mins), Matthew Scott for Dunbar (56), Oliver Grove for Brown (72), Russell Weir for Black, Colin Phillips for Little (both 76), Adam Fedorciow for Walker (80+1), Robert McAlpine for McInally (80+10).

Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)

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