Ireland U19 s got their IRB World Championship campaign off to a flying start, clinching a 17-16 win over England in Dubai on Wednesday. Trailing 13-3 at one stage, Ireland rallied, and with six minutes to go Keith Earls, the St. Munchin s College, centre scored the match winning try.
England got the better start, with Daniel Cipriani converting two penalty kicks in the first ten minutes to out them 6-0 ahead. Brian Collins put Ireland on the score board with a penalty after 24 minutes, with England responding five minutes later with a try from Adam Powell, which Cipriani converted to put England 13-3 ahead at the break.
Ireland regrouped, and started picking off scores early in the second half to narrow the gap. Two sin binnings reduced England to 13 men for a period, which Ireland used to full advantage. Brian Collins converted three penalties inside ten minutes to bring Ireland back into the game, with just a point separating the sides after 59 minutes of play. Cipriani edged England further ahead after 65 minutes, putting England 16-12 in front. However, with six minutes to go Ireland proved they weren t finished just yet, with Keith Earls crossing the line to put Ireland 17-16 in front. Despite a late assault by England, Ireland s defence held firm, and they held on for a memorable victory.
Along with Keith Earls, Munster had two other players involved in this win, with the St. Munchin s hooker Gerard Slattery and Backrow Tommy O Donnell from UL Bohemians/Clanwilliam also involved. The fourth Munster player involved in this tournament is CBC s Ivan Dinneen.
Next up for Ireland U19 s, who are sponsored by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, is a clash with France at the Exiles on Sunday, while England will play Argentina.
15. Sean Carey (St. Joseph s College, Garbally), 14. Shane Monahan (Dublin University), 13. Keith Earls (St. Munchin s College), 12. Ian Keatley (University College Dublin), 11. Michael Barker (Queens University Belfast), 10. Brian Collins (Castleknock College), 9. Paul O Donohoe (Belvedere College), 1. Cian Healy (Belvedere College), 2. Gerard Slattery (St. Munchin s College), 3. James Gethings (Gonzaga College), 4. Thomas Anderson (Queens University Belfast), 5. Conor McInerney (University College Dublin), 6. Tommy O Donnell (UL Bohemians), 7. David Pollock (Queens University Belfast) CAPTAIN, 8. Kevin Sheahan (University College Dublin)
Replacements used: Andrew Browne (Galwegians) for O' Donnell (21-35 mins), Ruaidhri Murphy (Castleknock College) for Gethings (53), Browne for Anderson (70). Not used: David Gilchrist (University College Dublin), Jonathan Graham (Ballynahinch), Richard Sweeney (University College Dublin), Tom Walsh (Castleknock College), Aidan Wynne (Blackrock College), David Drake (Instonians RFC), Niall O'Connor (Limavady Grammar School), Ivan Dineen (Christian Brothers College Cork), Ian Whitten (Queens University Belfast).