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IRB U21 World Championships
6 June 2005, 10:46 am
2005 IRB U21 World Championship

Ireland Finish in 9th Place after a 34-17 Victory Over Samoa

Ireland defeated Samoa 34-17 to finish ninth in the overall standings of the IRB Under 21 World Championship 2005 on Saturday, thanks to a strong second half showing. South Africa were crowned IRB Under 21 World Champions after they defeated Australia 24-20 in the final at the Malvinas Argentinas Stadium in Mendoza.

After an even opening, in which both teams played conservatively, Ireland began to use their forwards to drive Samoa towards their own line. Hooker Stuart Philpott emerged from a rolling maul from a lineout near the Samoan line to score the game's first try after 16 minutes.

Samoa responded quickly, and two minutes later Anthony Tuimaga finding a gap in the Ireland defence to touch down. Before the break, Ireland stretched their lead, first through the boot of Gareth Steenson and then thanks to a try by fullback Mark Kettyle, to leave the half time score at 13-5 in favour of the men in green.

Samoa struggled to contain Ireland in the second half. Philpott grabbed his second try from another lineout maul before No.8 Stephen Ferris touched down after Kettyle caught a high ball.

Steenson scored two more penalties before Samoa replacement Mikaele Pesamino gave the score more respectability with two late tries.

After the game, Irish captain Gareth Steenson said It was a very hard game. In the first half we had plenty of the ball but we didn't use it well enough. In the second half we used the space better and made sure of the win. We leave happy as it's been a great experience for all of us. Coach Mark McDermott I think the players really enjoyed this last game of the tournament. We played much better than in our pool game against Samoa. We wanted to win the last two games and we achieved that.

UCC s Ross Noonan again made the starting line up in second row, while Garryowen s Anthony Kavanagh was involved for the last quarter of the game. Six Munster players were involved in the squad, four of whom are members of Garryowen FC with the remaining two from UCC. Forward Anthony Kavanagh, out half Conan Doyle and scrum half Gerry Hurley all hail from Garryowen, along with Mark Melbourne, whose tournament was cut short due to injury. Winger Paul Hurley and Ross Noonan from UCC completed the Munster involvement. Kavanagh, Melbourne, Doyle and Noonan are all members of the Munster Academy, with Gerry Hurley and Paul Hurley due to join the Academy shortly.

South Africa have been crowned IRB Under 21 World Champions 2005 after they defeated Australia 24-20 in the final at the Malvinas Argentinas Stadium in Mendoza, Argentina. New Zealand claimed third place in the same stadium, by defeating France 47-21. Last year's champions were 20-0 up at half time. Argentina defeated Scotland 39-7 at Mendoza Rugby Club to claim fifth place. England overcame Wales 57-32 at Liceo Rugby Club to claim seventh. Canada recorded their first victory - a 33-30 win over Italy at Chacras Rugby Club, to end up 11th.

SAMOA U21 (15) Timoteo Iosua, (14) Fautua Otto, (13) Ekeroma Sefo, (12) Brian Toa Thetadig, (11) Gasolo Salima, (10) Morrison Tavana (C), (9) Gafa Siona, (1) Sonny Faata, (2) Andrew Viliamu, (3) Kolli Mafileo, (4) Julius Tafunai, (5) Fale Solomona, (6) Stephen Sasagi, (7) Sue Mikaele, (8) Anthony Tuimaga Replacements: James Lowrey for Fale Solomona (32), Jake Grey for Sonny Faata (38), Fale Solomona for James Lowrey (40), James Lowrey for Julius Tafunai (53), Mikaele Pesamito for Gasolo Salima (66), John Lemisio for Anthony Tuimaga (69), Asomaliu Faamoe for Andrew Viliamu (70), Anesi Seiuli for Ekeroma Sefo (80), Martini Fuamatu for Sue Mikaele (80)

IRELAND U21 (15) Mark Kettyle (Belfast Harlequins), (14) Ross McCarron (UCD), (13) Andrew Trimble (Ballymena), (12) Greg Stafford (Lansdowne), (11) Paul McKenzie (Belfast Harlequins), (10) Gareth Steenson (Dungannon) (Captain), (9) Cillian Willis (UCD), (1) Gary Maxwell (Dungannon), (2) Stuart Philpott (Saracens), (3) John Andress (Belfast Harlequins), (4) Ross Noonan (UCC), (5) Ryan Caldwell (Dungannon), (6) Kevin McLaughlin (UCD), (7) Chris Henry (Malone), (8) Stephen Ferris (Dungannon), Replacements: Joseph Merrigan (Corinthians) for Philpott (55), Anthony Kavanagh (Garryowen) for Ferris (60), Jonathon Sexton (St Mary's College) for Stafford (74), Alex Dunlop for Noonan (81)

Coach: Mark McDermott Assistant Coach: Niall Malone Manager: David Haslett

Referee: Wayne Barnes, England

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