Despite playing some of their best rugby of the Championship, Ireland were unable to halt the progress of the well drilled Australians at the ABSA Stadium in Durban on Saturday in their last Pool game and suffered a 23-0 defeat. In the first half, Ireland came out with all guns blazing and threw everything at the Australians, but their defence proved impenetrable. At half time, Australia led by just 6-0, however, after an intense first half, Ireland were unable to get the all important points on the board in the second half, with any attack swiftly swallowed up. Ireland will now play Japan on April 14th, with the semi finals also taking place that day. Hosts South Africa take on England, and New Zealand will face old rivals Australia.
Thomond/Garryowen winger Frank Daly got his first starting place in the Championship, replacing UCC/CIT s Eric Moloney on the right wing. Prop Kevin Griffin of Kilfeacle and Shannon also won his place on the starting line up. UCC s Evan Ryan resumed his position at out half, while his UCC team mate Fergal Ryan took the No. 5 shirt. Crescent College Comprehensive s Barry O Mahony retained his position at wing forward.
The Irish U.19 team had a 16-0 victory over Georgia in their first pool game, with UCC/CIT winger Eric Moloney from Limerick picking up Ireland s only try of the game in the second half. Despite the difficult hot and humid conditions, Ireland s captain, fullback Rob Kearney, kicked 11 of Ireland s 16 points, but the team failed to score a bonus point.
In their second pool Ireland s U19 s were unable to upset the winning run of hosts, South Africa, after being defeated 32-7 in Pietermartitzburg. South Africa were slow to get into the game, and Ireland dominated for much of the first half. However, this early control did not translate into points on the board, with the home side defending well. Ireland were unlucky not to have scored in the first half, with the forwards exerting huge pressure on the South Africa defence from a series line outs close to the South Africa line. Before half time, South Africa came back and notched up ten points after a try and penalty. After the restart, South Africa stretched their lead to 17-0. Still, Ireland continued to look for opportunities and centre Darren Cave got a deserved try, converted by Rob Kearney. In the dying minutes of the game South Africa ran in two more tries, with the final score line not giving Ireland due credit for a spirited performance against a tough opposition.
Ireland Team v Australia (15) Robert Kearney (UCD) (Capt), (14) Frank Daly (Thomond/Garryowen), (13) Fergus McFadden (Clongowes), (12) Darren Cave (Sullivan Upper School), (11) Dale Black (Portadown), (10) Evan Ryan (UCC), (9) Matthew D'Arcy (Dublin University), (1) Callum Black (Hartpury), (2) Gavin O'Meara (Lansdowne), (3) Kevin Griffin (Kilfeacle/Shannon), (4) David McGowan (Buccanneers), (5) Fergal Walsh (UCC), (6) Diarmuid Laffan (Dublin University), (7) Barry O'Mahony (Crescent College Comprehensive), (8) Darren O'Reilly (Blackrock College) Replacements: Killian Lett (UCD) for Evan Ryan (42), Gary Walsh (UL Bohemian) for Callum Black (50), Brendan Lynch (Rotherham Titans) for David McGowan (63), Robert Boles (Colstons Collegiate School) for Frank Daly (65), Daniel Dawson (Cooke) for Fergal Walsh (65) Not used: Conor Muldoon (Galwegians), Adrian Saunderson (Ballyclare), Greg Cooney (Old Belvedere), Eric Moloney (UCC/CIT), Kieran Moloney (Blackrock College RFC), Devon Toner (Lansdowne)
Coach: Pat Murray Assistant Coach: Bryan Hyland Manager: Michael Cunningham Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Ireland U-19 Results Friday, April 1: Ireland 16 Georgia 0, Kings Park Tuesday, April 5: South Africa 32 Ireland 7, Woodburn Oval Saturday, April 9: Ireland 0 Australia 23, ABSA Stadium,