Friday, February 09, 2018


Man-of-the-match James McCarthy’s first half brace of tries sent the Ireland Under-20s on their way to an entertaining 38-34 victory over 14-man Italy at Donnybrook tonight, writes Dave Mervyn.

Noel McNamara’s youngsters registered their opening U-20 Six Nations success, picking up a bonus point courtesy of six tries, but Italy made them fight all the way despite losing flanker Jacopo Bianchi to a ninth-minute red card.

Bianchi’s reckless tip tackle on Jack Dunne saw him dismissed by Welsh referee Dan Jones, with Tommaso Coppo’s initial intercept try quickly cancelled out by scores from winger McCarthy (2), Hugh O’Sullivan, Cormac Daly and Peter Sullivan.

Niccolò Cannone responded to reduce the arrears to 31-15 by half-time, but with talismanic Ireland captain Tommy O’Brien, McCarthy and scrum half O’Sullivan continuing to fizz with intent, a 43rd-minute try from prop Jack Aungier appeared to put the game out of Italy’s reach.

However, a combination of Ireland switching off and the Italians raising their efforts saw them rattle off tries from Damiano Mazza, Antonio Rizzi and Edoardo Iachizzi – the latter coming in the final minute – to earn two bonus points in a breathless finish.

James McCarthy scores his side’s first try. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Full report to follow…

Ireland U-20s scorers:

Tries: James McCarthy 2, Hugh O’Sullivan, Cormac Daly, Peter Sullivan, Jack Aungier;

Cons: Harry Byrne 4

Italy U-20s scorers:

Try: Tommaso Coppo, Niccolò Cannone, Damiano Mazza, Antonio Rizzi, Try;

Cons: Antonio Rizzi 3;

Pen: Antonio Rizzi

HT: Ireland U-20s 31; Italy U-20s 15

IRELAND U-20: Michael Silvester (Dublin University/Leinster); Peter Sullivan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Tommy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) (capt), Angus Curtis (Queen’s University/Ulster), James McCarthy (UL Bohemians/Munster); Harry Byrne (UCD/Leinster), Hugh O’Sullivan (Clontarf/Leinster); Jordan Duggan (Naas/Leinster), Eoghan Clarke (Wanderers/Leinster), Jack Aungier (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Cormac Daly (Clontarf/Leinster), Jack Dunne (Dublin University/Leinster), Sean Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht), Matthew Agnew (Ballymena/Ulster), Jack O’Sullivan (UCC/Munster).

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen/Munster), James French (UCC/Munster), Tom O’Toole (Banbridge/Ulster), Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster), Ronan Foley (UCD/Leinster), Patrick Patterson (UCD/Leinster), Conor Dean (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Angus Kernohan (Ballymena/Ulster).

ITALY U-20: Alberto Rossi (Valsugana Padova); Simone Cornelli (Toscana Aeroporti I Medicei), Michelangelo Biondelli (Rugby Viadana 1970), Damiano Mazza (Accademia Nazionale Ivan Francescato), Tommaso Coppo (Petrarca Padova); Antonio Rizzi (Petrarca Padova), Niccolò Casilio (Patarò Calvisano); Danilo Fischetti (Patarò Calvisano), Matteo Luccardi (Patarò Calvisano), Michele Mancini PARRI (Accademia Nazionale Ivan Francescato), Niccolò Cannone (Petrarca Padova), Matteo Canali (Rugby Colorno), Michele Lamaro (Petrarca Padova) (capt), Jacopo Bianchi (Fiamme Oro Rugby), Lodovico Manni (Mogliano Rugby).

Replacements: Niccolò Taddia (Accademia Nazionale Ivan Francescato), Leonardo Mariottini (Accademia Nazionale Ivan Francescato), Guido Romano (Rugby Colorno), Edoardo Iachizzi (USA Perpignan), Enrico Ghigo (Accademia Nazionale Ivan Francescato), Leonardo Bacchi (Rugby Viadana 1970), Filippo di Marco (Accademia Nazionale Ivan Francescato), Alessandro Fusco (Accademia Nazionale Ivan Francescato).

Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)

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