Ireland’s Six Nations campaign hit the buffers on Day 2 with a determined Italy edging the second round match 11 – 10 in Montlucon.
France and England remain unbeaten with France overpowering Scotland 75- 6 and England beating Wales 47 – 10 the Irish now find themselves in third place behind the undefeated two, but with Ireland still to play both of the teams above them their fate still lies in their own hands.
It was a determined Italian team that took the field, looking to make up ground following their first round loss to France, but they were met by a confident Ireland looking to push on after their comfortable victory over Wales.
The first half was tight but the Italians got a decisive edge in the scrum and frequently disrupted the Ireland line out leaving the Irish relying on their strong defence to keep the scores tight.
Ireland captain James McCarthy took the initiative in the second half and moved himself into hooker to shore up the forward battle and the Irish began to get on top in the tight but both sides found it difficult to break down the resolute defences.
Graham Merrigan scored Ireland’s try and it looked as though Ireland had added a decisive second when McCarthy latched onto a chip ahead to go under the sticks only for the score to be disallowed with the referee having blown for an earlier Italian infringement.
An already tough match got even more physical as the match progressed, with the referee having to call the captains out to calm things down, but despite excellent performances from Pat Forbes and Pat O’Neill Ireland were unable to find the winning score with Italy holding on for a deserved, but hard fought, 11 – 10 win.
There won’t be much time for the Irish team to lick their wounds as they make the short journey to Randan tomorrow for their match against France in a game that will, more than likely, determine the outcome of the championship. (Match kicks off tomorrow at 17:00 local time, 16:00 UK/IRE.)
Ireland Six Nations Squad: Nicky Hamill (Manager), Lisa Kelly (Coach), Will Thornton (Asst. Coach), Pat O’Neill, Graham Merrigan, Paddy Forbes, Bill Byrne, Raisa Carolan, Kenneth Caulfield, Padraic Hayes, Derek Murphy, James McCarthy (C).
|Tuesday 18th June||Moulins||France||23 – 18||Italy|
|Ireland||60 – 0||Wales|
|England||14 – 0||Scotland|
|Wednesday 19th June||Montlucon||France||75 – 6||Scotland|
|England||47 – 10||Wales|
|Italy||11 – 10||Ireland|
|Thursday 20th June||Randan||Scotland||v||Wales|
|Friday 21st June||Thiers||France||v||Wales|
|Saturday 22 June||Moulins||Scotland||v||Ireland|
For more information please see Tournoi Six Nations Fauteuil page on Facebook, plus of course we’ll be bringing you regualr updates on The Front Row Union.