Ireland U20 produced a bruising first half performance against Italy to record a five try bonus point win and progress to the 5th Place Play Offs in the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship. 

Following their substantial defeat to Australia, Ireland needed a lot of other results to go their way for a top four finish. There were a few surprises, not least Argentina’s defeat of France, but nothing really came down in Ireland’s favour and they will now face England again on Monday 17th June with a win required to secure a top 6 finish. 

It wasn’t a great match and it certainly wasn’t pretty. Ireland outmuscled Italy in the first half to bag the try bonus and race to a 7 – 31 lead. 

Prop Michael Milne opened the scoring and outhalf Ben Healy added the conversion and an early penalty to give Ireland a 0 – 10 lead after 12 minutes. 

Cormac Foley, Ulster’s Azur Allison and Rob Russell all battled their way to the line in an error strewn first half and with Healy continuing with his 100% conversion success Ireland had the game and the bonus point in the bag with a 0 – 31 lead before the break. 

Italy swapped out five players just before the break and they received immediate reward with a Alessandro Fusco try, converted by Paolo Garbisi on the stroke of half time to give a 7 – 31 scorelaine as the teams changed ends. 

Italy got a penalty try on resumption to take the score to 14 – 31, minutes into the second half, but any thoughts of a competitive game breaking out were quashed as both sides looked out on their feet. 

Ireland raised their game for Ryan Baird to score on the 55th minute, Healy adding the conversion, and the game drifted to it’s inevitable end in a scrappy final quarter, with Ireland recording a 14 – 38 win. 

TEAMS AND REPLACEMENTS
ITALY U20   IRELAND U20
Ange Capuozzo (FC Grenoble) 15 Jake Flannery (Cork Constitution)
Jacopo Trulla (Valsugana Rugby Padova) 14 Angus Kernohan (QUB)
Federico Mori (Rugby Etruschi Livorno) 13 Liam Turner (C) (Dublin University)
Damiano Mazza (Rugby Calvisano) 12 Cormac Foley (St Mary’s College)
Cristian Lai (Fradis Rugby) 11 Rob Russell (Dublin University)
Paolo Garbisi (Rugby Mogliano) 10 Ben Healy (Garryowen)
Alessandro Fusco (Rugby Napoli) 9 Colm Reilly (Buccaneers)
Lorenzo Michelini (Biella Rugby) 1 Josh Wycherley (Young Munster)
Niccolo Taddia (Rugby Rovigo Delta) 2 John McKee (Old Belvedere)
Matteo Nocera (Fiamme Oro) 3 Michael Milne (UCD)
Nicolae-Cristian Stoian (FIR Academy) 4 Thomas Ahern (Shannon)
Thomas Parolo (Rugby Rovigo Delta) 5 Ryan Baird (Trinity College)
Angelo Maurizi (L’Aquila Rugby 1936) 6 David McCann (Banbridge)
Davide Ruggeri (C) (Rugby Como) 7 Ciaran Booth (Sale Sharks)
Antoine Koffi (Rugby Calvisano) 8 Azur Allison (Ballymena)
     
Andrej Marinello (AS Ruggers Tarvisium) 16  
Matteo Drudi (Frascati Rugby) 17 Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University)
Filippo Alongi (I Titani) 19 Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians)
Andrea Zambonin (Rangers Rugby) 20 Charlie Ryan (UCD)
Andrea Chianucci (Rugby Club I Medicei) 21 Niall Murray (Connacht)
Mirco Finotto (Rugby Mogliano) 22 Luke Clohessy (Shannon)
Giacomo Da Re (Rugby Mogliano) 24  
Giulio Bertaccini (Amatori Parma Rugby) 25 Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution)
  26 David Ryan (UCD)
  28 Max O’Reilly (Dublin University)

 

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