Ireland U20, the current Six Nations “Grand Slam” champions have been competing in the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championships in Argentina the last couple of weeks and with the Pool stages just completed we have a look at who has been doing what in the campaign so far.
Despite winning the Grand Slam, this was always going to be a difficult tournament for Ireland who had, justifiably, stuck pretty tightly to a core team throughout that tournament only making changes when injury dictated. Unfortunately, the limited squad expansion came home to roost with key players missing out on this tournament due to injury.
On reviewing the squad when it was first announced we stated that a top six finish should be their goal in this intense tournament. It doesn’t take much to derail any side with five games over 18 days.
Ireland’s injury woes have continued with four players making the trip home but they are pretty much where they need to be at this stage of the tournament . So let’s have a look at how they have got here.
Pool B Results.
Round 1: England 26 Ireland 42
Round 2: Australia 45 Ireland 17
Round 3: Italy 14 Ireland 14
Round 4: Ireland v England 19:30 Monday, 17th June 2019
Ireland U20: Minutes played.
The squad size for the World Championships is 28. However, due to injuries Ireland have called up 32 players using 31 so far.
The minutes played, by player, in the World Championships is shown below.
|Liam Turner||Dublin University||Leinster||3||240|
|Angus Kernohan||Queen’s University||Ulster||3||200|
|Tom Clarkson||Dublin University||Leinster||3||194|
|Jonathan Wren||Cork Constitution||Munster||3||192|
|Ryan Baird||Dublin University||Leinster||3||174|
|Josh Wycherley||Young Munster||Munster||3||167|
|Rob Russell||Dublin University||Leinster||2||136|
|Cormac Foley||St Mary’s College||Leinster||2||92|
|Ciaran Booth||Sale Sharks||IQ Rugby||3||80|
|Ronan Watters||St Mary’s College||Leinster||2||74|
|John McKee||Old Belvedere||Leinster||2||71|
|Max O’Reilly**||Dublin University||Leinster||1||4|
Players with strikethrough have been withdrawn due to injury
** Replacement player.
The player call up by Province is as follows
However, looking at actual minutes played we get the following breakdown by province.
Leinster are still the dominant province by Munster and Ulster have bagged marginally higher minutes played per player.
Who’s been scoring?
To date, eleven players have scored for Ireland in this tournament. There have been 13 tries, an impressive 13 conversions and two penalties scored for a total of 97 points for.
Munster duo Ben Healy and Jake Flannery have shared the kicking duties and they have yet to miss a conversion between them. The list of scorers is shown below:
|Ryan Baird||Dublin University||Leinster||1||0||0||0||5|
|Rob Russell||Dublin University||Leinster||1||0||0||0||5|
|Cormac Foley||St Mary’s College||Leinster||1||0||0||0||5|
Breaking it down by province gives the following:
Munster lead the way by virtue of their two kickers though Ulster lead the way in tries scored with David McCann and Stewart Moore each grabbing a brace to add to Azur Allison’s one. If the rest of the provinces could match the Ulster lads scoring rate they would have scored an extra 113 points in the three games 😀 😀 😯
When have they scored and when have they conceded?
Ireland have scored fairly steadily through the first three quarters of the game, with the third quarter being their best quarter. They have also conceded across the first three quarters but on average have scored 11 points more each quarter than they have conceded.
All good until you get to the final quarter, which is heavily skewed by their final quarter implosion against Australia. Looking at the bigger picture, the final quarter is where they have scored the least number of points, in fact they were scoreless in the final quarter in their last two games which is a worrying sign.