Bandon rugby dynamo Crowley shines again as Ireland U20s continue to impress in the Six Nations

Bandon rugby dynamo Crowley shines again as Ireland U20s continue to impress in the Six Nations
Jack Crowley of Ireland kicks a conversion during the U20 Six Nations clash at Musgrave Park. Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Ireland U20 36 Wales U20 22

IRELAND continued their good run in the U20 Six Nations Championship with a victory over Wales at Musgrave Park last night in very windy and wet conditions.

Defending champions Ireland are now top of the table with maximum points.

Ireland got off to a great start when from the kick-off Jack Crowley found touch on the Welsh 5m line; the Welsh clearance from the lineout was blocked and Mark Hernan pounced to touch down and Crowley converted.

Wales did settle down but big tackles by both Luis Faria and Andrew Smith kept them at bay.

Another kick from Crowley found touch in the Welsh 22, Ireland pressurised the Welsh lineout and turned over the ball for Dan Kelly to touch down with Crowley converting.

A great run from his own goal line by Smith was recycled on the halfway line and Lewis Finlay finished off a great passing movement with a try which Crowley converted.

Further pressure by Ireland was rewarded with a Crowley penalty on the half-hour mark for a 24-0 lead.

Wales finally got on the scoreboard five minutes later when Osian Knott touched down from a kick ahead by Sam Costelow and Costelow converted.

On the stroke of half-time Ireland had secured the bonus point when, from a lineout, Hernan touched down and Crowley’s conversion made it 31-7.

With the strong wind at their backs, Costelow kicked a penalty for Wales four minutes into the second half.

It was 31-17 on 48 minutes when Wales were awarded a penalty try and Irish substitute Joe McCarthy received a yellow card.

However, despite being a man down, Ireland did not concede any score even though they were on the back foot.

Ireland brought play deep into the Welsh 22 and a long throw by David McCann saw Smith score in the corner.

With 10 minutes remaining, Knott got in for a third Welsh try and Ioan Lloyd’s conversion came back off the upright to leave 14 points between the sides.

Wales were denied a certain fourth try with time almost up when Ben Murphy came to the Irish rescue as the final whistle blew.

Scorers for Ireland: M Hernan 2 tries, D Kelly, L Finlay, Smith tries, J Crowley 4 cons, pen.

Wales: O Knott 2 tries, pen try, S Costelow con, pen.

IRELAND: O McNulty; B Moxham, D Kelly, L Faria, A Smith; J Crowley, L Finlay; M Hanan, T Stewart, T Clarkson; T Ahern, B Deeny; S O’Brien, M Hernan, D McCann (capt).

Replacements: J McKee, H Noonan, C Ward, J McCarthy, C Prendergast, B Murphy, T Corkery, T Rankin.

WALES: I Lloyd; D John, O Knott, A Owen, E Rosser; S Costelow, D Buckland; T Bevacqua, W Griffiths, B Warren; Jac Price, B Carter; I Davies, J Morgan (capt), M Strong.

Replacements: D Booth, C Williams, A Griffin, J Fender, G Bradley, E Bevan, B Roderick, J Thomas.

Referee: N Amashukeli (GRU).

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