Ireland U20 side lose World Cup final as France get rough and ruthless
The Ireland U20 side got off to a flying start in the World Rugby U20 Championships final but they ran into a class French outfit, in Cape Town.
Having impressed throughout the tournament, and dealt with some personal heartbreak and loss, Richie Murphy's Ireland deservedly reached the final, earlier in the week, when they outclassed South Africa, the hosts.
They had beaten France in a Six Nations thriller, earlier in the year, on their way to a Grand Slam and got off to a great start when scrumhalf Fintan Gunne sniped over to score the opener.
Banger of a start from Ireland! pic.twitter.com/hJGP12aSrE
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) July 14, 2023
France roar back against Ireland U20s
France responded to that early set-back by scoring a class, jouez, jouez try and adding a penalty to go 14-10 up. Ireland U20s responded through a Sean Devine try, converted again by Sam Prendergast, to go 17-14 ahead.
That was as good as it got, with France scoring right after the restart. Ireland then had Paddy McCarthy sent to the sin-bin. By the time he arrived back on the pitch, France had two more scores and they were 31-14 ahead.
When Lenni Nouchi blazed in a try, started from inside his own half, it was effectively game over. For good measure, the French side added two more tries as Ireland's wheels came off. The final score was 50-14 to France U20.
H McErlean (Leinster); A Osborne (Leinster), H Gavin (Connacht), J Devine (Connacht), J Nicholson (Leinster); S Prendergast (Leinster), F Gunne (Leinster); P McCarthy (Leinster), G McCarthy (Leinster) – captain, R Foxe (Leinster); D Mangan (Leinster), C O'Tighearnaigh (Leinster); J McNabney (Leinster), R Quinn (Munster), B Gleeson (Munster).
M Clein (Munster), G Hadden (Leinster), F Barrett (Connacht), C Irvine (Ulster), E O'Connell (Munster), O Cawley (Leinster), M Lynch (Leinster), S Berman (Leinster).
M Ferte (Brive); L Drouet (Provence), N Depoortere (Bordeaux), P Costes (Toulouse), T Attissogbe (Pau); H Reus (La Rochelle), B Jauneau (Clermont); L Penverne (La Rochelle), P Jouvin (Agen), Z Affane (Bordeaux); H Auradou (Pau), P Tuilagi (Perpignan); L Nouchi – captain (Montpellier), O Jegou (La Rochelle), M Gazzotti (Grenoble).
T Lacombre (Toulouse), L Julien (Racing 92), T Duchene (Clermont), B Liufau (Pau), M Castro Ferreira (Toulouse), L Carbonneau (Brive), A Mathiron (Lyon), C Mondinat (Pau).
Damián Schneider (Argentina)
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