Ireland put in a stunning performance in their latest U18 5 Nations Festival fixture, defeating Scotland 43-0.
Both sides arrived in Caerphilly having had narrow defeats in their opening games, Scotland lost agonizingly to hosts Wales 31-30, while Ireland had gone down by just three points to England, 15-12.
The game was the first of a double header at Caerphilly, with Wales following this game up with a 24-9 win over Italy, you can see what happened there through this link: Wales U18 v Italy U18.
Both Ireland and Scotland made a number of changes, Ireland brought in seven new players, Liam Turner and Tommy O’Brien, both of Blackrock College, came in on the wing and in the centre respectively, with Belvedere’s David Hawkshaw started at stand off. CBC Monkstown’s Eoghan Clarke came into the front row along with Ballymena’s Alex Clarke, while John McCusker started in the second row, with Portlaoise’s Sean Masterson starting on the openside flank.
Scotland meanwhile kept just three players in their starting line up from their previous game, with Edinburgh Academy wing Ben Appleson, Richard Huish number 8 Dan Markey, and George Heriots centre Cameron Hutchison keeping their places. Bedford School’s Fraser Strachan partnered him in the centres.
It was a promising start for the Scots, but it was to last just a meager four minutes as Crescent CC’s Daniel Hurley latched on to a wide pass from his fly half, and James Hume slotted the conversion, giving Ireland a 7-0 lead after just five minutes.
Ireland were at it again not long after, setting up a big drive from a lineout, from which their captain and number 8, Caelan Doris of Blackrock College, crashed over. It was to be the first of a hat-trick for the skipper.
Next across the whitewash was Wallace High School scrum half, Jonathaon Stewart, before Hurley swept across for his second try of the half as the game edged towards half time, with Ireland heading to the changing rooms 26-0 to the good.
Early in the second half Doris was at it again, driving over for his second of the game from the tail of the maul. It took Ireland out to a 31-0 lead. A mere six minutes later, Doris claimed his hat-trick, once again captialising from a dominant Irish set piece.
The game then started to peter out, with Ireland comfortably assured of victory. There was time for just one more try though, as replacement hooker Ronan Kelleher scored his side’s seventh try of the evening to secure a 43-0 victory.
It was a tough day for Scotland, who will need to regroup and regain confidence ahead of Saturday’s clash with England U18 if they are to come away from the competition with a victory, Ireland meanwhile will precede that fixture with their final game, against Italy U18, where they will be looking to make it two from three.
Full Time: Ireland U18 43-0 Scotland U18
Ireland U18 XV
15 Hugh O’Sullivan (Belvedere College)
14 Liam Turner (Blackrock College)
13 James Hume (RBAI)
12 Tommy O’Brien (Blackrock College)
11 Daniel Hurley (Crescent CC)
10 David Hawkshaw (Belvedere College)
9 Jonathon Stewart (Wallace High School)
1 Eoghan Clarke (CBC Monkstown)
2 Alexander Clarke (Ballymena Academy)
3 Tom O’Toole (Campbell College)
4 John McCusker (Rainey Old Boys)
5 Charlie Ryan (Blackrock College)
6 Ronan Coffey (Ard Scoil Ris)
7 Sean Masterson (Portlaoise RFC)
8 Caelan Doris (Blackrock College, captain)
Replacements used: Callum Reid (RBAI) Ronan Kelleher (St. Michael’s College) Matthew Dalton (Belfast Royal Academy) Michael Milne (Cistercian College Roscrea) David Robb (Galwegians) Conor Dean (Blackrock College) Conor Wharton (Oaklands College).
Scotland U18 XV
15 Patrick Anderson (Melrose RFC)
14 Ben Eynon (Strathallan School)
13 Cameron Hutchison (George Heriots School)
12 Fraser Strachan (Bedford School)
11 Ben Appleson (The Edinburgh Academy)
10 Kyle Brunton (Hawick Wanderers)
9 Harry Warr (Dollar Academy)
1 Connor Clark (McLaren High School)
2 Robbie Smith (Douglas Ewert High School)
3 Calum Eastwood (George Watson’s College)
4 Dean Roger (Highland RFC)
5 Jack Bruce (Strathallan School)
6 Andrew Horne (Preston Lodge RFC)
7 Fergus Haig (Fettes College)
8 Dan Marek (Richard Huish)
Replacements: 16 Paul Cairncross (Kelvinside Academy) 17 Ross Dunbar (Linlithgow Academy) 18 Euan McLaren (Dollar Academy) 19 Archie Erskine (Uppingham) 20 Ruari Campbell 21 Callum Cruickshank (Dollar Academy) 22 Charlie Gowling (Sedbergh) 23 Grant Hughes (Dollar Academy) 24 Fraser Dingwall (Bedford) 25 Rory McMichael (Wellington College) 26 Stafford McDowall (Merchiston Castle).
U18 5 Nations Festival Schedule:
England 15-12 Ireland
Wales 31-30 Scotland
Ireland 43-0 Scotland
Wales 24-9 Italy
Italy v Ireland – Caerphilly, 2nd April, 11.00
England v Scotland – Caerphilly, 2nd April, 13.30
England A v Italy – St Helen’s, 6th April, 17.15
Wales v England – St Helen’s, 6th April, 19.30