South Africa 30-17 Ireland
Ireland were beaten 30-17 in the second game of this year’s Junior World Championship and will now go into the third game against Georgia next Thursday looking to end the group phase with a win that will boost their confidence heading into Finals day and they will want to finish with the best possible position of the twelve teams.
South Africa like there senior team used their strength at the set piece to exert their dominance over Ireland and they capitalised on two errors by Ireland to score two early first half tries and they converted one of them to lead 12-10 at half time.
Through the opening half, Ireland dominated in terms of possession and territory but they could not convert that into points until late in the first half when Caelan Doris crashed over to score Ireland’s first try.
Conor Dean was brought in at out half to replace Harry Byrne and this move seemed to work a treat he and Jonny Stewart clicked and for short periods in the game it looked as if Ireland were going to kick on and find a way to beat South Africa.
This performance was much improved from the opening night against France and although the result was not what they would have wanted they can still something out of the campaign if they defeat Georgia and then they can focus on Finals day and see can they gain a win to save this campaign.
Looking to the team performance, they seemed to learn from all the issues of the opening night but still could not find a way around the South African defence. This squad will need to find a way to convert pressure into points.
The centre partnership Tommy O Brien and James Hume worked well together and gave Ireland go forward ball and this in turn led to the domination of territory and possession.
Looking to the Georgian game, Ireland will look to move the ball wide and it will very interesting to see who Noel Mc Namara decides to select at half back as both pairings have seen game time in the first two games.
Ireland will need to put in an 80 minute display to end the group phase in the correct manner and they will need to push on with their attacking game plan and sort out there set piece and put in an 80 minute display at the set piece time also…
Cian Mc Gibney