Ireland v Italy JWC 2024

Ireland started there 2024 Under 20 World Championship with a 55-15 win over Italy in the DHL Stadium Cape Town. They were in total control of this contest barring early on when Italy scored 10 points to lead 10-3 inside the opening 20 minutes.

Ireland of course have a new head coach with Willie Faloon taking over from Richie Murphy who signed a two year contract to remain on as Ulster coach after an interim period. Ireland can call on plenty of experienced heads with a large number of players returning after last season’s run to the Junior World Championship Final saw them lose out to France on finals day.

Evan O Connell returns as captain and played his part in the big win over Italy who pushed Ireland all the way in Cork earlier in the year in the 6 nations with a late Sean Edogbo try seeing Ireland home, 23-22.

Ireland played an open brand of attacking rugby that has continued in this campaign after serving them so well under Richie Murphy and Noel Mc Namara. Ireland have played this open style and also they have a hard edge up front that has seen them claim famous away wins in France and England as well as a hard fought draw in the 6 Nations away to England back in March.

The one area that will concern the Irish management will be the scrum as Italy even in defeat gained a number of penalties from this part of the game and although with some changes in the Ireland scrum and also playing 20 minutes with only 14 men, losing two forwards to yellow cards.

Ireland managed to gain parity late on and earn a few penalties of their own. This will encourage the whole squad with Georgia next Thursday and Australia the following Tuesday. The attacking intent from the opening minute was refreshing to watch. Ireland went after Italy and scored tries with Sam Berman the Ulster bound centre scoring a hat trick.

There were a few rule changes that sees an altered shot clock where you now have 50 seconds to take a penalty down from 1 minute and conversion is now only 30 seconds rather than 90 as it was previously. It will be fascinating to see will these be adopted in many leagues or competitions in the new season from September onwards.

Ireland will need to clean up there discipline and shore up there scrum before facing Georgia on Thursday with a 1pm kick off time. It will be interesting to see what changes may happen as the Irish coaches have said they will make changes through the competition and trust the 28 man squad.

A big win was the best way to start the Championship and they will want to do the same on Thursday vs Georgia. The game is live on RugbyPass TV, an arm of World Rugby unfortunately no Irish station has the rights this year….

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