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Saturday 18 August 2018

Irish have to stick to the plan

Ireland captain Caelan Doris. Pic: Sportsfile
Ireland captain Caelan Doris. Pic: Sportsfile

The Ireland U20s are already on the backfoot at the World Cup.

They plummeted from holding a 12-point lead over their hosts France at half-time to losing 26-24 in Perpignan on the opening night.

There is no time to stew on what might have been with well-touted South Africa next up in Narbonne tomorrow afternoon (KO3.30 Irish time, EirSport 2).

The Junior Springboks scraped through a serious examination from the fast-improving Georgians 33-27, bagging a coveted bonus-point with four tries.

It means Ireland head into a must-win clash in just their second match in order to preserve their hopes of a semi-final spot.

It looks like they will have to do so without left wing Dan Hurley (knee), loose-head prop James French (knee), who pulled out in the warm-up on Wednesday, and second row Matthew Dalton (concussion).

Coach Noel McNamara could well opt for Leinster duo Jordan Duggan and Cormac Daly in the front five with Mullingar man Sean O'Brien and Munster's James McCarthy in the mix further out.

Ireland captain Caelan Doris could see how staying with the game plan was working for them against the French.

"There were a lot of positives," he said.

"The focus turns to them and getting our recovery right for South Africa."

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