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Thursday 14 December 2017

Young guns on brink as Scots mauled

The senior side will hopefully wrap up another Triple Crown today in Croke Park, but the future generation laid out the hope of more glory to follow as they all but secured a second U20 Six Nations in four years at Dubarry Park last night.

Ireland will only be deprived of the crown if England somehow manage to defeat France by 46 points in St Nazaire tomorrow afternoon.

The 44-15 victory was secured with a devastating display which brushed Scotland aside. Ireland laid out their stall from the outset and had the issue wrapped up by the interval, with three tries and the boot of James McKinney helping them to a 30-9 half-time lead.

There was little Scotland could do to curtail the brilliance of inside centre Nevin Spence as he crossed twice in the opening half before setting up the third for Andrew Conway just before the break.

Scotland's Alex Blair pulled back a penalty just after the restart but then McKinney and Tiernan O'Halloran combined to send Conway over again.

McKinney kept the scoreboard ticking over -- he landed eight from 11 -- as Ireland continued to pull away.

The victory was sealed in the final quarter when winger O'Halloran danced his way through several tackles to cross for their fifth try.



It's no place like home for ladies

The Irish Women's rugby team maintained their 100pc home record as they closed their Six Nations campaign with a comprehensive 15-3 victory over Scotland in Ashbourne.

The Scots favoured a direct kicking game early on and, disappointingly, multiple handling errors in difficult conditions saw Kevin West's team constantly surrendering possession.

And it was not until the 36th minute that the deadlock was broken when a Niamh Briggs place-kick flew between the posts.

Scots full-back Nicola Halfpenny then levelled the scores two minutes before the break.

But Nora Stapleton crashed over the try line early in the second half to put her side into an 8-3 lead.

Openside-flanker Sinead Ryan gave the scoreline a more realistic complexion in the 58th minute when she touched down following a period of sustained dominance for Ireland, with Briggs converting to help the hosts cruise to victory.

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