2024 Ireland U20 vs Italy U20

Ireland Vs. Italy Goes Down To The Wire In U20 Six Nations Championship

Ireland Vs. Italy Goes Down To The Wire In U20 Six Nations Championship

The Ireland U20 Rugby team defeated Italy 23-22 to remain undefeated in the 2024 U20 Six Nations Championship and keep alive its dreams of a Grand Slam.

Feb 9, 2024 by Philip Bendon
Ireland Vs. Italy Goes Down To The Wire In U20 Six Nations Championship

Ireland U20’s quest for a third consecutive Six Nations Grand Slam came within a whisker of being derailed Friday, but the Irish were able to hold on to win, 23-22.

Facing a passionate and clinical Italian side in Cork, Ireland was made to look average for the bulk of the contest, as the visitors took advantage of every mistake. 

Utterly dominant at scrum time, the junior Azzurri blew their hosts of the park at just about every scrum. Such was their dominance, that the Irish team opted to avoid the scrum when given the chance. 

Spearheading the Italian scrum was giant tighthead Marcos Gallorini, who proved unplayable and got on top of Irish loosehead Alex Usanov. 

Playing from a rock-solid platform, fly-half Martino Pucciariello, son of Munster legend Federico, pulled the string masterfully. 

Yet for all of Pucciariello’s good work, it was his teammate Marco Scalabrin who stole the show with two tries, a try assist and a try-saving tackle. At 6-foot-4, the powerhouse winger proved a handful for Ireland, sucking in several defenders with every carry. 

Pushing the hosts to their limits, Italy once again proved that it is one of the top U20 sides in the game and has built on its win over South Africa U20 at least year’s World Rugby U20 Championship. 

While there is little doubt Ireland will be frustrated with its performance, its championship quality ultimately would be the difference in shutting down a late Italian attack. 

Scoring the first try through captain Evan O’Connell, Ireland made most of the early in-roads, but the Irish lacked their usual clinical edge. 

Arguably, Ireland's best performer on the day, fullback Ben O’Connor, would score their second try, as center Wilhelm de Klerk found a soft shoulder to get the offload away. 

Completing the scoring, replacement backrow Sean Edogbo raced away to score what proved to be the winning try with five minutes to play. 

Next up for Ireland is a clash with Wales, which lost to England on Friday, 28-7, while Italy faces France, which is leading Scotland 26-7.

Fans of the U20 Six Nations can catch all of the action live, and exclusively, on FloRugby.

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