Ireland book place in semi-finals of World Rugby U-20 Championship

Ireland's Andrew Porter scores the final try of the match

Ireland’s Andrew Porter scores the final try of the match

Ireland 35 – Georgia 7

Nigel Carolan’s brilliant side have booked a place in the semi-finals of the World Rugby U-20 Championship with a third straight win.

He made 13 changes to the side which defeated New Zealand on Saturday but it made little difference as they maintained their winning streak.

The Georgians had to play most of the match with 14 men after flanker Ilia Spanderashvili was sent off after just eight minutes.

That ruined their excellent start which saw senior star Vasil Lobzhanidze dash over for a converted try after just five minutes.

But Spanderashvili was adjudged to have lashed out at Irish lock Sean O’Connor and was sent off.

Yet, the Georgians battled bravely and made Ireland work for their lead.

But a superb try from winger Hugo Keenan sent Ireland on their way to the semi-finals.

And brilliant out-half Johnny McPhillips pointed them in the right direction, following up a couple of penalties with a try four minutes from the break to lead 20-7 at half-time.

Terry Kennedy wrapped up the issue with a third try after 59 minutes and they secured a bonus point in the final play of the night when replacement prop Andrew Porter crashed over.

Ireland will take on Argentina in the semi-finals of the World Rugby U-20 Championship at Manchester City Academy Stadium next Monday (5.30pm).

England will take on South Africa in the other semi-final. Champions New Zealand have been eliminated at the pool stage for the first time — the only match they lost was to Ireland on Saturday.

John Fallon

Ireland: H Keenan, J McPhillips, T Kennedy & A Porter tries; J McPhillips 2 cons, 3 pens; B Connon con
Georgia: V Lobzhanidze try; D Modzgvrishvili con

Ireland U-20: B Connon (Newcastle Falcons); T Kennedy (St. Mary's College/Leinster), J O’Brien (UCD/Leinster), P Kiernan (c) (UCC/Munster), H Keenan (UCD/Leinster); J McPhillips (Queen's University/Ulster), N Saunders (Epsom College/Exiles); J Bollard (Dublin University / Leinster), V O’Brien (Cork Con / Munster), V Abdaladze (Clontarf / Leinster); E Mintern (Cork Constitution/Munster), S O’Connor (Cashel / Munster); G Jones (UCD / Leinster), C Boomer (Ballymena/Ulster), K Brown (Shannon / Munster).
Replacements: M Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster) for Brown (18), C Gallagher (Sligo/Connacht) for Boomer (25-31), A Porter (UCD/Leinster) for Bollard (49),  A Coyle (Naas/Leinster) for Abdaladze (49), C Gallagher (Sligo/Connacht) for Jones (59), S Daly (Cork Con/Munster) for O'Brien (64), J Stockadale for McPhillips (64), S Kerins (Sligo/Connacht) for Saunders (73), A McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster) for Gallagher (73).
Replacements: A McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster), A Porter (UCD/Leinster), A Coyle (Naas/Leinster), C Gallagher (Sligo/Connacht), M Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster), S Kerins (Sligo/Connacht), S Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster), J Stockdale (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster).
Georgia: M Modebadze; L Miminoshvili, G Koshadze, G Kvesladze, A Merkvilishvili; D Modzgvrishvili, V Lobzhanidze; T Mataradze, L Sajaia, L Tabidze; M Babunashvili, O Giorgadze; I Spanderashvili, G Tsutskiride, B Gorgadze.
Replacements: D Epremidze for Giorgadze (25), I Tskhadadze for Babunashvili (39), G Melikidze for Tabidze (54), G Afrasidze for Miminoshvili (55), R Shanidzefor Koshadze (57), S Iluridze for Lobzhanidze (70), L Goginava for Mataradze (74), G Khuroshvili for Sajaia (74).


Referee: C Evans (Wales).


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