ALL THINGS IRELAND: IRISH JUNIOR TEAM UNDONE BY FRANCE AT WORLD CUP
IRELAND BEAT NEW ZEALAND FOR THE 1ST TIME 40-29 IN HISTORIC WIN IN CHICAGO...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

IRISH JUNIOR TEAM UNDONE BY FRANCE AT WORLD CUP

France replacement Gilles Bosch kicked a late penalty at the Estadio El Coloso del Parque to snatch a 25-22 victory over Ireland in the opening Pool B match of the IRB Junior World Championship 2010 in Rosario on Saturday.

Only two minutes earlier Ireland had seemingly snatched the first draw in the tournament's history after James McKinney curled a conversion in from the right touchline to level the scores at 22-22.
Simon Zebo's score in the corner had given McKinney the pressure kick, the wing having been on hand to touch down after breaks from full back Andrew Conway and centre Eoin Griffin took Ireland to within inches of the French line.
However, replacement Brian Hayes was penalised for a high tackle and Bosch calmly stepped up to slot the penalty between the posts and break Irish hearts to give France a winning start to the Junior World Championship in Argentina.
Bosch had already played his part in getting France back into the lead after three penalties from the boot of McKinney had turned a 12-3 half-time deficit into a 15-12 advantage for Ireland within 15 minutes of the restart.
France replacement Romain Taofifenua was held up over the line by some desperate Irish defence, but they did not have too long to wait before number 8 Antoine Erbani powered over from close range for the game's first try.
Bosch added the conversion and a quickfire penalty to push France out to the seven point advantage, only for the Under 20 Six Nations champions to come back firing to level the scores.
Ireland had started the match the better, spending much of the opening quarter camped around the French 22, but were unable to turn their territorial advantage into points on the scoreboard.
Fly half James McKinney's first penalty attempt from just inside the France half fell well short in the fifth minute, before Ireland contrived to waste good attacking opportunities through passes going astray or giving away penalties.
France were more clinical, taking their chances when they came through the reliable boot of Jean Marc Doussain, the fly half opening the scoring with an 18th minute and then adding another five minutes later after seeing a drop goal attempt charged down in between.
McKinney finally got Ireland on the board with a 27th minute penalty from infront of the posts after France were penalised for being offside by South African referee Jaco Peyper.
The fly half missed another six minutes later that would have tied the scores at 6-6 and the miss proved costly with Doussain continuing his perfect record with two penalties to stretch France's advantage, the first a great kick from the touchline.
Ireland could have gone in trailing only by only six points at half time, but McKinney missed with another penalty attempt with the last act of a first half that had largely seen both sides cancel each other out.

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