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Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The IRB Toshiba U20 Junior World Championship

This competition has been underway for a few days now in Japan.
The Irish Team coached by Allen Clarke, won their first Pool game against a handy Argentina side 16 -9.
Yesterday they came up against the "Baby Blacks" of New Zealand. These two teams played against each other in the competition two years ago when Eric Elwood was coaching Ireland, and Hosea Gear, the New Zealand winger Rico Gear's younger brother led New Zealand to a 70 point plus rout of the Irish.

The Irish certainly looked up for the game from the proceedings. Engaging in an act some see as disrespectful and foolish. From this video from 7.30mins on , you can see the Irish U-20s marching up into the face of the New Zealand players during the Haka.
This temper seemed to bubble on the surface of the match for the game, and while Ireland gave it their best they could not overcome the superior All Blacks skill and pace, eventually losing 17 - 0.
Some are saying this is a feat in itself as no team in the history of the competition has gotten within 25 points of the Baby Blacks, but it is of scant consolation to the Irish captain Ruddock, son of former Welsh Coach Mike Ruddock, or his outstanding backrow partner Dominic Ryan who gave as good a performance from the no.6 jersey as I have seen from an underage player in Ireland.

Ireland play Uruguay next on the 13th of June at 13:00 in their last group game.

Videos courtesy of the IRB website which doing a fantastic job of streaming every game live.


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