Ireland 'A' leave it late to down Canada
June 11, 2009
Denis Hurley scored early on for Ireland 'A'
© Getty Images
Ireland 'A', coached by Declan Kidney, registered their opening win of the Churchill Cup against Canada on Wednesday, but were forced to come from behind late on to secure a 30-19 win in Denver.
With Canada clinging to a 19-16 lead with 11 minutes left in the second half, Ireland converted two tries including a penalty and a 79th-minute effort from Dennis Fogarty to put the game out of reach.
Earlier Denis Hurley put the Irish 5-0 up, and despite another try from Fergus McFadden after 13 minutes Canada were the dominant side in the first half, with Ander Monro scoring 11 points and Phil Mack crossing the line to give the Canucks a 16-13 half-time lead. A Niall O'Connor penalty after the break drew the Irish level then in the 61st minute Monro kicked over again for Canada's final lead, before Jonathan Sexton's penalty try put Ireland back in front for the final time.
Ireland now face Georgia in their final group stage game on Sunday, with Canada having already registered a heavy win over the Georgians, and will be looking for a place in next week's final.
The Argentina Jaguars were also successful, defeating the USA 35-14. Centre Benjamin Urdapilleta chipped in with a 22 point haul, but the Jaguars are still unlikely to progress to next week's final after their earlier loss to England Saxons.
Wingers Agustin Gosio and Belisario Agulla scored second-half tries for the Jaguars, who were behind to a try from Eagles fullback Gavin DeBartolo. The USA now face the Saxons on Saturday.
Ireland 'A': Denis Hurley (Cork Constitution/Munster); Fionn Carr (Galwegians/Connacht), Fergus McFadden (UCD/Leinster), Keith Matthews (Buccaneers/Connacht), Johne Murphy (Leicester Tigers); Niall O'Connor (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Isaac Boss (Ballymena/Ulster) (capt); Bryan Young (Ballymena/Ulster), Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht), Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster), Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Neil Best (Northampton Saints), Sean O'Brien (Clontarf/Leinster), Chris Henry (Ballymena/Ulster)
Replacements: Denis Fogarty (Cork Constitution/Munster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Trevor Hogan (Blackrock College/Leinster), John Muldoon (Galwegians/Connacht), Frank Murphy (Buccaneers/Connacht), Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster), James Downey (Northampton Saints).
Canada: Matt Evans (Hartpury College); Justin Mensah-Coker (Moseley RFC), Ciaran Hearn (Castaway Wanderers), DTH van der Merwe (Glasgow Warriors), James Pritchard (Bedford Blues); Ander Monro (Colorno), Phil Mack (James Bay AA); Dan Pletch (Niagara Thunder), Pat Riordan (University of Victoria) (capt), Andrew Tiedemann (University of Victoria), Tyler Hotson (UBC Old Boy Ravens), Mike Burak (Unattached), Nanyak Dala (Castaway Wanderers), Adam Kleeberger (University of Victoria), Aaron Carpenter (Brantford Harlequins/Coventry).
Replacements: Mike Pletch (Velox Valhallians), Frank Walsh (Dogs RFC), Doug Wooldridge (Cowichan RFC), Jebb Sinclair (Castaway Wanderers), John Moonlight (University of Victoria), Ed Fairhurst (Cornish Pirates), Sean Duke (University of Victoria).
Referee: Matt Goddard (Australia)
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
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