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Ireland dump Junior Boks out of World Rugby U20 Championship

By Ian Cameron
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 9: Ireland U20 celebrate after winning the World Rugby U20 Championship 2023 semi final match between Ireland and South Africa at Athlone Sports Stadium on July 9, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Ireland’s U20s team overcame a tragic week off the pitch to secure a spot in the World Rugby U20s Championship final with an impressive semi-final victory over hosts South Africa at Athlone Sports Stadium.


Winger James Nicholson played a crucial role in wet conditions, scoring two tries thanks to well-executed cross-field kicks from Sam Prendergast. Despite facing early pressure from the South African team, Ireland’s consistent and organized defense held strong.

In the opening half, South Africa dominated possession and territory, spending the majority of the time in Irish territory. However, their efforts were thwarted by the solid Irish defense.

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Ireland capitalized on a yellow card for Junior Bok Jannes Potgieter, who was penalized for dangerous play in the 36th minute.

Taking advantage of the penalty, Prendergast delivered a perfectly placed cross-field kick to Nicholson, who touched down for Ireland’s first try in the 37th minute.

The second half saw South Africa make a comeback, with Imad Khan scoring under the posts just five minutes into the second forty.

Ireland quickly regained control however as Brian Gleeson bulldozed his way to the try-line from a lineout, restoring their seven-point advantage. The Irish team’s cohesion and composure began to wear down their opponents, leading to replacement Sam Berman’s try and a conversion to follow from Prendergast.


With five minutes remaining, South Africa managed to breach the Irish defense once more, with Coetzee le Roux scoring a consolation try. However, it was too late to mount a full comeback.

Ireland’s impressive performance in the semi-final sets them up for an exciting clash in the World Rugby U20s final, where they will aim to continue their winning streak against either France or England.



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Tim 5 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

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