u20 WRC | Treacy rescues Ireland against Georgia

u20 WRC | Treacy rescues Ireland against Georgia

Replacement Finn Treacy scored a try in the final play as Ireland came from behind to beat Georgia 22-16, while Wales overcame Spain 31-10 at the start of day two of the World Rugby U20 Championship in South Africa.

Replacement Finn Treacy scored a try in the final play as Ireland came from behind to beat Georgia 22-16, while Wales overcame Spain 31-10 at the start of day two of the World Rugby U20 Championship in South Africa.

Georgia needed to beat Ireland to maintain their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals and they led by a point with the clock in the red at Danie Craven Stadium. The Irish launched one last attack, however, and went over in the left corner through Treacy following a 24-phase move.

Victory keeps Ireland top of Pool B ahead of Australia's meeting with Italy later on Thursday (kick-off 19:00 local time, GMT+2).

Wales recovered from defeat against New Zealand on the opening day, meanwhile, to run in four tries and secure a bonus-point victory against Spain. They are currently top of Pool A prior to defending champions France's blockbuster day two encounter with New Zealand (kick-off 16:30 local time) in Stellenbosch.

In Pool C, England take on Fiji at Athlone Sports Stadium (kick-off 16:30 local time) before hosts South Africa meet Argentina in the final match of the day at Danie Craven Stadium, kick-off 19:00 local time.


Wales winger Kodie Stone opened the scoring with less than 60 seconds on the clock, but Richard Whiffin’s charges had to work hard for their win over U20 Championship debutants Spain at Athlone Stadium.

Stone benefited from an awkward bounce following a break by Harri Ford and a kick ahead from inside centre Steffan Emmanuel to score in the corner on Wales’ first attack of the game as they looked to build on the two bonus points they picked up against New Zealand on 29 June.

But, after causing problems for France in their opening match, last year’s U20 Trophy champions Spain again refused to be overwhelmed. They looked the more fluid of the two sides in a fractious opening 40 that saw Owen Conquer and Nicolas Infer sin-binned.

Twice in the first half, however, Spain were punished for losing the ball in the wrong area. Elijah Evans dummied and cut back through a scrambling defence to score their second on 27 minutes, after the ball had squirted out of an apparently safe defensive Spanish ruck 5m from their line.

And prop Ioan Emanuel came up with the ball from a lineout maul with the clock in the red, after Spain messed up a penalty in their favour that should have closed out the half.

But, when they got it right, Spain were a serious threat. Second row Pablo Guirao loped over for a try in the 36th minute, to round off a lovely move that first compressed then stretched the defence out of shape.

Wales tightened their discipline and exerted greater control in the second half, camping in Spanish territory, and had two scores ruled out in the first 10 minutes after the break.

But such was Spain’s defensive determination that – despite all the pressure – it took Wales until the hour to break the second-half deadlock. And it took some fleet-footed, tackle-beating magic from Ford to set Ieuan Davies clear for the bonus-point score.

It was the last score of the game, as the two defences held the upper hand for the remainder of the match. 


Ireland started the match with the breeze at their backs and it showed in the early exchanges at Danie Craven Stadium.

Less than six minutes were on the clock when inside-centre Hugh Gavin ran a brilliant line to pierce the Georgian defence from close range.

Fly-half Sean Naughton added the conversion and four minutes later it looked as though Ruben Moloney had marked his debut with a fine try. However, TMO Damon Murphy spotted an obstruction from Irish prop Andrew Sparrow depriving the winger of his moment.

Georgia were proving stubborn defenders, as they had been against Australia on day one, but Ireland got their second try of the match at the beginning of the second quarter when a sublime offload from Gavin released hooker Stephen Smyth in the right corner.

Naughton missed the touchline conversion and from then on Georgia began to grow into the match.

The Junior Lelos were able to build some possession inside Irish territory at the end of the half, earning two penalties in the final six minutes. Fly-half Luka Tsirekidze kicked both through the uprights to halve his side’s deficit at the break.

Georgia carried that momentum into the second half and with the wind now at their backs, the Junior Lelos took the lead within five minutes.

Captain Nika Lomidze it was who went over from close range following a period of pressure that started with Georgia winning a scrum penalty.

Tsirekidze added the conversion and then traded penalties with his opposite number Naughton as the Junior Lelos went into the final 18 minutes with a narrow 16-15 lead.

Georgian number 10 Tsirekidze had two very presentable opportunities to extend that advantage in the closing stages but his accuracy deserted him at a crucial time.

And Ireland capitalised, going through 24 phases in a rare second-half excursion into their opponents’ 22 and breaking Georgian hearts through replacement Treacy.

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