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'The One Thing This Team Have In Spades Is Character'

'The One Thing This Team Have In Spades Is Character'

The Ireland U20s picked up their second bonus point victory of the Six Nations on Friday evening, defeating Wales 36-22 at Irish Independent Park.

Ireland raced into a 24-0 lead by the half-hour mark and led 31-7 at the break. Wales hit back early in the second half, scoring ten points without reply. Ireland got back on track through an Andrew Smith try in the 63rd minute.

"Our breakdown probably let us down a little bit," Ireland head coach Noel McNamara told RTÉ about Wales' fight back.

We lacked a little bit of old focus and we allowed them back into the game.

There's a couple of penalties we'd probably have some questions [about] and that's for us to look at over the course of the next few days. That really allowed Wales access and the yellow card aswell.

The one thing this team have in spades is character.

You'd have to say that was very much in evidence, not when we're on the front foot with our tails up, but when we're under the pump in that second half, lesser teams might roll over but the boys dug in. They got a good score and put the game away.

Ireland's next game will be against England at Franklin's Gardens - the home of Northampton - on February 22nd.

"We love coming down here, we love playing in Cork - it's very much become a home for us," said McNamara.

"England are going to be huge at Franklin's Gardens in two weeks’ time. It's a different surface as well. We've played on this surface the last two games.

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"It's quick, it's fast. In testing conditions, to score 36 points, you have to be absolutely delighted from an attack perspective.

"It is going to be a challenge [against England]. I've no doubt it's going to be a vocal home support and that's going to be a slightly different feel for us because we very much had that behind our back for the last two games.

"We'll regroup, recover next week and obviously review this.

"We've a training session with the seniors in CIT next Thursday, so really excited about that challenge and that opportunity as well."

Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

See Also: Ireland U20s Producing Ultra-Modern Batch Of Complete Forwards

Dylan Ryan

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