Leinster won both the Clubs and Schools titles on an attack-driven final day of the IRFU Under-18 Men’s Interprovincial Rugby Festival at the University of Limerick. Joe Carbery’s Leinster U-18 Clubs squad completed a clean sweep of Festival wins with a 31-12 bonus point victory over Ulster, while their Leinster Schools counterparts, coached by Andy Skehan, retained the Kelleher Cup despite a last-minute 23-20 defeat to Munster.
The residential festival at the UL grounds is a chance for squads from IQ Rugby and the four provinces to live in a professional rugby environment over 10 days. As well as three rounds of Interprovincial Championship action, players avail of personal development, mental skills and nutritional workshops.
Led by Tullow’s Conor Duffy, the Leinster Clubs were the only team to win all three of their games at the Festival. With Ennis out-half Tony Butler scoring 16 points, Munster finished as runners-up in the Clubs competition with a 36-10 success against last year’s winners Connacht.
A closing penalty from number 10 Shane Buckley helped Munster to beat Leinster in their Schools Interprovincial decider. That earned them the Dudley Cup, but Leinster’s better record over the three-round tournament ensured that they won the overall Championship.
Aided by a hat-trick of tries from number 8 Callum Smyton, Ulster’s Schools side rounded out their campaign with a 48-10 triumph over IQ Rugby, a squad of Irish-qualified players based in the English schools system.
IRFU UNDER-18 MEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL RUGBY FESTIVAL: Wednesday, August 21
MATCH DAY 2 –
ULSTER U-18 SCHOOLS 48 IQ RUGBY 10, University of Limerick
Scorers: Ulster U-18 Schools: Tries: Jude Postlethwaite 2, Ethan Bryce, Callum Smyton 3, Finn Rankin, Tim Bailie; Cons: Ross McKay 3, Ethan Bryce
IQ Rugby: Tries: Theo Smerdon, Jacob Richards
HT: Ulster U-18 Schools 21 IQ Rugby 5
LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS 31 ULSTER U-18 CLUBS 12, University of Limerick
Scorers: Leinster U-18 Clubs: Tries: Ruairi Clarke, Conor Gibney 2, Jack Hanlon, Fionn O’Hara; Cons: Fionn O’Hara 3
Ulster U-18 Clubs: Tries: Ben McCullough, Sebastian Hastings; Con: Tyler McNeill
HT: Ulster U-18 Clubs 5 Leinster U-18 Clubs 19
MUNSTER U-18 CLUBS 36 CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS & SCHOOLS 10, University of Limerick
Scorers: Munster U-18 Clubs: Tries: Edwin Edugobo, Dylan Murphy, Tony Butler, Owen Byrne, James Finn; Cons: Tony Butler 4; Pens: Tony Butler
Connacht U-18 Clubs & Schools: Tries: Declan O’Loughlin, Blaine Barry
HT: Munster U-18 Clubs 17 Connacht U-18 Clubs & Schools 5
MUNSTER U-18 SCHOOLS 23 LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS 20, University of Limerick
Scorers: Munster U-18 Schools: Tries: Daniel Hurley, Jack Oliver; Cons: Shane Buckley 2; Pens: Shane Buckley 3
Leinster U-18 Schools: Tries: Charlie Tector, Shane Mallon; Cons: Charlie Tector 2; Pens: Charlie Tector 2
HT: Leinster U18 Men’s Schools 17 Munster U18 Men’s Schools 14