Limerick scrum-half bags brace of tries as Ireland U20s ease past Italy in Six Nations

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Limerick scrum-half bags brace of tries as Ireland U20s ease past Italy in Six Nations

Ireland U20 scrum-half Craig Casey gets his pass away against Italy U20s in their Six Nations clash at Stadio Centro d'Italia in Rieti on Friday night

SHANNON RFC scrum-half Craig Casey touched down twice as the unbeaten Ireland U-20s eased past Italy 34-14 in Rieti on Friday night to stay four points clear at the top of the U-20 Six Nations table.

Ireland's successful starting line-up also included Shannon's Jake Flannery, who lined out at full-back, along with Young Munster prop Josh Wycherley.

Despite a late concession from a maul, captain David Hawkshaw's 76th-minute bonus point try put the seal on a very professional performance from Noel McNamara's charges who were able to dish out debuts to four replacements including Young Munster's Billy Scannell and Garryowen's Ben Healy, who booted a late conversion.

Tries from returning scrum half Casey, who sniped over in the 10th minute, and the Leinster-capped Scott Penny, close to half-time, gave the visitors a 17-0 advantage with classy out-half Harry Byrne kicking 12 points on the night.

Former Ardscoil Ri star Casey and Hawkshaw's second half scores were matched by Italian replacements Matteo Nocera and Marco Butturini.

IRELAND U-20: Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster); Angus Kernohan (Queen's University/Ulster), Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster), David Hawkshaw (Clontarf/Leinster) (capt), Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster); Harry Byrne (Lansdowne/Leinster), Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster); Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster), Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht), Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster), Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster), Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht), Martin Moloney (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Scott Penny (UCD/Leinster), John Hodnett (UCC/Munster). Replacements used: Ronan Watters (St. Mary's College/Leinster) for Moloney (33-36 mins, blood sub), Brian Deeny (Clontarf/Leinster) for Murray (65), Callum Reid (Banbridge/Ulster) for Wycherley, Billy Scannell (Young Munster/Munster) for Tierney-Martin, Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster) for Flannery (all 66), Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster) for Clarkson (69), Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster) for Byrne, Watters for Moloney, Cormac Foley (St. Mary's College/Leinster) for Casey (all 74).