Munster's Brian Gleeson announces himself to the world as Ireland rock Aussies
IRELAND 30-10 AUSTRALIA
James Nicholson and Gus McCarthy were great, but Munster back-row Brian Gleeson was on another level as Ireland beat Australia in their World Rugby U20 Championship clash.
Having opened their tournament with a high-scoring draw against England, Richie Murphy's side fell 10-3 behind against the Aussies but responded superbly.
Paddy McCarthy put the Aussies on the back foot with an immense carry before, a few phases after, James Nicholson dived over in the corner to get his side back in the game. Sam Prendergast, who had another off-day from the kicking tee, missed the conversion but did land a penalty before half-time to put Ireland 11-10 ahead.
The second half saw Ireland completely wear out the Australians and dominate them in the scrum and throw their mauls. Gleeson powered over after an intense spell of Irish pressure and Prendergast converted to make 18-10.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) June 29, 2023
Brian Gleeson makes his mark
Tipperary native Brian Gleeson logged a stunning performance in the green jersey, contributing 14 carries for 70 metres gained, made two line breaks, eight tackles and scored one crucial try.
Gleeson was impressive as Murphy's side clinched a Six Nations Grand Slam but he is truly on the world rugby radar now. Munster look to have another back row gem on their hands.
The match was sealed when Gus McCarthy heaved over from close range with 18 minutes to go. That took the air out of the Aussies and Ian McKinley, back in the Virgin Media studio, later declared Ireland gave their opponents 'a lesson in how to play in those [wet] conditions'.
Rory Telfer was yellow-carded for a high tackle, and was fortunate not to see red, before the impressive Ruadhan Quinn was pole-axed in another head-on-head collision. There was a brighter finish for Ireland, though, as Diarmuid Mangan got over for a bonus point try that puts Ireland in a strong position for the knock-out stages.
Up next for Ireland are Fiji, and another strong performance should see them advance from a very tough group.
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