venue: TJ Lokomotiva Beroun
1st September 2008
Full Match Report
U18 EUROPEAN CUP GROUP MATCH
Six tries in each half saw Ireland beat a gallant Serbia in the opening match, England coach Tony Smith a keen observer in the Beroun sun. Serbia had the best of the opening ten minutes, dominating the possession after Ireland lost the ball on the first tackle of their opening three sets.
Having forced a drop out, the Serbians knocked on to relieve the pressure but the Irish made no mistake after they had secured back to back sets, the ball moved to the right through Calum and Joe Mulhern for Jacob Driver to open the scoring.
They were similarly efficient to the right four minutes later, Liam Walsh and James Wallace combining to send in Dave Townend, Walsh landing his second touchline conversion. Matt Sheared, who was heavily involved on attack broke through from the re-start, beating the cover on a terrific 50 metre run to the posts to make it 18-0.
Serbia responded immediately, lively hooker Austen Novakovic crashing over from close in after the Irish had twice been penalised for offside on their own line. That good work was undone, though, when a grubber was fumbled close to the Serb line and Josh Rogerson reacted quickest to plunge over. Ireland ended the half in the ascendancy, Blane Scott powering in from 10 metres from a tap penalty and classy Walsh ghosting over from a similar distance.
Similarly at the start if the second half the Irish were in the ascendancy, Sean Garrett supported up the middle to go 30 metres to the posts and Walsh's chip was caught on the full by Sheared for a deserved score. Dejan Knezevic made good ground for the Serbs, and a fine move from close in saw Nikola Glisic and Slobodan Jovanovic create space for Filip Brkic to cross and convert.
Serbia were denied in the next set for crossing and the Irish immediately capitalised Walsh's long pass sending Townend over in the corner for his second to bring up the half century. Ireland ended strongly with three late tries, Danny Clayton backing up a Wallace break, the blonde-haired skipper then scoring himself from Rogerson's cut out pass and Josh Cooper forcing his way in from a Walsh pass, the scrum half finishing with nine goals.
Pictured: Vojislav Dedic on the attack.
Eddy Wilson, Jacob Driver, James Wallace (C), Joe Mulhern, Dave Townend, Josh Rogerson, Liam Walsh, Josh Cooper, Danny Clayton, Sean Ward, Matt Sheared, Calum Mulhern, Louis McKenna. Subs: Calum Barry, Sean Garnett, Elliot Moores, Blane Scott
Stevan Stevanoic, Nemanja Pavlica, Dejan Hafizovic (C), Niksa Unkovic, Velibor Sreckovic, Vojislav Dedic, Filip Brkic, Dragan Vasiljevic, Austen Novakovic, Slobodan Jovankovic, Stefan Gajic, Marko Liric, Dejan Knezevic. Subs: Nikola Radivojevic, Nikola Glisic, Petar Pavloic, Dragan Kranjcec