Aussie Schoolboys win in Munster
December 15, 2005

Australian Schoolboys have started the Irish leg of their tour in winning fashion with a 24-16 victory over Munster Schools in Limerick.

The match was only the second run for many of the squad, after one of the earlier mid week matches in England was cancelled due to a frozen pitch.

The match against Munster Schools, against the only "pure" schools team on tour, was played in the best conditions so far on a relatively firm park in still and fine conditions, with the temperature reaching a relatively balmy eight degrees Celsius.

The Australians got away to a good start and created plenty of attacking opportunities out wide. Solid set pieces by the forwards laid the foundation for the backs to run in four first half tries, with scrumhalf Ben Lucas and winger Peter Betham crossing the line and fullback Christian Lealiifano scoring a double.

The strong start gave Australia a 24-6 halftime lead, however the second period became more like a traditional Munster battle. The opposition changed tactics, playing tighter nine-man rugby and used their limited possession well.

This created mistakes and unsettled the Australians who became frustrated. The cry of "You're playing Munster, you know!" inspired the locals, and their tactic of slowing down the play made it very difficult for the Australians to consolidate on their momentum.

Munster had the better of the second half and posted two tries through Eoghan Grace and Michael Kinsella. However the damage had been done and the solid Australian defence in the second half sealed the game for the visitors.

Australia's best backs were the Queensland halves Quade Cooper and Ben Lucas, while the best forwards were their tireless blindside flanker Ben McCalman and their consistent prop Gavin Warren.

Matt Schwager, who arrived in Limerick from Wee Waa less than 24 hours before kick off to replace the injured Nathan Sievert, shrugged off his jet lag and enjoyed his Australian debut half way through the second stanza.

The team moves on to Dublin with two matches to go - Ireland Under 19A at Donnybrook on Saturday at 2 pm and the final Test at Ravenhill in Belfast at 7 pm on Wednesday 21 December.

Suncorp Australian Schools 24 (Christian Lealiifano 2, Ben Lucas, Peter Betham tries; Quade Cooper 2 conversions) defeated Munster Schools 16 (Eoghan Grace, Michael Kinsella tries; Joe Crowley 2 penalties)

Australian Team:
1. Jonathan Salvi 2. Joe Egan 3. Gavin Warren 4. Sam Wykes 5. Daniel Linde 6. Ben McCalman 7.Chris Harkins 8. Josh Afu 9. Ben Lucas 10. Quade Cooper 11. Peter Betham 12. Brett Gillespie 13. Andrew Barrett 14. Lachlan Rosengreen 15. Christian Lealiifano

16. Daniel Roach 17. Ben Daley 18. Phil Mathers 19. David Pocock 20. Patrick McCutcheon 21. Matt Schwager # 22. Rowan Kellam 23. Lachlan Turner

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.