Ireland skipper Nick McCarthy has blamed his team’s propensity for giving away penalties and conceding pitch position for their 25-3 World Rugby U20 Championship defeat to New Zealand in Viadana yesterday.
Ireland’s defeat to the Baby Blacks in the Pool C encounter means that they will now face Wales on Monday in the first of two games in the fifth-to-eighth-place play-offs, a match which McCarthy believes his side will be well up for.
“We’re all very disappointed after those two good wins [against Argentina and Scotland] to start. We played some good rugby at times,” said McCarthy.
“Their points came pretty easily from stupid penalties from us, we gave them pretty easy pitch position.
“And they capitalised and took their chances.
“Our boys fought hard to the end and we’re really looking forward to playing Wales now in five days time and look to rebound for that.”
McCarthy also revealed that the U20s wanted to play a pressure game against the Kiwis, with kick-chase a priority, but that indiscipline was their undoing in the clash in northern Italy.
“We played the pressure game really well for 20 minutes. We said we were going to kick the ball and get a good kick-chase,” said McCarthy.
“And to be fair we did that pretty well, but the stupid penalties gave them pitch position and that kind of put us under pressure.
“Like the senior team, when the New Zealand team get chances they take them pretty well.”