THE IRELAND U20s have advanced to the semi-finals at the World U20 Championships in South Africa after their final pool match was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

Willie Faloon’s side were due to play Australia at 1pm Irish time at the Athlone Sports Stadium in Cape Town today.

Yet heavy rainfall and strong winds saw kick-off initially delayed, with Ireland warming up in the car park in an effort to preserve the playing surface.


The game did not kick-off as scheduled and shortly after the fixture was due to start, it was confirmed the match would be unable to go ahead in the interest of player safety.

As a result, both teams have been awarded two match points, meaning Ireland will top Pool B with 11 points and have qualified for the semi-finals. However today’s cancelled match robs Ireland of the opportunity to advance as top seeds.

Ireland were heading into today’s game knowing their destiny was in their own hands, with top spot in the pool and a place in the semi-finals guaranteed once they avoided defeat.

Ireland are now into the knock-out stages having played just two pool games.

Faloon’s team opened their championship with a comfortable 55-15 defeat of Italy, before Finn Treacy’s late try secured a dramatic 22-16 win over Georgia.

The semi-finals are to be played on Sunday, with the pairings to be confirmed later today.

There are two more games scheduled for the Athlone Stadium today, with France due to play Wales before hosts South Africa take on England.

Games at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch today were unaffected.

2024-07-09T12:31:00Z dg43tfdfdgfd