Ballina Rugby Club's Fiachna Barrett played a pivotal role as Ireland defeated Fiji 47-27 yesterday to secure a semi-final spot at the U-20 World Cup in South Africa.
The Geesala man worked tirelessly in the front-row in the face of huge Fijian pressure.
The Irish side came into the game under severe emotional strain following the tragic death of Greig Oliver, father of scrum-half Jack Oliver, and the recent tragedy on the Greek island of Ios involving two pupils from St Michael's College in Dublin.
Ireland began well and had two tries on the board in the first ten minutes but Fiji refused to be overwhelmed and the gap was down to just two points in the third quarter before a strong finish secured the victory.
Fiachna can now look forward to a semi-final later this week.
Harry West missed yesterday's game due to a leg injury which has ruled him out for the rest of the tournament.