An Ireland Under-20 side slipped to their second defeat in a space of a month as Ulster Ravens came out on top 18-10 in a match switched to UCD's 4G all-weather pitch at Belfield.
Coach Allen Clarke continued to test out different combinations ahead of the RBS Six Nations campaign that begins on February 5 with flanker Dominic Ryan impressing in the early stages.
His side also took the lead through Cork Constitution winger Simon Zebo’s unconverted score after Ireland broke out of their own 22.
But when Ryan was sin-binned, the Falcons took full advantage of the extra numbers in the pack with a penalty try after a 5-metre scrum had been repeatedly collapsed.
Right at the death of the first half, lock Brian Hayes prevented the Ravens grabbing a second try as his covering tackle prevented Neil McComb going over.
Paddy Robinson did kick the Ulster side ahead early in the second half but the lead was shortlived as scrum-half John Cooney finished off another excellent team try that was again unconverted.
Despite further pressure Clarke’s side could not build on their 10-8 advantage and they paid the price when Ravens winger Craig Gilroy picked off an interception and raced away. His touchdown under the posts was converted Robinson.
A further penalty from the boot of the impressive Robinson sealed the victory but despite the Ravens finishing on top Clarke will have a lot to take away from his side’s performance.