Since returning from exodus all the College’s rugby teams have been busy. Our Senior 1st XV travelled to Gorey last week to take on Coláiste Bríd Carnew – for the second time in as many weeks. Having beaten SCC recently in the first round of the cup – before being beaten themselves by Tullow the following week – Carnew found themselves drawn against St. Columba’s in the shield competition. Unfortunately, the game was an ill-tempered affair and Carnew proved just too strong for our boys yet again. Disappointingly for St. Columba’s, the game ended 10-0 to the Wicklow school.
Our Senior Development XV (comprising boys from Form IV and V only) were involved in two really competitive games over the past week. On Friday last, on the wonderful 4G pitch in Donnybrook (and under lights), our boys took on club-side Bective Rovers U17’s. It was a great open game of rugby in which Bective eventually left as winners, despite being down by 7 points with a few minutes to go. But two late tries from the home side saw the game swing in what seemed like an instant – it ended 29-22 to Bective. They will need to learn to close out these tight games in the future. Yesterday the Development XV took on a High School Transition Year side. It was a cracking game with a brilliant try from the ever improving Moritz Boyen the highlight. It was to be our only score though and the game ended 10-5 to High School.
Our Junior boys have also played two games since the exodus. First up was a friendly against near neighbours De la Salle Churchtown at home on Kilmashogue Lane. In a scrappy game, Thady McKeever again stood tall as a strong leader nabbing a try himself and converting one from Philip Shekelton. But it was their defence which really stood tall and the game ended in victory for our boys, 12-5 to the home team. Their second game of the week was against Gorey Community School in the Junior Shield match. Ireland’s largest school were simply too strong for them and they ran out comfortable winners 48-12. Again, Thady scored one try and converted another, scored by Julio Perez Cervera. They now look forward to a well earned break and a new league campaign in the new year.
Our youngest boys were also in action. The Leps had it tough against St. Michaels 2nd Year C’s, losing 38-0. The Ducks played in a ’round robin’ series of games against Terenure College and Belvedere College (both their 1st Year C’s). They lost their first game against Terenure by just two points. Tries from Jack Hayes, Marcus O’Connor and Tom Larke (also with one conversion) weren’t enough and they lost 19-17. However, they picked themselves up and defeated the Belvedere side, on a scoreline of 12-5, with Tom Larke again touching down (and converting) and Dennis Cullen getting the winning score.
It’s been a really busy term for our boys. Luckily, despite some of the results, the atmosphere has remained positive and there is a tremendous willingness to learn. Perhaps the relatively mild and dry weather also played a part, as well as trips to the Aviva to see Ireland play Canada, New Zealand and Australia. A huge thank you to all the rugby coaches for their dedication and commitment this term but, in particular, to Head of Rugby (and Boy’s Sport) Paul Cron for the huge amount of (often unseen) work done to ensure all teams train and play regularly in a safe, fun and enriching learning environment.