Trinity 29pts – Dolphin 6pts; 30th January 2016
Trinity were made to fight for their win by a defensively well organized Dolphin who were hell bent on not letting Trinity run away with the game, like they did in Musgrave Park in November.
Dolphin scored in the opening minute when their out half Barry Keeshan slotted a straight forward penalty goal.
Trinity attacked relentlessly throughout the game, but Dolphin kept their line intact with heroic defending. Trinity created several opportunities to score but the last pass was usually ill-judged. Flanker Brian Du Toit scored out in the corner after some good approach play by the entire Trinity team, Jack McDermott supplying the last pass for the score.
Dolphin regained the lead just before half time, when their full back kicked a monstrous kick from within his own half to take an unlikely 6-5 lead into half time.
Trinity continued to struggle to find their rhythm. Dolphin played their best rugby early in the second half when they kept the ball through many phases. It was on 61 minutes when Trinity eventually got their second try from a well worked line out. The forwards drove in for a try with Brian Du Toit coming up with his second try.
Once this score was on the board for the Students the dam burst for the Dolphin defence. The Trinity forwards took the ball against the head in the scrum, *8 Tom Ryan picked and ran hard. Centre Seb Fromm was put away by Jack McDermott before hooker Patrick Finlay carried close to the line, and second row Raef Tyrell did well to drive in from close in.
Former Dolphin scrum half Brian Slater was next on board when he followed up a superb break by Brian Du Toit which was again carried on by Patrick Finlay before Slater dived from close in to earn Trinity a bonus point – four tries.
Trinity’s last try was a length of the field effort. Brian Du Toit picked off a loose kick deep in his 22 metre area, passed to Conor Kearns who broke free, before feeding Seb Fromm who in turn welcomed his fellow Clongowes Wood alumnus Warren Larkin back to College Park for his first try of the season with a easy ‘run in’ score.
With Ballymena unexpectedly losing to Buccaneers at home, Trinity have now closed the gap on second place. They now travel to Belfast Harlequins next weekend.
Trinity team; 15 Conor Kearns, 14 Tim Maupin, 13 Ruadhan Magee (Michael Courtney 60), 12 Seb Fromm, 11 Max McFarland, 10 Jack McDermott, 9 Angus Lloyd (Brian Slater 60), 1 Eric O’Sullivan, 2 Patrick Finlay (Warren Larkin 65), 3 Andy Keating, 4 Jack Burke, 5 Raef Tyrell (Conor Gleeson 65), 6 Nick McCarthy, 7 Brian Du Toit, 8 Tom Ryan.
U20s WIN NAIL BITER!!
Trinity 15pts – UCD 14pts; January 31st 2016
Trinity U20s Premier came from a 14pts deficit to win this massively important game for both teams. The home team came into the game just two points ahead of their Belfield rivals with the teams 1st and 2nd in the JP Fanagan league. The two teams had played twice already this season with the honours being even, one win apiece.
UCD started at 90 MPH and incredibly scored four times in the first 12 minutes with three penalties and a well-taken try. Trinity was playing into the wind and rain they struggled mightily to get out of their own 22 metre area. They seemed to be punished for every mistake, and in the opening few minutes there were plenty of those.
Trinity dug deep into the conditions and began to inch their way back into the game, with second row Conor Gleeson, No 8 Niall O’Riordan and hooker Joe Horan carrying the hard yards and full back Colm Hogan popping up everywhere to make large gains with the ball into the conditions. Constant pressure began to tell as the gaps began to appear in UCD defence.
Inevitably the forwards drove in a line out move, which closed the score to 14-5. The city based University went straight back up the field and it looked like a fine handling movement had put left wing James O’Donovan in the corner, only to be called back on a forward pass. The pressure kept up right up to half time, when a series of dominant Trinity scrums on the UCD line brought two penalties. Trinity decided to kick the second penalty as time was up. 14-8 was a good return on the run of play.
In the second half with the weather conditions getting worse, Trinity camped in the UCD half except for one bout of play when UCD attacked the Trinity line for a few minutes. UCD defended stoutly. Trinity kept pressuring but got on the wrong side of the referee at ruck time. Time and again this seemed to let the visitors off the hook as Trinity looked ready to score.
Midway through the second half, UCD ran the ball wide, but centre Kyle Dixon picked off an interception and returned it for a try. Out half Tommy Whittle kicked the conversion. Trinity continued to pressure hard. The backs ran a superb set move to put full back Colm Hogan out wide, Hogan ran 70 metres before getting the ball slapped down as he passed to wing Bryan Mollen for a certain try, the referee gave Trinity a penalty, but no penalty try?
The game moved in to the dying minutes as out half Tommy Whittle pinned the Visitors deep in their 22 metre area. Trinity ran wave after wave of attacks at the UCD line but was held up by plucky defence. The game concluded with a line out on the UCD line.
The inner belief of this U20s squad is incredible. They simply never feel they are beaten! Two weeks ago they were 23-8 down against Clontarf but came back to win the game 25 – 23! They can’t keep doing this to their loyal supporters – it is heart attack stuff! They now have a well deserved week off and then travel to Athlone to play Bucanneers, February 14th.