Trinity 22pts – Buccaneers 23pts; January 9th 2016;
This was a heartbreaker for the Student team, as they went down by one point to a strong Buccaneers team containing nine Connacht players. Trinity were also giving debut starts to hooker Matt McCann who, after four years in Trinity, was proud to start a game in the White of the 1st XV. Freshman Kyle Dixon, who has been outstanding for the U20s this season, also came in for his first Senior action. Both players had strong debut performances.
Trinity started the game strongly and scored a well-worked try when Wing Tim Maupin beat his man to run through for the first try. Buccaneers, with so much quality in their team, began to find their groove and dominated the next 30 minutes of the game. Impressive in the first half for Trinity was their resolute defence. Buccaneers scored a try from a line out close in and two penalties from former Irish U20s out half Conor MCKEON who was 100% with his kicking on the day. Jack McDermott kicked a penalty for Trinity to keep the score to 13-8.
Right on half time the students broke their defensive siege and scored a superb team try by second row Raef Tyrell. This gave the Students an unlikely 15-13 lead. Buccs had looked like scoring at least two more tries but scrambling defence kept them out.
In the second half with the slight breeze behind them Trinity dominated possession and territory, but a combination of lack of composure on attack and savvy defence by the visitors kept the score to two points.
On 55 minutes Trinity extended their lead when after several phases of attack in the Buccs 22 metre area out half Jack McDermott glided through a gap in the defence to score a try and add the conversion.
From the kick off Trinity won the ball, attacked in their own half, took the ball into contact, and even though the visitors did not compete at the tackle the referee pedantically gave Buccs a 40 metre penalty an absolute nothing penalty for Trinity off their feet! MCKEON stepped up and hit the penalty into the elements. Buccs were back in the game having created nothing in the second half. Trinity continued to dominate but their usual fluency was with them on the day. Inevitably Buccs got into the Trinity 22 for the only time in the second half. And to their credit they mauled a line out over from close in.
Trinity came straight back, won the ball off the restart, took the ball through six or seven phases, Buccs infringed. Trinity won a penalty about 30 metres out, but crucially missed the kick narrowly with two minutes left on the clock. They continued to press the visitors line but could not get the vital score. Buccs had avenged their heavy loss in late November.
It was just not to be for the Students. They play a Challenge match V Durham University (UK) on Saturday 23rd January at 4.00p.m. in College Park and then back to league action on 30th January V Dolphin (Home).
15 Conor Kearns, 14 Tim Maupin, 13 Ruadhan Magee, 12 Kyle Dixon, 11 Killian O’Leary (Max McFarland 45), 10 Jack McDermott, 9 Angus Lloyd (Brian Slater 70), 1 Eric O’Sullivan, 2 Matt McCann (Warren Larkin 50), 3 Andy Keating (Fintan Murphy 70), 4 Jack Burke, 5 Raef Tyrell (Conor Gleeson 50), 6 Nick McCarthy, 7 Brian Du Toit, 8 Tom Ryan.