Clontarf 29pts – Trinity 24pts – December 2nd 2017
Trinity travelled to Castle Avenue, the scene of many hard losses in recent times. Things look set for the Home team to put the Students to the sword on a treacle like pitch on the North side.
The visitors managed to push their rivals close before losing by just 5 points and claiming a bonus point for losing within 7pts.
The game was fast and furious with both teams keeping the ball for long periods, forcing the respective defences through endless tackles. Trinity was first on the board when American Alex MacDonald broke free and, when tackled, the home team dived in to kill the ball. Trinity out half James Fennelly kicked the penalty.
The home team came straight back and scored a well worked try after several quick fire phases in the Trinity half.
Not to be out done the Students scored a well worked try themselves when James Fennelly chipped through for wing Jack Kelly to score a well taken try. Fennelly kicked the conversion to give his team a 10-8 lead.
Clontarf then had their purple patch and scored two tries before half time – one after a unforced handling mistake by Trinity which was followed by a penalty try for pulling back the likely try scorer who did not have possession of the ball. They then scored another try after several phases on the Trinity line. 24-10 at half time, things looked bleak for Trinity but they did have the elements in their favour in the second half.
Trinity dominated most of the second half, and the Home team only got into the Trinity 22 twice in this period.
Trinity pressured for long periods and scored a practiced move to put captain Michael Courtney under the posts. Cruelly, the home team got a charge down off the restart which led to a penalty. From this position they pounded the Trinity line and eventually came up with the bonus point try.
The Students kept attacking and, after two close opportunities were squandered, James Fennelly put full back Michael Silvester away with another well placed chip through and the current Irish U2os player raced through to score his 6th try of the season.
Back in the game, Trinity pressured hard against a stressed home team who were punished with two yellow cards and a red card as they fought desperately to keep the students out. This they did and they held on to win the spoils.
The two teams have Part 2 next week in College Park on Saturday at 2.30pm. If that contest turns out like this game, it will be a “can’t miss” opportunity for all supporters of the Club game.
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY TEAM: Michael Silvester; Jack Kelly, Michael Courtney (capt), Kyle Dixon, Billy O’Hora; James Fennelly, Rowan Osborne; James Bollard, Paddy Finlay, Joe Byrne, Jack Burke, Jack Dunne, Sam Pim, Alex MacDonald, David St Leger.
Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Darragh Higgins, Niall O’Riordan, Dan Joyce, Tommy Whittle.
Elsewhere, Trinity U20s Premier XV had a comprehensive win over St Marys RFC in College Park on Sunday winning with a bonus point 29-0.
The U20s played some good rugby in the first half, but struggled to execute in the second half.
Trinity U20s Freshers XV won their third league game in a row over Buccaneers 18-16 in Santry
Trinity Senior 3rds XV lost 30-18 and the 4ths XV lost 30-9
The Trinity Womens XV, were very unlucky in their loss to Greystones 15-5 in a tight game.
The Senior 2nds play tonight (Monday 4th December) in College Park at 8pm V UCD