Corinthians 12pts, Trinity 32pts.
Trinity travelled west to Galway for this vital All Ireland League 1B game on Saturday. The game was vital for both teams as the home team had to win to keep their survival hopes going. Trinity needed to win to stay in touch with leaders Galwegians and Garryowen hoping one of the top two might slip up.
Corinthians came out by far the hungrier team, and played most of the rugby against the strong blustery wind. The Students struggled to get their game going against a plucky defence in poor conditions. The home team were rewarded with a penalty in the opening minutes.
Trinity came back and camped on the home team line. Flanker Brian Du Toit managed to wriggle in from a metre out. Conor Kearns added the conversion and kicked a penalty in front of the posts minutes later. The hosts were in defiant mood though and scored a well worked try from a line out close in. They missed the kick and Trinity led 10-8.
Just before half time Trinity began to wake from their sleepy play and swept down the field with Conor Kearns making a long range break. From the ensuing ruck flanker Nick McCarthy used magic footwork to step around two defenders and run in from 20 Metres out, to give the visitors an undeserved lead at half time.
In the second half Trinity knew they faced a massive challenge into the worsening conditions, and against desperate opponents. The students stepped up to this challenge. They dominated possession and upped the tempo. The Galway outfit clearly struggled to match the high tempo nature of the game. Trinity prop George Walsh took the ball up and set up good ‘go forward’ ball. Scrum half Angus Lloyd found out half Conor Kearns, who spotted a gap in the home defence, took it and offloaded brilliantly to his centre Seb Fromm who carried the ball in two hands. He had options left and right but he straightened his line and found supporting Full back Jack Fitzpatrick who ran in from 30 metres out.
Trinity continued to attack as the stormy conditions really deteriorated. From a line out close in the forwards drove low and hard. Props George Walsh and Andy Keating were held up short but it was that man Brian Du Toit again who found an inch of space to sneak in for his second try. This was Trinity’s fourth and bonus point try.
Trinity were now on a roll and the home team began to give away many penalties under the heavy pressure imposed by the visitors. Trinity forwards won another line out ball, out half Kearns attacked the line before he put right wing Tim Maupin into space, the big American wing was stopped metres short laying the ball back for replacement scrum half Brian Slater to attack the blindside to put hooker Richard Halpin over for a well taken try.
Trinity did not add any more points in the game which sadly confirmed Corinthians relegation from the league. Good news (for Trinity!) came through that top of the league Galwegians had lost to Belfast Harlequins 34-32. This result means the students are very much back in contention for the play off second spot. They are in reach of both top teams, and now the drama will go down to the last week. Trinity face the leagues form team Belfast Harlequins in College Park on April 11th. On the same day Garryowen travel to Galwegians in a winner takes all finale. The loser could be overtaken by Trinity. Trinity have a superior points difference.
Top of League
Garryowen 17 64
Galwegians 17 63
Trinity 17 59
Trinity Team15 Jack Fitzpatrick, 14 Tim Maupin (Jamie Spring 75), 13 Paddy Lavelle, 12 Seb Fromm, 11 Killian O’Leary, 10 Conor Kearns, 9 Angus Lloyd (Brian Slater 55), 1 George Walsh, 2 Richard Halpin (Jack Boland 70), 3 Tom Collis (Andy Keating 40), 4 Jack Burke, 5 Raef Tyrell, 6 Nick McCarthy, 7 Brian Du Toit, 8 Tom Ryan (Pierce Dargan 40).
Trinity U20s hosted an All Ireland U20s Quarter Final on Saturday against, coincidently, Corinthians U20s. The Students on their home field proved far too strong for their Connacht opponents and won out 48-5. It was an inconsistent performance by Trinity who mixed the sublime with the very messy. They now face UCD for the FIFTH time (Trinity lead series 3-1) this season in Belfield bowl next weekend.
To prove the strength of the Leinster JP Fanagan U20s league, Leinster teams won all four of the All Ireland Quarter finals with Lansdowne visiting Terenure in the other semi final.
Quarter Final Results were;
Terenure 32-7 Buccaneers
Young Munster 13-20 Lansdowne
Trinity 48-5 Corinthians
Cork Con 15-17 UCD
On Sunday afternoon in College Park Trinity U20s Pennant XV struggled to put away a sticky UCD team 22-13, a team they have beaten twice this season already. The Pennant now move through to the semi finals of this competition.
Trinity J3s lost in Santry 31-17 to Wanderers in a tough game. This brings an end to the J3 season.
The J4 were given a walk over by BGF Ravens and go through to the next round.