Trinity 34pts, Durham University 10pts – January 17th 2015
In a welcome break from AIL action, Trinity welcomed English Universities powerhouse Durham on Saturday on a beautiful cold January day in College Park. Durham who have dominated University rugby in the recent years turned up highly motivated and ready to blow Trinity off the field.
In the first ten minutes Durham dominated proceedings as they simply blasted their way up the field. They scored with apparent ease after only five minutes, following a scurm and a few charges at the hosts line. They then stormed up the field and went close to scoring again off their dominant scrum. At this point of the game Trinity looked clearly shaken as they were physically smashed out of the game in the early stages.
Slowly but surely the home team came back into the game, and took the lead when their forwards drove over from a well worked line out drive from close in after some sustained pressure on the Durham line. Centre on the day Conor Kearns slotted the conversion. Trinity began to dominate possession and their backs began to make line breaks against the aggressive rush defence from the visitors. Off a line out, wing Tim Maupin sliced through a gap after a well worked set piece move to score under the posts, 14-5 to Trinity. Kearns kicked the conversion and added a penalty right on half time, for Trinity to lead 17-5. The games dynamic had totally turned around from the opening minutes, and now Trinity were dominating possession and position on the field.
Trinity continued to attack in the second half but were sloppy with their handling and several opportunities were wasted with poor execution. Durham never gave up and were enthusiastic on defence throughout the game. They closed the score when possibly against the run of play they got open out wide, after a couple of missed tackles by the home team.
Trinity came back to score three more tries, first by out half Mark Nicholson who glided through a gap in the home defence to score out wide.
The try of the game came when Trinity attacked from deep. Tim Maupin made the initial break, centre Ruadhan Magee ran a superb supporting line before switching with Conor Kearns at top speed, Kearns ran hard but was hauled down just short of the line, the ball was quickly recycled and sub scrum half Angus Lloyd hit full back Jack Fitzpatrick with a superb pass in the corner for a sensational sweeping movement of a try.
Trinity scored again in the dying moments to increase the winning margin.
This was an ideal hit out for the host University who are on a three week break from league action, these touring games are always interesting, and an ideal chance to keep sharp for Malone in Belfast on 31st January.
Trinity team;15 Jack Fitzpatrick (Hugh Connors 70), 14 Tim Maupin, 13 Conor Kearns, 12 Ruadhan Magee, 11 Killian O’Leary (Rob McDowell 50), 10 Mark Nicholson, 9 Brian Slater (Angus Lloyd 60), 1 Andy Keating (Eric O’Sullivan 40), 2 Richard Halpin (Matt McCann 70), 3 Tom Collis, 4 Raef Tyrell, 5 Jack Burke, 6 Pierce Dargan, 7 Brian Du Toit, 8 Tom Ryan.
Trinity U20s came back with a big win V Old Belvedere 54-5 in College Park. The U20s played some superb rugby getting a well deserved bonus point.
Trinity Senior 2nds lost to Old Belvedere 34-19 after drawing at half time 19-19, the home team dominated the second half to win convincingly.