Lansdowne U20s 24pts – Trinity U20s 39pts. 15th April 2018.
Saturday was a busy day for the club. When the 1st XV game finished in Terenure with the 1st XV going down 50-12 to an excellent home team in what was a ‘dead rubber’ AIL game for the Students, Trinity supporters jumped into their cars to head back to the city centre where the U20s had a difficult All Ireland semi final encounter on the back pitch of the Aviva stadium, against newly crowned Leinster league champions Lansdowne.
Lansdowne started strongly and got out to a 12-7 (2 tries to 1)lead in an incredibly physical game where the defences were flying up from both teams. Trinity took the lead through James Moriarty who took advantage of a fortunate bounce to break through and score, making it 14-12. Moriarty kicked a penalty soon after to make it 17-12.
Trinity forwards were magnificent on the day, especially in the set piece. They made life difficult for the home team who had to scramble all day on the back foot.
In the second half Trinity played their best rugby, keeping possession for long periods against a tough ‘quick up’ Lansdowne defensive line. They scored early in the second half when hooker Dan Sheehan carried twice, before James Moriarty touched down in the corner for a great team try.
Trinity kept dominating possession and territory, and from a line out near the line, the forwards drove close to the line. After several recycles near the line, second row Rory Clarke dived in close to the post to score.
At 29-12 with 20 minutes to go, Trinity looked set for a big score. But the home team proved why they had beaten the Students twice this season and came back hard moving the ball fluently between backs and forwards. After endless phases and a couple of penalties in the Trinity 22, they eventually scored a well-worked try wide out.
Incredibly off the restart they scored again! When they moved the ball wide to their wing who kicked though for his *7 who looked to be in front of the kick, the referee thought otherwise and it possibly cancelled out Trinity’s controversial try in the first half. Lansdowne with their ‘never say die’ attitude were back in the game at 29-24.
Trinity showed their quality by re-gaining dominance for the rest of the game. They took the home team through several phases before big tight-head prop Joe Byrne crashed over for a great try 36-24.
Trinity continued to pressure hard, and centre James Moriarty kicked a penalty to ice the game after more pressure on the Lansdowne line.
This was an impressive win for the Students against the reigning Leinster champions. They now face Clontarf in the Final. Tarf kicked an injury time drop goal to beat UCD in Castle Avenue after a very impressive performance against a strong UCD team.
Trinity U20s team. 15 Rob Russell, 14 Clinton Wohoka, 13 James Hickey, 12 James Moriarty, 11 Hugh Twomey, 10 Michael O’Kennedy, 9 Tomas Killeen, 1 Fiacra Keane, 2 Dan Sheehan, 3 Joe Byrne, 4 Arthur Greene, 5 Jack Dunne, 6 Johnny McKeown, 7 Max Kearney, 8 Patrick Nulty.
Subs – Ben Nel, Giuseppe Coyne, Rory Clarke, Reuben Pim, Daryl Egan, Conor Doyle, Liam Smith