Young Munster 12pts, Trinity 15pts. 11th March 2017
Trinity took the three hour journey to Tom Clifford park and surprised everybody in Irish Rugby by beating the second placed team in a very physical encounter in glorious sunshine in Co Limerick.
The Students were coming off a convincing win against Garryowen and started in ambitious mood by playing high intensity, high tempo rugby. Surprisingly the home team seemed to struggle against the multi phase game of the students and the visitors found themselves two tries and 12 pts ahead on 23 minutes. The first score was the best of the game when the ball was moved through eight or nine phases before No.8 Tom Ryan found himself in space out wide and executed a superb “show and go” to score under the posts. Wing Bryan Mollen converted.
Trinity continued t attack and make line breaks almost at will and, after more pressure on the Home team line, Pierce Dargan charged down a panic clearance kick by the Munster’s out half to score out wide.
Young Munster came back into the game but the Dublin based university still looked dangerous whenever they decided to run the ball.
Just before half time the home team exerted massive pressure on the Student line and after a series of scrums and mauls they managed to get the ball over for a score.
In the second half Trinity had a slight breeze at their back but the home team now had their purple patch and the visitors hardly saw a ball as the Munster forwards owned the ball! The Munster’s out half had a poor game with the place kicking and missed three or four opportunities. They did however score a try when their reserve flanker picked up a loose ball to run in from 30m out.
Young Munster continued to dominate up until 10 minutes to go but then it was the turn of Trinity to try and win the game. They made several line breaks and wing Tim Maupin looked to go close as did out half James Fennelly.
Inevitably Trinity got their opportunity and up stepped left wing Brian Mollen who showed extreme composure to just stroke the ball through the posts from the touch line, much to the stunned silence of the home crowd.
The Home team did have their last chance to snatch the win but spirited defence by the entire visiting team kept Young Munster from getting close.
This was a massive win for the students against a tough well-drilled home squad.
Trinity now take a week off, before they host local rivals St Marys College in College Park on March 25th .
Starting XV (and substitutions):
15 Michael Silvester, 14 Tim Maupin, 13 Michael Courtney, 12 Kyle Dixon, 11 Bryan Mollen, 10 James Fennelly, 9 Brian Slater (Rowan Osborne 45), 1 Eric O’Sullivan, 2 Patrick Finlay, 3 Andrew Keating (Tom Collis 45-75), 4 Jack Burke, Raef Tyrrell (Cian O’Dwyer 23), 6 Pierce Dargan, 7 Richard Dunne (Jack Boland 60), 8 Tom Ryan;
Other Trinity Rugby News:
Trinity U20s secured 2nd place in the league and a home draw in the All Ireland U20s Quarter final on March 26th in College Park (probably against Garryowen?). They had to beat St Marys College with a bonus point to edge student rivals UCD. This they did and they won out 48-17 in Templeville Road.
Trinity Senior 2nds received a forfeit from bottom club Seapoint. Trinity have now won the Met 2 league and will meet Naas RFC to decide who gets promotion up to Met 1.
Trinity Senior 3rds lost to Barnhall 14-12 in Santry.
Trinity Ladies XV lost to Navan Ladies who are in a league higher but competed throughout before losing 37- 22 in a entertaining encounter.