Trinity 36pts – Cambridge University 10pts; October 14th 2017
Trinity hosted Cambridge University in a ‘balmy’ College Park on Saturday in what was the 140th Anniversary of games between these iconic Universities. Trinity made nine changes some enforced, and some on rotation from their impressive win in Young Munster last weekend. This was a welcome break from All Ireland league, it was good to be able to play Cambridge in College Park for the first time since 2011 after playing the last season in Cambridge.
Trinity dominated the game both possession and territory wise, but plucky Cambridge defence and some suspect decision making by the home side kept the score competitive.
Trinity attacked from the kick off, but failed to convert their pressure into points. It was the visitors who actually scored first when after some pressure in the Trinity 22 they gained a penalty under the posts that they kicked.
The hosts continued to attack, and from a scrum close in, they produced the games first try when wing Evan Dixon scored off a training ground move.
Trinity scored once more before half time when from a driving maul freshman second row Jack Dunne crashed over from a driving maul. Out half Tommy Whittle converted.
The Visitors must have been delighted to go into half time only 12-3 down given the run of play. Trinity squandered several guilt edge opportunities as they consistently made line breaks through out the period.
In the second half Cambridge had their best patch of the game and were duly rewarded when they scored a well-worked try for their only try of the game to close the score to 12-10.
Trinity came straight back and the smallest man on the field set up the tallest when scrum half Rowan Osborne offloaded to 6’7 Jack Dunne who showed a great burst of speed to score by the posts from 40M out.
Trinity followed this up with two superb tries, the first was when the team set up camp in the Cambridge 22, they orchestrated a great try from another training ground move and captain Michael Courtney put Full back Christian Byrne in for a well executed try.
The next try was set up by replacement out half James Fennelly who executed an impressive ‘out the back’ switch play to put Christian Byrne into space, Byrne then set up his captain Michael Courtney for another piece of good skill to created another try.
Trinity forwards who were dominant all game, produced another try off the driving maul this time replacement *8 Roghan McMahon dived over from close in to complete the scoring for the day.
Trinity now (weather permitting) travel to Iffley Road, to play Oxford University on Tuesday evening at 7pm. The Students return to AIL action on the 28th October in Athlone v Buccaneers RFC.
Trinity Team v Cambridge; 15 Christian Byrne, 14 Evan Dixon, 13 Michael Courtney, 12 Philip Murphy, 11 Clinton Wohoka, 10 Tommy Whittle, 9 Rowan Osborne, 1 James Bollard, 2 Patrick Finlay, 3 Darragh Higgins, 4 Jack Burke, 5 Jack Dunne, 6 Reuben Pim, 7 Dave St Ledger, 8 Niall O’Riordan.
Subs Hugh Connors, James Fennelly, Angus Lloyd, Shane Byrne, Cameron McCrum, Dan Sheehan, Roghan McMahon.
Trinity Senior 2nds had a disappointing loss in Donnybrook V Old Wesley on Friday night 36-8.
Trinity U20s Premier XV had a rare loss in Terenure on Sunday when they went down 6-0 in a game they should have won, but did not deserve to win.
Trinity Freshers XV playing U20s Premier 2 league, lost 9-7 to Naas in Santry.
Good news of the day was that the Trinity Ladies XV gained their first win of the season when they defeated Clontarf in Santry 14-10. The ladies showed a big improvement on recent performances..