Belfast Harlequins 11pts – Trinity 22pts; February 6th 2016
Trinity played bottom of the league Belfast Harlequins in Deramore Park, Belfast on Saturday in the worst conditions they have played in for a few years. It rained throughout the game on a very muddy surface. It was credit to the students that they managed to get the bonus point in the last few minutes of the game.
Trinity played into the wind and rain in the first half, and dominated possession to such a degree that the hosts only got into the Trinity half twice and that was to kick two penalties.
Trinity pressured the home defence with their multi phase game, and played some quite effective rugby considering the adversity. They scored two tries, the first was when ‘new Irish Clubs out half’ Jack McDermott made a clean break to put his centre Michael Courtney away, to be stopped just short of the line. From the ensuing ruck the ball was moved quickly to full back Conor Kearns who slid in over the line.
Trinity’s second try came from a line out 20 metres out. Trinity caught and drove the ball to the line for a well worked try, second row Jack Burke coming up with the score.
Harlequins did kick two penalties from rare sorties into the Trinity half. 10-6 at half time Trinity was the happier team after playing into the conditions.
In the second half conditions deteriorated as the rain continued to come down hard. The students found it tougher to keep the ball, as the hands grew very cold.
Trinity scored their third try when from a quick penalty flanker Brian Du Toit carried strong, the ball was taken on by Conor Kearns who set up a ruck close to the Harlequins line. *8 Tom Ryan picked up and drove in to score from close in. At 17-6 Trinity looked set for a comfortable win, but the home team came back to play their best rugby and managed to score a try after a key turnover in the middle of the field.
At 17-11 Trinity were clearly struggling to retain the ball. But in a show of absolute determined pressure on the home team line, the forwards carried with a series of ‘pick and go’s’ before replacement scrum half Brian Slater broke blindside to pass to his out half Jack McDermott. Jack did his customary ‘show and go’ and crashed over into the corner for the vital fourth try.
This was a crucial win for Trinity who were made to work very hard for their win by a desperate home team. With top of the league St Mary’s winning narrowly in Ballymena, Trinity now move into 2nd place. They have a week off before a tough three game run starting by hosting old rivals Old Wesley, who themselves are on a three game winning streak having beat Shannon 20-18 on Saturday.
Trinity team; 15 Conor Kearns, 14 Tim Maupin, 13 Michael Courtney (Ruadhan Magee 70), 12 Seb Fromm, 11 Max McFarland, 10 Jack McDermott, 9 Angus Lloyd (Brian Slater 50), 1 Eric O’Sullivan, 2 Patrick Finlay, 3 Andy Keating (Fintan Murphy 65), 4 Jack Burke, 5 Raef Tyrell (Conor Gleeson 50), 6 Nick McCarthy (Warren Larkin 70), 7 Brian Du Toit, 8 Tom Ryan.