UCD 32pts – Trinity 29pts
This game was a great advertisement for University rugby. Played on a beautiful night in Belfield Bowl the largest crowd seen in the Stadium for many a year witnessed a cracking game of rugby.
UCD dominated the first ten minutes of the game and the last five minutes, in between Trinity just owned the ball and the game. Both teams were very positive with their play as the defences had to scramble due to the speed of recycle.
UCD tended to capitalize on Trinity mistakes and unfortunately there were enough in the game to keep the boys in blue in the game. Right off the kick off a high ball was dropped and UCD out half Liam Burke put over the penalty from the ensuing play.
Then another nervous error when the ball was lost again in the air, UCD moved the ball wide left and then back under the posts centre Steve Murphy sidestepped inside defence and just about got the ball over the line.
At this point 10-0 down in 5 minutes did not look good for the visitors, but back Trinity came, playing their quick tempo game. Trinity received the ball just outside their 22 moved the ball quickly through the hands with Brian Du Toit and Paddy Lavelle making deep inroads before putting wing Tim Maupin away, Maupin sped away before being stopped at the line, he turned and incredibly found scrum half Angus Lloyd who had got up to support the play and crashed over to score a fabulous try.
Trinity continued to make inroads with their attack, but crucially a pass went loose and the UCD defence seized the moment hacked the ball down field to force a scrum on the five metre line. From their fast retreating scrum they got the ball away and after two phases scrum half Bobby Holland caught the Trinity interior defence napping and ran in under the posts for a very soft score from Trinity’s perspective.
Trinity bounced back, out half Tommy Whittle kicked a penalty to get his team back to 20-10. Right on half time from a scrum 30 metres out from the UCD line, Wing Jack Fitzpatrick took the ball up aggressively, the forwards recycled and then took three lightning quick ‘pick and goes’ which took the ball right up to the home teams line, this really sucked in the light blue defence. The ball was then moved sharply through the hands to captain Paddy Lavelle who passed beautifully to wing Tim Maupin, 20 metres out the American win proved unstoppable as he turned his opposite man inside out to score out wide. 20-15 at half time certainly flattered the home team but Trinity were clearly back in the game.
In the second half Trinity turned up the pressure as the forwards dominated the set pieces, and the backs seemed to carve out breaks at ease. Trinity went ahead on 18 minutes of the second half when from a set scrum the backs ran a well rehearsed move to put Tim Maupin in space again, this time he drew the last man putting Seb Fromm away out wide the big German inside centre stepped inside the covering wing to score a fantastic try.
Right off the kick off Trinity just kept attacking and after multiple phases, Tommy Whittle put Seb Fromm away again down the right hand sideline in front of the stand before passing to wing Jack Fitzpatrick on the overlap, Fitzpatrick sprinted down the line to find Tim Maupin up inside supporting and fed his co wing who ran in under the posts for a text book try started deep in Trinity’s 22 metre area.
Trinity kept the same game plan attacking with the ball, but a couple of unforced errors crept back into their game, and UCD to their credit punished this, albeit with incredibly fortunate bounces of the ball, as they hacked ball down field for one try and then looked to have turned the ball, only for the ball to shoot out and they score on an overlap out wide to win the game.
Congratulations to UCD for holding onto the Annual Colours trophy. Without sounding to bitter! Quite how Trinity lost this game while dominating territory, possession and playing some of their best rugby, will be long debated in the near and distant future. It has been a very good season for the 1st XV who have been outstanding since early October.
15 Conor Kearns, 14 Tim Maupin, 13 Paddy Lavelle, Seb Fromm, 11 Jack Fitzpatrick, 10 Tommy Whittle, 9 Angus Lloyd, 1 George Walsh (Eric O’Sullivan 68), 2 Richard Halpin, 3 Tom Collis (Andy Keating 45), 4 Jack Burke, 5 Raef Tyrell, 6 Pierce Dargan, 7 Brian Du Toit, 8 Nick McCarthy (Tom Ryan 40).