Trinity travelled to Oxford on Sunday in high anticipation for the first World Universities Rugby Cup held by Oxford University Football Club.
After a training session in Abingdon School on Monday, it was good to get the losing demons out of the system after a disappointing loss to Blackrock in Friday night’s rain storm.
In the evening the eight participating teams were hosted in the Ashmolean Museum Building. It was great to mix with players from all over the World.
On Tuesday the tournament kicked off with two 40 minute group games. First up was Siberian Federal University, who came into the tournament after dominating Russian College rugby winning the XVs and Sevens for the past two years. Unsurprisingly the Russian XV were extremely physical, tackled everything that moved, and counter rucked every breakdown. Trinity struggled with the physicality early on, but once they found their rhythm they managed to slip in for two well taken tries by *8 Tom Ryan and wing Brian Mollen. In the second half Oisin Brady added another penalty to his two conversions and the Dublin team were relieved to get across the line in their first encounter.
Meanwhile University of British Columbia were causing a massive upset when they defeated an undercooked New Zealand Universities XV 20-10. This caused massive ripple around the tournament. UBC were deserved winners against a Kiwi team who had only assembled on Friday.
Trinity had to play the buoyant UBC next up, and looked on the form of the first games to have a tough challenge. The Dublin lads did not disappoint – the forwards dominated possession with the whole team defending stoutly. Trinity won the game 8-0 with a Kinsley McGowan try and an Oisin Brady penalty but should probably have won by another two or three scores. Lack of finishing must be a concern. The well drilled UBC never threatened, perhaps still enjoying the thought of beating New Zealand?!
Trinity now face a desperate New Zealand XV, who have two games under their belt and another three days of training. It will be extremely difficult for the Irish boys to play a very talented team drawn from all over the Land of Rugby. Both teams have to win to advance. If Trinity win out, they will take the group outright. If NZ win, they could force a three-way tie along with UBC. The top two teams will qualify for the semi finals on Friday afternoon. Hosting club Oxford University and University of Cape Town will play for the first and second places at the same time as Trinity play New Zealand. The 60 minute Final will take place on Monday afternoon in Iffley Road at 4.30p.m.
Pool 1 results:
University of Cape Town 47 Oxford University Greyhounds 5
Oxford University* 26 Waseda University 7
Oxford University 31 Oxford University Greyhounds 7
University of Cape Town 26 Waseda University 14
Pool 2 results:
Trinity College Dublin 14 Siberian Federal University 3
New Zealand Universities 10 University of British Columbia 20
New Zealand Universities 17 Siberian Federal University 3
Trinity College Dublin 8 University of British Columbia 0
Trinity’s next match kicks off at 9.30 am on Friday 18th at Iffley Road following which play-off matches will start at 2.30 pm.