Rockwell's Brian Gleeson breaks through the Presentation Brothers Cork defence
Tipperary’s Rockwell College powered their way to the Munster Junior Cup semi-final stage with a nail-biting win over Presentation Brothers Cork.
This was an entertaining, free-flowing game with some excellent phases played by both sides.
Right from the kick off, Rockwell set out their stall and put the Pres under severe pressure in the first five minutes. Six minutes into the game Rockwell were awarded a penalty on the Pres 22, just to the side of the posts. Rory Collins slotted the ball straight between the posts to put Rockwell in front.
Not long after, Rockwell were penalised for not rolling away inside their own 22, with outhalf Ben O’Connor levelling the scores. Rockwell continued to dominate for most of the first half but failed to breach a resilient Pres backline when yards short of the scoreline on a number of occasions. When Rockwell seemed to have opportunities out wide, Pres managed to scramble back to prevent a Rockwell try.
Five minutes from half time, Rory Collins again converted a penalty to leave the half-time score 6-3 in favour of Rockwell.
From the kick-off, Pres kicked deep into the Rockwell defence. Tom Ross collected and box-kicked, but Pres took possession and went through the phases. Pres won a line out on Rockwell’s 22, which Rockwell number six Tom Downey robbed. He set up a phase, only to see the ball knocked on.
From the resulting scrum, Pres had their most fruitful passage of the entire game, with prop Hugh O’Callaghan going over close to the corner for an unconverted try to leave them 8-6 ahead.
This galvanised Rockwell into action and when the ball was passed to captain Henry Buttimer, he danced and weaved his way through five defenders to touch down under the posts. Rory Collins again converted this and slotted over a penalty shortly afterwards.
Rockwell College supporters were in full voice for the Munster Junior Cup clash
Pres began to assert pressure and camped inside the Rockwell 22. They were rewarded for their effort when Adam Twomey touched down for a Pres try, which was duly converted. This left the Pres boys 13-16 down and try as they might to get over the line, Rockwell’s defence stood firm with Brian Gleeson making a try saving tackle well into injury time. The final score was 16-13 in Rockwell’s favour.
Beside those already mentioned, Cian Meaney, Osato Ediale, Lorcan Cummins and Shane Neville were stalwarts in the pack while Darius Achimugu gained valuable ground on his breaks. Robert Wall and Tom Ross also impresses.
Rockwell, however, will rue missed opportunities. “We will have to sort out a few mistakes and build on this performance,” remarked coach Danny Lambe after the game.
They play Crescent College Comprehensive (Limerick) in the semi-final of the Munster Junior Cup in Thomond Park on March 13.
Rockwell College: Conor Hogan, Darius Achimugu, Robert Wall, Henry Buttimer (captain), Peter McGarry, Rory Collins, Tom Ross, Lorcan Cummins, Cian Meaney, Jamie Browne, Oseremen Ediale, Edmond Dunphy, Tom Downey, Shane Neville, Brian Gleeson.
Replacements: Joseph Lawrence, Dean Moroney, Tarcisio Chanda, Niall Maher, Casey Jay Coleman, Ben Farrelly, Toby Collier, David Clarke, Zac Lynch, James Cronin.
Coaches: Danny Lambe and Shane Luby. Strength and Conditioning: Owen Cleary. Physio: Lillian Fogarty.
Presentation Brothers Cork: Sean McLoughlin, Doug Holohan Healy, Aodhan Cooke, Peter Hyland, Adam Twomey, Billy Kiernan (captain), Ben O’Connor, Finn Cowhig, Ivor Dennehy, Hughie O’Callaghan, Casey Ford, Jacob Sheahan, Ben Hyland, Donal McCarthy, Mark Howell. Replacements: Danny Sheahan, Dane Nagle, Fionn Roussel, Rory O’Shaughnessy, Daniel Philpott, Zach Dinan, Rian O’Donoghue, Scott Sexton, Jason Kiernan, Sean Condon.
Referee: David O’Riordan.