1st XV v Terenure (A) by D. O’Brien 24.03.2018

Terenure College RFC V St Mary’s College RFC

35 5

AIL Division 1 A

Lakelands Park

Saturday 24th March 2018.


After a 680 persons’ lunch, and a post prandial rhetorical masterpiece by Joe Schmidt, the two great rivals faced each other at Lakelands, then lightning struck three times within 11 minutes, Terenure scoring three converted tries. Not only were the tries as good as any scored in AIL, but the presentation, skill and all round play over the first 15 minutes by Nure, were exquisite. Many a mouth fell agape and soothsayers searched for runic signs. Strangely, the home side dropped to mere high mortality after this, and great credit must be afforded Marys for overcoming shock and getting to terms with the game, even if later they were to concede two more converted tries to one neat try crafted by Craig Kennedy.
Nure have a balanced, skilful and focused team, with a large pack and an exceptional backline. If they can maintain sustained levels of play they must be considered very strong contenders for the title and, as our dazed and shocked president, David Fanagan, had earlier wryly commented, bring back the AIL trophy to Dublin 6 for the third time.

Yes, the Marys lads did rally and showed character as they laboured away for the full 80 minutes. It was difficult, as Nure were predominant in the set pieces, so it called for relentless striving in loose play. In the pack, the back row in particular worked to drop, with David O’Connor leading and David Aspil in support. The half backs although under pressure, managed well and Robbie Glynn at Nine, kept pace on the game and put pressure on the Nure defence, with sharp breaks. He covered and supported well too and had an overall hard impression on the game. He received the SoftCo MoM award. Further out, Myles Carey, who had been ill in bed the day before the game, showed his bravery and ability, he like his colleagues, worked hard all game and he broke the gain line repeatedly.

All said, it was Terenure who deservedly took the honours and celebrated. This is a fixture repeating in various guises over 70 years, and fortunes have swayed and swung. No doubt there will be other days we will leave Lakelands forlorn and frustrated but hopeful as ever, with gracious acceptance. On the other hand there will be occasions when we shall prevail and rejoice, again without arrogance or triumphalism. These are the things that make club rugby special and forge respect and friendships that defy shatter. Long may it prosper! Immediately, some stayed and had a draught of Lakeland water, others wandered off in a bewildered state to contemplate e=mc2 or even the exactitude of summer time in the snow.

It is incumbent on all of us at St Marys, now to concentrate on support of our team as it faces future-defining playoffs in a few weeks’ time. Work will be done to sharpen edges and bolster defences. Meantime, we face Clontarf at home on Saturday 7th April, and we visit Garryowen the following week. Let us all remember “we are Marys boys who wear the blue and white”. Like all other clubs we have faced these challenges before. We shall overcome them too, but we need constancy of support from all in our club, we need too the physical presence of support.

D O’Brien

Team (Rolling Replacements X12)
15 S Kearns, 14 M Timmons, 13 Marcus O’Driscoll, 12 M Carey, 11 C Kennedy 10 C Dean, 9 R Glynn, 8 D O’Connor, 7 H Kelleher, 6 D Aspil, 5 C O’Flaherty,4 C Ruddock (Capt), 3 A Coyle, 2 H Kean, 1 T O’Reilly, R Halpin, E Ferron, N McCarthy, P O’Driscoll, M Joyce.