The Garryowen Under-19s played some superb flowing rugby to claim the Crystal Vase for the winners of the inaugural Tribes Tens tournament, sponsored by RDJ Glynn Solicitors, in Glenina last weekend.
Garryowen, Shannon, Ennis and host Galwegians were the participants in the inaugural Tribes Tens event which it is hoped will become a permanent fixture in the Under-19 rugby calendar.
A new website has been created for the tournament with reports, statistics and lots more available for all competing clubs to enjoy at www.tribestens.com.
The superbly organised event took place over four hours at Crowley Park in the heart of Galway city and players from all teams revelled in the extra space afforded to them by the ten-a-side format.
Garryowen proved to be the class act on the day, winning all bar one of their matches, but they were pushed all the way by an impressive Ennis side in the final which ended on a scoreline of 19-12 to the Limerick outfit.
Shannon and Galwegians played out the Bowl final which was won by the hosts, who were boosted by the late arrival of fresh legs to defeat a tiring Shannon side by 26-12 in an entertaining prelude to the excellent final.
The games lasted for 14 minutes each and provided non stop drama from the very outset. Galwegians opened the competition against Shannon and despite Ronan Burke's first half try, Shannon bounced back with a second half intercept try from Conor Cunnane, converted by Cormac Ryan, for a 7-5 win.
Match two saw a spirited Ennis defeat Garryowen 10-7 for the first surprise of the day. Shane O'Connor's well struck drop goal sealed the result after both sides scored a converted try in each half.
Garryowen bounced back to overwhelm Galwegians in the third game, 31-0, in what was their best performance of the tournament. Robin Healy scored two tries in the win.
There were two edge of the seat draws between Ennis and Shannon firstly and then Galwegians and Ennis, before Garryowen booked a place in the final by winning their last pool game - they beat local rivals Shannon 17-12, with tries from Ben Sweeney and Robin Healy.
The Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 squads had a busy Easter period with seven matches played in Ashbourne, Cardiff, Llanelli, Caerphilly and Bordeaux. Check out some of the tries scored. Full match reports are available on www.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking to RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was asked about prioritising players playing in Ireland when it comes to national selection over those who are based overseas.
In an interview broadcast on RTE Radio 1's 'Sunday Sport' programme, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the summer tour to the USA and Japan, and also looked ahead to next month's Rugby World Cup Pool Draw.
Speaking about working with the provinces and monitoring players' progress, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt told RTE Radio 1: "For us, having the best quality of performance within the provinces, getting some really good coaching from the provincial coaches, which we know is happening at the moment, that's the foundation that we need because in the end we get the players in a match week pretty much."
In an interview with RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed that Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O'Gara will be incorporated into the coaching group for the upcoming summer tour to the USA and Japan.
IRFU National Talent Development Manager Hendrik Kruger says the Easter age-grade internationals give the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 players 'the chance to represent their country and experience international rugby' and are 'the highlight of their season'.
The Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools team (sponsored by PwC) played the England U-18 Counties side in the first of two matches at Ashbourne RFC this week. Check out the highlights from Wednesday's entertaining clash.
Four of our stadiums through the eyes of four Irish sporting legends. O'Driscoll on Aviva Stadium, Brogan on Croke Park, Matthews on Kingspan Stadium and O'Connell on Thomond Park. The world is invited #Ireland2023.
Irish Rugby TV caught up with flanker Sean O'Brien to get his reaction following Ireland's hard-earned 13-9 victory over RBS 6 Nations champions England. He singled out man-of-the-match Peter O'Mahony for special praise.
Peter O'Mahony reflects on what went wrong for Ireland in Cardiff and tells Irish Rugby TV that he is focusing on the squad and their work this week ahead of the final Six Nations game against England.
The Ireland squad paid a visit to Monaghan last week and held an open training session in Monaghan RFC. We spoke to Andrew Trimble after the session which was attended by over 2,000 cheering supporters.