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Irish Colleges Score Emphatic Win Over Scots

Irish Colleges Score Emphatic Win Over Scots

Irish Colleges coach Eamonn Molloy was in jubilant mood after his side’s emphatic win over the Scottish Universities at UUJ on Friday. It was Molloy’s second game in charge after being appointed as head coach to the Irish side.


IRISH COLLEGES 45 SCOTTISH UNIVERSITIES 8, University of Ulster, Jordanstown

Scorers: Irish Colleges: Tries: Dan Kenny 3, Brendan O’Brien, Ben Reilly, Mick O’Shea, Jim Taggart; Cons: Brian Collins 3, Phil de Barra 2

Scottish Universities: Try: Andrew Thomson; Pen: David O’Hagan

Molloy is being assisted for the current campaign by Eoin Hogan (Leinster) and Chris Galway (Ulster).

Friday’s game was played under floodlights, with the impressive University of Ulster, Jordanstown campus as the venue and the recently completed High Performance Centre as a backdrop to the game.

Irish Colleges approached the game knowing that nothing less than a win was expected. They had demolished the UK Combined Services Under-23s by 40-0 at the London Irish Club on February 1.

But the crunch final game against England Students, who like the Irish are undefeated, was very much in their thoughts.

The physical attributes, intensity and power of the Scottish forward line looked particularly menacing from the start.

The Scots’ aggressive display was counteracted fairly and squarely by the Irish but in the 18th and 22nd-minutes, the visitors were awarded penalties for Irish infringements – one of which was converted by out-half David O’Hagan.

The power and physical pressure of the Scottish forwards soon lost its momentum with the Irish gradually finding form and back rower Dan Kenny got over for the first of his three tries in the 30th-minute, which Phil de Barra converted.

This try came about as a result of a flat ball taken from the ruck through the hands of de Barra.

The Irish Colleges’ well honed back-line started playing as a cohesive unit and in the 39th-minute Brendan O’Brien scored when he surged to the line, leaving the home side 12-3 ahead for the break.

In the second half, the Scottish forwards battled away endlessly but there was a realisation that there was a lack of conviction in their backs with many passes going astray.

The Irish dominance began to come increasingly into vogue and in particular the Colleges’ forwards.

The pack played a key rol as, in the 52nd-minute, Kenny went over for his second try. The score was a template for the avalanche of tries to come – it came as a result of an interception of a misplaced pass by Scottish centre Marcus McAllister.

The end product of some well-placed passing was a wide ball from Brian Collins to Kenny who barged over for the try.

The tries continued to be scored by the hosts, with efforts in the 57th, 65th, 70th and the 72nd-minutes by Ben Reilly, Mick O’Shea, Jim Taggart and Kenny.

There were successful conversions from de Barra and Collins, who came on as a replacement.

The Scots had their only reply to the now rampant Irish in the 79th-minute with a try by Andrew Thomson.

Overall, this was a good evening’s work by the Irish Colleges, in particular hat-trick hero Kenny who was presented with the man-of-the-match accolade afterwards.

No doubt the Irish Colleges players are now keenly awaiting their final and deciding game in the Four Nations tournament against the England Students on Friday, March 14 in London.

IRISH COLLEGES XV: John Nicol (Stranmillis College, Ballymena); David Rowan (Inst Art Design Tech Dun Laoghaire, Blackrock College RFC), Craig Morrin (IT Tallaght, St. Mary’s College RFC), Mick O’Shea (Garda College, Suttonians), Phil Howard (Inst Art Design Dun Laoghaire, Clontarf); Phil de Barra (IT Carlow, De La Salle Palmerston); Brendan O’Brien (Blackhall Place, Dublin, Wanderers), Shane Cahill (Dun Laoghaire VEC, Blackrock College RFC), Alex O’Sullivan (Inst Art Design Dun Laoghaire, Greystones), Stephen Snell (NCI, Greystones), Barry Holmes (DIT, Greystones), Chris Napier (Belfast Metropolitan College, Ballynahinch), Brian Moroney (IT Tallaght, Terenure College RFC), Dan Kenny (Dun Laoghaire VEC, Greystones), John Downey (Sallynoggin VEC, Greystones).

Replacements used: Jason East (Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology/Sligo RFC), James Taggart (University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Ballymena), Ben Reilly (DCU, Suttonians), Al Birch (University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Armagh RFC), Gary Collins (NUI Galway), Brian Collins (IT Blanchardstown, Old Belvedere), Dermott Sherridan (LIT, Shannon).

Manager: Moss Dineen
Assistant Manager: Mick Poole
Head Coach: Eamonn Molloy
Assistant Coaches: Chris Galway, Eoin Hogan