Old Belvedere handed their Dublin 4 rivals UCD quite a beating on the opening day of the AIB League, as they ran in five tries in front of new coach Phil Werahiko.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, October 4
OLD BELVEDERE 30 UCD 14, Anglesea Road
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: Dave Mongan, Phil Treacy 2, Eddie Devitt, Leo Auva’a; Con: Conal Keane; Pen: Conal Keane
UCD: Tries: Michael Hastings, Kevin Croke; Cons: Killian Lett 2
Wind-assisted, Old Belvedere’s clever kicking got them into try-scoring situations and they turned around with a 22-0 interval lead.
Their bonus-point-clinching try arrived in the 38th minute when impressive number 8 Leo Auva’a powered over the line.
UCD nabbed two converted scores from Michael Hastings and Kevin Croke, but a second try for winger Phil Treacy put the seal on the home win.
UCD were on a hat-trick of league wins over Belvedere but the hosts soon put that thought to bed with a fantastic first half display.
Hoping to impress new coach Phil Werahiko, Belvedere opened well and established some good early territory with the wind behind them.
Leinster prospect Eoin O’Malley unlocked the UCD defence as early as the third minute when he worked Dave Mongan into space and the winger had the gas to race over from 35 metres out.
O’Malley was also involved in the second try which was dotted down by Treacy in the other corner, nine minutes in.
UCD struggled for possession and with Conal Keane and Ruairi Cushion keeping Belvedere in the students’ half, it was only a matter of time before more tries followed.
UCD slipped off too many tackles and when Devitt was allowed to cross out wide for the hosts’ third try, ‘College coaches Bobby Byrne and Gary Coakley must have been tearing their hair out.
Worse followed when Auva’a, a New Zealand import, stormed over for the bonus point-clinching score just before half-time.
Rather than kick possession downfield and rely on their lineout, UCD opted to run the ball more often than not during a well-contested second period.
Credit must go to the students, they made a game of it as Hastings and Croke grabbed tries either side of the hour mark.
But by the time Croke had got his score, Belvedere were already safe thanks to another Treacy try and a penalty from Keane.