The Irish Colleges squad had a well-deserved victory against the Scottish Universities at the well manicured Lasswade rugby club grounds, Hawthornden, near Edinburgh, on Friday evening.
COLLEGES INTERNATIONAL MATCH: Friday, March 13
SCOTTISH UNIVERSITIES 11 IRISH COLLEGES 36, Hawthornden
Scorers: Scotland: Try: Peter Saunders; Pens: Fraser Lyle 2
Ireland: Tries: Ben Reilly, Darragh Fanning 3, Max Rantz-McDonald 2; Cons: Sean Treacy 2, Peter Brougham
Bouncing back from their narrow defeat by England Students at City of Derry RFC last time out, this Irish Colleges squad portrayed a sense of togetherness, great inspiration and a level of maturity against the Scottish Universities in their final game of the Four Nations student series.
Irish Colleges’ first try was scored in the 10th minute by DCU’s Ben Reilly who received the ball after a great drive by Andrew Kerr with Reilly pushing forward to score.
Five minutes later, Darragh Fanning abandoned caution to embark on a strong run from the 22, side-stepping three tackles in the process, to score under the posts.
This was closely followed by Max Rantz-McDonald scooping up the ball and making the best of his running ability to score the try of the evening. Sean Treacy landed the conversion.
In the dying minutes of the first half the Scottish Universities were awarded a penalty, ably taken by Fraser Lyle, to leave the half-time score 17-3 in the Irish side’s favour.
Into second half, Irish Colleges, coached by Eamonn Molloy and Chris Galway, soaked up persistent pressure from the Scots, who grabbed an early penalty which Lyle converted.
But the Irish eventually turned the game in their favour by scoring a series of magnificent tries.
Fanning completed a fine hat-trick, with Treacy converting one of his second half tries, and then the elusive Rantz-McDonald burst through for his second try, converted by replacement Peter Brougham.
Towards the end of the game, Scottish Universities succeeded in scorings a try through Peter Saunders, leaving the final score 36-11 to the Irish Colleges. The man-of-the-match accolade went to Mark Hamilton from DIT.
SCOTTISH UNIVERSITIES: James Fleming (Stirling University); Redha Guedroudj (Aberdeen University), Fraser Lyle (Aberdeen University), Pete Saunders (Heriot-Watt University), Patrick McQuiston (Stirling University); Euan Kelly (Aberdeen University), David Reekie (Aberdeen University); Gavin Hume (Heriot-Watt University), Angus Dixon (Aberdeen University), Colin Marshall (Dundee University), Gary Temple (Heriot-Watt University), Jamie Rupar (Aberdeen University) (capt), Scott MacKenzie (Abertay University), Dom Dunnett (Aberdeen University), Murray Wyllie (Aberdeen University).
Replacements: Patrick Traylor (Aberdeen University), Gordon McRorie (Stirling University), David Sutherland (Dundee University), John Mawhinney (Dundee University), Greig Ramsay (Aberdeen University), Duncan Browne (St. Andrews University), Alex Jackson (Aberdeen University).
IRISH COLLEGES: Paul Harte (Athlone IT/Buccaneers); Max Rantz-McDonald (DCU/Clontarf), Kevin Lynch (CSN/Dolphin), Lorcan Kavanagh (DCU/Lansdowne), Darragh Fanning (IT Tallaght/St. Mary’s College); Sean Joyce (NUIG/Connemara), Sean Treacy (DCU/Clontarf); Mark Hamilton (DIT/Terenure), Cian Culleton (Sallynoggin /Blackrock) (capt), Neil Simpson (UUJ/Instonians), Andrew Kerr (UUJ /Rainey), Ben Reilly (DCU/Clontarf), John Dever (Garda College/Terenure), Robert Allen (Cork IT/Dolphin), Eoghan Nihill (Blackhall Pl/Wanderers).
Replacements (all used): Andrew Ferguson (UUJ/Ballymena), Batt Duggan (Garda College/UL Bohemians), Paul Galvin (AIT/Buccaneers), (Karl Miller IT Carlow/Old Belvedere), Brian Collins (IT Blanchardstown/Boyne), David McElwaine (UUJ/Queen’s University), Peter Brougham (Cork IT/Cork Constitution).
Referee: Sean Brittle (Wales)