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Clancy: Win Was Vital For Us

Clancy: Win Was Vital For Us

Following Lansdowne’s four-try 30-18 defeat of Bruff on Saturday, their head coach Willie Clancy was quick to praise the youth in his squad, while remaining coy about the Dubliners’ chances of a promotion push.

Speaking after the game, Lansdowne’s Willie Clancy said: “A lot of the lads shone through. We have some experienced players but there is an awful lot of youth there, at hooker, tighthead, openside – all 19 or 20 years of age.

“The tighthead that came on, Martin Moore, is only 19, John Cooney is 20-21. A lot of experience in some of the players, but there is a massive difference down to the 20 to 21-year-olds.

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“Obviously we came here to get a win, get ourselves back up the table again and thankfully managed to do that.”

Having fallen 7-0 behind early on with Bruff scrum half Eoghan Maher touching down, Clancy hailed his side’s four-try fightback.

“We went down to Bruff last year and went down 9-0 early on and realised we were in a battle and the same happened here. We needed to dig in and show a bit of character,” he explained.

Trailing 12-10 on the half hour, Lansdowne then blitzed Bruff with two tries in quick succession from Eoin Sheriff and Eoghan Hickey.

Hickey converted Sheriff’s and added a penalty before putting the conversion to his own try wide of the mark, leaving the home side  with a 25-12 half-time lead.

Tasting defeat for the first time in five league matches, Bruff player-coach Eoin Cahill said: “They have done it to us in the past. The last time down in Bruff, they gave us a good beating. They scored in similar circumstances before half-time, getting two or three tries.

“We played well in patches in the first half but when our minds wandered a bit, that is when Lansdowne pounced.”

Cahill felt his side responded after half-time, although they failed to turn their dominance of possession into points.

“It was a big deal at half-time that we were able to start the second half on top and we did. I thought our second half performance was a very good show.

“Without a doubt, they realised the quality they were up against and realised any half chance given would be a score, so we knew we had to go out with a better frame of mind and play with a bit more intent.

“We were happy with the performance near the end when we showed what we were about, but when you give Lansdowne a few soft scores, like we did, you are always fighting an uphill struggle.”

Clancy, whose team are the highest scorers in Division 1B with 197 points, felt the work the players put in showed in the result.

“One to 15 (I was pleased with their performance). Eoin Sheriff in the second row, Jordi Murphy at seven, John Cooney had a good game at nine and Matt Healy was always a threat up the left wing.

“Overall, it was a good team performance. It has been a difficult five or six weeks since the Clontarf match (back in November) and we just wanted to get a win on the board and nothing more than that.

“We’ve worked very hard over the last six or seven weeks. The Academy lads have obviously worked hard with Colm McEntee at Leinster and the guys who have been here Tuesday/Thursday have worked very hard over Christmas.

“Whereas at the start of the season, I am not a big fan of luck, but things didn’t really go our way. (Today) we got a couple of breaks and thankfully we capitalised on those breaks.”

Despite the win moving Lansdowne up to third in the table, Clancy was quick to dispell any notions of a promotion push at this point.

“To be honest I don’t think it has anything to do with promotion. It was all about getting a win,” he added.

“We are certainly not going to delude ourselves. We have an awful lot to work on. We have had a tough first half to the season but we are only halfway there, and there is an awful lot of rugby to be played between now and the end of the season.

“One week at a time. We are not looking at promotion, we are just looking at one week at a time and one half at a time.”

Related Links –

Bruff’s Run Ended By Four-Try Lansdowne

All-Ireland League Tables