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‘It’s A Massive Day For The Club’ – Lansdowne React To Bateman Cup Success

‘It’s A Massive Day For The Club’ – Lansdowne React To Bateman Cup Success

The Lansdowne players, including captain Jack O'Sullivan, celebrate with the Bateman Cup in Cork ©INPHO/Ben Whitley

Lansdowne head coach Mark McHugh wanted his side to play with pace and they more than delivered in a 46-13 Energia Bateman Cup final win over Young Munster at Musgrave Park.

Recovering from an early 6-0 deficit into the wind and a shaky start at scrum time, Lansdowne went on to rip their Division 1A rivals apart with a clinical attacking display.

Five of their backs shared out seven tries, which included a second half hat-trick for Sean Galvin, and half-backs Cormac Foley, from the Leinster Academy, and Peter Hastie played starring roles.

Young Munster’s effort could not be faulted, but Lansdowne continued to carve them open and a late Conor Phillips score was the Cookies’ only consolation.

After securing another Bateman Cup for Lansdowne exactly 100 years on from their first title, McHugh said: “We knew we had to play with loads of speed and we did that. Delighted with the win, it’s a really important fixture for us.

“That’s the type of rugby that we’re trying to play. The numbers on your back matter for set piece and after that they don’t really matter.

“A lot of our training sessions are based around getting guys comfortable on the ball, comfortable moving the ball.

“Look, it showed out there today. We’d a lot of guys who really stood up and gave performances that were really top class. The messages were mainly just move the ball quick – speed, speed, speed.”

Munsters were only 12-6 behind at the break, but failed to score from purple patches at the start of both halves.

Their head coach Gearoid Prendergast rated it as probably the toughest day he has experienced in his coaching career. “I feel for the boys, they’re gutted,” he said.

“Started really well. Even at half-time we were very much in the game. We had a key moment near their line where we got turned over and they came down and scored. From there on, the floodgates kind of opened.”

Both teams return to league action next Saturday, second-placed Lansdowne travelling to Dublin University and there is a must-win trip to leaders Clontarf for Munsters, who have slipped out of the top four.

Asked about driving on for a possible league and cup double, Lansdowne captain Jack O’Sullivan said: “We’ve a big block of games, obviously Munsters again. We’ll enjoy this tonight and see where it takes us after this.

“We’ve about 40 lads back at training that are pushing for places, so while lads get to wear the jersey today, it’s going to be different lads next week and the week after that.

“It’s just the competition that we have, and we’ll keep pushing that internally for the rest of the season.”