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Trinity Extend Unbeaten Run To Five Games

Trinity Extend Unbeaten Run To Five Games

Connacht’s Craig Ronaldson – a Division 1A title winner with Lansdowne in 2013 – returned to Ulster Bank League action on Saturday, lining out in the number 10 jersey for Corinthians against Dublin University.

However, Ronaldson was unable to inspire the Galway club to victory at College Park as Trinity outscored the visitors by four tries to one to emerge with a terrific 31-13 win – their first bonus point success of the campaign.

The students were in fine running form early on and dominated both possession and position without actually getting the payback in terms of points.

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That was until they kept hammering away during several phases in the visitors' 22. Outstanding scrum half Angus Lloyd picked out league debutant Bryan Mollen with a skip pass and the winger, making the step up from the Under-20 grade, touched down from close range.

Jack McDermott missed the conversion and although Trinity remained on the front foot, their Galway opponents were superbly organised in defence and scrambled well when under bouts of pressure.

Ronaldson kicked two first half penalties for the visitors, but in between Trinity's workhorse lock Raef Tyrrell finished off a 14-phase move for try number two – receiving the scoring pass from his captain Paddy Lavelle.

Although Tony Smeeth's side took a 10-6 lead into the second half, they certainly had a lot more work to do, and were perhaps a little mindful of what happened last week when they had a 17-0 advantage erased by Buccaneers.

Trinity's worst fears were realised when their full-back Conor Kearns, who impressed in general play, slipped and failed to field a speculative kick through from Corinthians and the ball rolled free for his opposite number Conor Murphy to touch down. Ronaldson's conversion gave made it 13-10.

Crucially, Corinthians tired given their defensive workload and Trinity found a second wind to race clear on the scoreboard during the final quarter. They laid the foundations with a trio of well-struck penalties by McDermott, who had the home side 19-13 ahead with a quarter of an hour remaining.

They then kicked it up a gear with two closing tries for a valuable five-point return. Lloyd ran in a superb individual effort when he broke clear, sidestepped the cover and won the race to the corner flag.

McDermott missed the conversion but managed to add the extras to Andy Keating's final try as the big replacement prop crashed over following some terrific continuity from Smeeth's well-drilled team.

The result sees Trinity move up to fourth in a highly competitive Division 1B and extends their unbeaten run in the league to five games. Quite a turnaround considering they lost their first three fixtures back in September.

Referee: Oisin Quinn (IRFU)