Saturday, 24 March 2018

U15 Cleary Cup semi-final win

Exhausted is an understatement. But that’s what witnessing an exceptionally close cup match can do to you. As we faced Nenagh St. Joseph’s in The Cleary Cup semi-final today, we saw a game that was demanding on the players in both a mental and physical capacity. Nenagh are a side with good skills and comparable work rate. While physically superior to us, we dominated them at the breakdown. Over the last few weeks the breakdown has been our main area of focus. Different techniques were introduced to the boys and they put them into practice on the pitch today with great effect. Our forwards were a credit to themselves, their school and their upbringing. They were fearless against the bigger team. Our front row of Christian, Ross and Godwin showed determination, endurance, grit and passion in defence. In the second row David Keane and Victor won lineout ball, carried, passed, tackled and did everything asked of them for the 70 minutes. They were brilliant. There is no doubt in my mind we have one of the best backrow units in U15’s schools rugby throughout Munster. Max, Thomas and Eoin were simply immense today. They epitomised teamwork. These boys are both dogged and skilled at the same. You couple that with an earnestness that would inspire some of the great names in the game, then you know you have something special at your disposal in these three boys. Noah Patterson did not pass one ball out of place today. He was so accurate with his distribution and even managed a couple of snipes at the breakdown. Outside him, Doug Howell portrayed a sidestep that you just cannot coach. He left defenders in his wake with break after break. Our centres of Vincent and Glenn drove at their carriers and blitzed their line a number of times making huge ground. Our ¾ line of Diarmuid, Fahad and Tommy McDowell showed great instincts in carrying Nenagh’s kicks back towards their defensive line while leaving several defenders in their wake. Tommy 8’s getting better with every game and his confidence in growing more and more. Diarmuid will just throw himself at anything that comes his way. He portrays a toughness that contradicts his size. Guy came on at fullback at halftime and secured the back field area. He tidied up so much ball and was a great addition. We had a number of standout moments in what was a thrilling match: Eoin McCormack’s try and overall dominant performance. He was simply brilliant. Fahad’s two tries and general mayhem causing jinking runs. Ross O’Shea performed a miracle tackle in the corner 1ft from our try line. He just worked and worked until he reached their winger and put in a tackle that forced a knock on at the line. It was a massive sigh of relief and a huge contributor to winning this nail biting schools cup semi-final. Max put in a hit towards the end of the match when the pressure was on. He drove their player back 3 yards and we turned over the ball. With 2 minutes left, it was a key. Success does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Success is no accident. There are no secrets to success. It is the result of graft, learning from your losses and persistence in seeking perfection. What these U15’s boys have above all else is loyalty to one another. That is key to team success. The final is on the 13th of April. Their ability as rugby players will be tested that day, but do not question these boy’s loyalty and character. They have it in bucket loads. Friday the 13th! Will it be lucky for Villiers? Something tells me it will.