Sunday, 22 April 2018

Cleary Cup Final

You Win or You Learn

“You win, or you learn”. That quote was never more relevant than it was for our U15’s boys rugby team after we came out the wrong side of our North Munster Schools Cup Final last Friday in Clanwilliam. There is no point in reminiscing over all the little variables that may, or may not have contributed to the final result. Doing so has never changed the result of any match. What is important to reflect on however, is the standards these boys have brought to rugby in the school.

Our focus over the last few weeks has been on absolute hard work. The message we sold to the boys was that talent never won anything. They now understand that hard work supersedes talent all day long and without it you get nowhere in rugby. The work they put into our first half try took the effort of all 15 players with Leon barging his way over the line, for what was a super score.
When you are 10-5 down at half-time, you are absolutely still in the game. But, when you are camped between their 10 meter and their try line for the entire second half, you always expect to get the return you deserve for your dominance. We just could not get over the line and David came very close at the death. The effort and commitment these boys put into winning that game last Friday was just brilliant to watch. This commitment was epitomised by nobody more than our captain Tadhg who, after getting a bad knock to his leg just before half-time, did all he could to play through the pain barrier, but it was just too much of an ask. He was a huge loss for the second 30. They gave it everything and we could not have asked for anymore. The Villiers jersey was on display and they promoted it with pride.

There is no silverware to display at the end of a good season, but so much was achieved outside of that. Thomas is going to a final Munster Clubs trial this Wednesday in U.L and he has the full support of all his teammates. Tommy is probably our most improved player. Fahad seems to be getting faster and Max’s leadership qualities sets him apart from any opposition player he comes up against.
What gives me great hope for the future is that we have one of the best 15yr old rugby players I have seen in years in Eoin. He dislocated his thumb in a rugby match on Wednesday, got it popped back in, strapped it up and just got on with it. 48 hours later he put in an utterly dominant performance and battered everything that came his way in a Clonmel jersey. He is one to watch for the future.

Unfortunately, it was not to be this time, but lessons were learned and reputations were enhanced. There were tears at the end, but that just shows how much they care. There is no shame in not winning a cup final in that manner. These boys will have some great days in rugby. Last Friday was not one of them, but down the line, they will reflect on that match and understand that they gained so much from this performance.

We have already set a target for next season. This team is going to put everything into qualifying for the Munster ‘A’ Schools Junior Cup. Last October we just came up short against the schools rugby superpower in Presentation Brothers Cork. There was only 4 points in it at the end of that game. If we qualify for the Junior Cup next year, then we might just get an opportunity to make up for that game.

Richie Mc’Caw is the greatest rugby player to have ever played the game and he famously said, “I don’t believe in luck. I believe in hard work”. These boys have that in bucket loads.