NUIG-Corinthians recorded a seven try thumping of UCC at Dangan in the U 20 Donal Walsh Trophy playoffs on a sunny Saturday afternoon perfect for playing open rugby.
The try bonus point that eluded the home side against Highfield at Corinthian Park the previous week was secured in the first half as NUIG-Corinthians remedied the poor handling and inaccurate back play that cost them the extra point last Saturday.
Fullback, Patrick Griffin, helped himself to a first half hat-trick with silky broken field running and lock, Peter Claffey, outstanding throughout, plundering a brace for himself.
Inside centre, Philip Murphy and hooker, Pat O’Toole, added tries in the second period with openside flanker, Eoin Perry and replacement prop, Noel Roche, replying for the visitors.
Both sides entered into the tie on the back of victories but it was one way traffic for the duration of the match.
The opening score of the day came in the fifth minute thanks to the home forwards, who dominated throughout. NUIG-Corinthians mauled the ball for 35 yards up to the try line where UCC managed to stall the inevitable and bring down the drive. The ball was spread wide and Griffin used his pace to get round his opposing man to touch down in the corner for his first of the day.
Wing, Joss Murray, who took over the kicking duties this week, was unsuccessful with the conversion. (5-0)
The lead was increased again in the 15th minute when Claffey dived over from close range after numerous phases on the UCC line.
Murray made no mistake with the extra two points to make the scores 12-0.
The home team’s pack was on top and their third try came courtesy of a stolen lineout. The ball was tapped down to scrumhalf, David O’Mahoney, who fired the pill wide. It eventually found its way to Griffin who used a combination of pace and power as he left UCC’s defenders in his wake to go over the whitewash again in the 23rd minute.
Murray was incredibly unlucky with his touchline conversion as it rebounded off the bar. (17-0)
The bonus point was obtained after 36 minutes as NUIG-Corinthians used the width of the pitch to good effect once again. Centre, Murphy, received the ball and the number 12 brilliantly drew the defence and popped an inside pass to the on rushing Griffin who sliced through the defensive line to complete his hat-trick.
Murray bisected the posts and NUIG-Corinthians held a deserved 24 point advantage for first half of possession and territorial dominance at the break.
There were strong words and certain truths spoken in the UCC half time huddle but it appeared not to have the desired effect as Claffey crossed for his second of the match in the 42nd minute.
Murray’s attempt at goal drifted wide. (29-0)
UCC did not let their heads drop and entered their best period of sustained possession and pressure in the game and were rewarded when flanker, Perry, pounced on a charge down close to NUIG-Corinthians’ line to register the first score of the clash for the southerners.
Flyhalf, Max Ryan, was off target with his follow up kick after 54 minutes. (29-5)
NUIG-Corinthians responded in the 65th minute with another score. After Claffey was denied his hat-trick by brilliant last ditch UCC defence, the referee called a scrum. A solid set-piece provided an easy run in for Murphy who glided over.
Murray again was off target with his conversion. (34-5)
The visitors refused to lie down and proceeded to batter the NUIG-Corinthians’ try line. But a well read intercept by flyhalf, Cathal Evans, led to another score for the home team.
Evans did not have the pace and put a delicate chip ahead for Murphy. The centre collected and despite being hauled down managed to offload to hooker, Pat O’Toole, who crashed over for a wonderful try after 71 minutes.
Murray’s conversion was off the mark. (39-5)
To their credit UCC did not throw in the towel and had the last say when replacement, Noel Roche, burrowed over in the 80th minute.
Ryan missed the conversion and the scores finished 39-10 in favour of NUIG-Corinthians.
NUIG-Corinthians’ next match is away to Kanturk/Charleville
Tries- Griffin (3), Claffey (2), Murphy, O’Toole
Cons- Murray (2)
Tries- Perry, Roche
15 Patrick Griffin, 14 Joss Murray, 13 Ruairi Greene, 12 Philip Murphy, 11 Conor O’Sullivan, 10 Cathal Evans, 9 David O’Mahoney, 1 Shane Faulkner, 2 Pat O’Toole, 3 Craig Hansberry, 4 Thomas Fegan, 5 Peter Claffey, 6 Aaron Broderick, 7 Ian Kilcoyne, 8 Roy Stanley
16 Michael O’Connell, 17 Kevin Harty, 18 Michael Donohue, 19 Peter Ennis, 20 Maurice Brosnan, 21 Josh Foley, 22 Johannas Olsthoorn
15 Eoin O’Carroll, 14 Cal Óg Healy, 13 Tim Cronin, 12 Andrew McCarthy, 11 Feargual O’Nuallain, 10 Max Ryan, 9 Hugh O’Keefe, 1 Seanus Hogan, 2 Ciaran Fagan, 3 Michael McGann, 4 Aaron Daly, 5 Joshua Barnes, 6 Dylan Lane, 7 Eoin Perry, 8 Paul O’Regan
16 Karl Hurley, 17 Noel Roche, 18 David Jennings, 19 Aaron Hogan, 20 Shane McHugh, 21 Shane O’Sullivan, 22 Kevin O’Keefe
Matt Cassidy @ Dangan