They did most of the damage in the first 30 minutes but the final score does little justice to the huge effort and challenge provided by the rank outsiders.
Constitution skipper Gerry Hurley gave them credit: “We approached the game with the view that Bruff would provide us with a huge challenge and that was the case. Bruff have some excellent players and some really good decision-makers.
“We started very well which was a relief and they didn’t quite get out of the traps. Maybe some would have felt we should have pulled away, but once they got a sniff of it they were back in the game and made us work very hard for the win.”
Ultimately, however, Constitution had just too much firepower and that extra bit of class to ensure they advanced to the semis.
They certainly had too much ammunition in that opening 30 minutes, with Hurley kicking an opening penalty in the sixth minute before his side struck for two excellently worked tries, both finished by flying winger Rob Jermyn and one converted by out half Darragh Lyons.
Paul Downes had opened Bruff’s account with a 22nd minute penalty and number eight Danny Keogh muscled his way over for a 37thminute try to leave just ten points between the teams.
The visitors remained in the hunt throughout the third quarter and it took a third Constitution try midway through the half to put an end to the challenge. That came from Andy O’Driscoll with Lyons converting. A fourth try from Gavin Duffy four minutes from the end stretched the advantage to 22 points.
Constitution face Young Munster in a fortnight and Hurley expects another searching examination, as well as providing his team with an opportunity for revenge. “They beat us here in the league a few weeks ago and it’s going to be another dogfight. Young Munster are very strong this year, strong panel, well coached, well drilled and they’re just one of those teams that always seem to cause us problems, so it could be a classic cup game.”
Scorers for Cork Constitution: Tries. R Jermyn (2), A O’Driscoll, G Duffy. Pens. D Lyons, G Hurley. Convs. D Lyons (2)
Scorers for Bruff: Try. D Keogh. Pen. P Downes
CORK CONSTITUTION: L Duffy, C McAuliffe, M Keyes, N Hodson, R Jermyn, D Lyons, G Hurley (captain), C Corkery, A O’Driscoll, G Sweeney, F McSwiney, D O’Brien, A Ross, S Dwyer, G Lawlor.
Replacements: A Dorgan for Hurley (25), T Quinn for McAuliffe (33), S Galvin for O’Driscoll, G Duffy for Sweeney, C O’Flaherty for O’Brien, J Murphy for Hodson, L Cahill for Duffy (all 73).
BRUFF: D O’Grady, R Finn, S Darcy, G Leonard, D Bannon, P Downes, T Cahill, S Foster, J Clery (captain), K Laffan, B Laffan, T O’Dwyer, M Cooke, M Carroll, D Keogh.
Replacements: G O’Connell for B Laffan (25, injured) T Quirke for Clery (49, injured), D Mulcahy for Leonard, T Carroll for Keogh (both 67)
Referee: K Inbusch (IRFU).