The reigning champions underlined their scoring power; this team has strengths everywhere, running in 11 tries, and no apparent weaknesses, albeit on this occasion against a limited team that had lost all hope of being competitive by midway through the first half.
There will be tougher tasks ahead for Pres and it probably wasn’t the type of challenge the holders wanted, but they could only play what was in front of them.
They did that with superb efficiency and their opponents were left reeling and unable to cope with a barrage of attacking rugby from start to finish, even when the champions emptied the bench in the latter stages.
Pres raced into an unassailable lead inside 12 minutes, backs and forwards combining to destroy an overworked Ardscoil defence that just could not cope with the industry, pace, and skill of the Cork side in full flight.
It was fitting that the four opening tries should have been shared between the two units because both were fully involved in the build-up and execution.
Sean French was the architect of the opening try after five minutes, scored by Mark McCarthy. Sam O’Donovan was set up for the second by French again and the centre kicked the conversion to make it 12-0.
Two more followed quickly; with French converting the scores from Mark McLoughlin and Darragh O’Callaghan in the 10th and 12th minutes to secure a remarkable 26-0 lead.
Ardscoil had more of the play after that but nothing in the way of clear scoring chances. Pres launched another successful offensive before the break. Centre Jonathan Wren had retired with injury but O’Donovan moved into midfield from the wing and grabbed the fifth try in the 29th minute, French converting to stretch the lead out to 33 points.
Pres pushed the lead out to 60 points with tries from French, O’Donovan, Louis Bruce, Eoin Burns, and David Hyland before Cian Murphy grabbed a try for Ardscoil to well-deserved applause. Darragh O’Gormon kicked the conversion
But Pres had more in the tank, the impressive No8 Hyland nabbing his second try right at the end and giving Bruce an easy angle to kick the conversion.
L Bruce; M McLoughlin, S French, J Wren, S O’Donovan; J Broderick, D Harrington; T Ormond, B Scannell (captain), D McCarthy; M McCarthy, E Quilter; A Kendellan, D O’Callaghan, D Hyland.
N Murphy, J O’Shaughnessy, E Burns, M Fitzgibbon, S Horgan, D Murphy, A Keating, R Duggan
C O’Rahilly; C Murphy, K Dineen, G Clancy, L O’Shanahan; D O’Gormon, I Leonard; M Gaule, R Tucker (captain), F Lyons; B Noonan, W O’Callaghan; M O’Callaghan, S Hanley, J Ward-Murphy.
S Clery, J Hourigan, C Moloney, J Taylor, A McNamara, D O’Byrne, O Czyszczon, K Danaher.
R Horgan (M.A.R)