Rockwell College bridged a 22-year gap as they won the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup for the 20th time with a superb performance over defending champions St. Munchin’s College at Musgrave Park this afternoon.
This was a great advertisement for schools rugby with both sides willing to run the ball at every opportunity in a game that produced five tries.
Rockwell were the more determined side but Munchin’s like true champions battled to the end.
Rockwell Coach Danny Lambe was thrilled with his side’s performance.
“I think we played very well and also the conditions.
“Munchin’s really put it up to us but in the end the boys fought hard and they got the result.
“They put in the hard work and they got the result.
“The decision to play on the Astro turf in Musgrave Park suited us.
“We are a really fit team and we like to spread the ball and this was just what we really want’
“The school has not won this trophy in 22 years it is massive.”
Rockwell despite playing into a strong wind dominated the opening half and shrewd tactical kicking by out half Rory Collins after the interval kept Munchin’s pined back for long periods.
Rockwell laid siege to the Munchin’s life from the start with Liam Shine, Brian Gleeson and Tom Downey making strong bursts.
Rockwell skipper Henry Buttimer was held up on the line and from the resulting scrum Gleeson barged over for the opening try after seven minutes which went unconverted.
Three minutes later Munchin’s were ahead 7-5 Harry Bennis and Kieran Tracey combined to setup Stephen Hayes for a try and Cillian O’Connor converted.
Pressure by the Rockwell pack was rewarded on thirteen minutes when following several drives for the line hooker Cian Meaney touched down and Collins converted.
Rockwell were dominating the Munchin’s line out in the opening stages but Shane Hannan got to grips with it and won several clean ball for his side.
Two minutes before the break a super run from inside his own half saw Darius Achimugu weave through the Munchin’s defence to score his side’s third try for a 17-7 half time run.
On the resumption Rockwell continued to pin Munchin’s back with Munchin’s Konrad Jezierski pulling off a try saving tackle on Collins.
Midway through the half Collins landed a penalty to make it 20-7.
Back came Munchin’s and after Liam Angermann and Joshua Costello were held up, prop Gus Harrington touched down for an unconverted try.
Sensing the game slipping from them, Rockwell raised their game and Collins kicked a penalty to make it 23-12 with eight minutes remaining.
Collins went in under the posts for a try in added time but the score was disallowed following a Touch Judge’s flag but moments later the final whistle sounded to the joy of the large Rockwell support.
Rockwell: C Hogan; D Achimugu, R Wall, H Buttimer, P McGarry; R Collins, T Ross; L Shine, C Meaney, J Browne; O Ediale, E Dunphy; T Downey, S Neville, B Gleeson.
Replacements: J Lawrence, D Moroney, T Chanda, L Cummins, N Maher, CJ Coleman, B Farrell, T Collier, D Clarke, Z Lynch.
St. Munchin's: J O'Brien; J Fitzgerald, J Costelloe, L Angermann, R Naughton; C O'Connor, K Tracey; M Imbierowski, H Bennis, G Harrington; S Hannan, S Hayes; S Griffin, K Rea, K Jezierski.
Replacements: C O’Brien, R Costello, B Dillon, M Kelly, D McNamara, E Moore, G Wood, J Madden, O Pepper, N McCarthy.
Referee: K Imbusch (MAR).