Rockwell advanced to the quarter-finals of the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup with a four-try victory over Bandon Grammar School.
It was their second game in a row holding their opponents scoreless, after a 66-0 victory over High School Clonmel, as Bandon bow out of the competition.
After a minute’s silence for former Bandon student Cameron Blair, who died tragically this month, Rockwell scored with their first and last attacks of the first half at Musgrave Park.
Pressure from Alan Flannery and John O’Sullivan forced Bandon into an early defensive line-out, Richard Anglim pounced on a loose throw and charged into the 22. From there, Rockwell let their backs loose, with Joshua O’Dwyer holding the last man and playing in Tom Tobin to touch down. A biting crossfield wind took O’Sullivan’s conversion attempt well wide.
It wasn’t for the lack of territory that Bandon were held scoreless, but a series of indiscretions that gave Rockwell easy outs. Spilled balls and penalties in contact characterised their attack, while Rockwell showed a greater fluidity of offloading and quick ball going forward.
Their second try came in the 28th minute, after breaks from O’Dwyer and Sam Tarleton. Adam Maher drew a penalty before taking it through the phases, with Cathal Kelly burrowing over to finish. O’Sullivan’s sideline conversion carried just over into the wind. 12-0.
And in first-half injury time, Rockwell had their third try. Their impressive captain Flannery, brother of Ireland U20 Grand Slam-winner Jake, Tarleton, and Peter Wall gained ground in a flowing move and when switched to the other flank, the Tipperary school had a 3-on-1, with O’Dwyer passing to hooker Dean Fanning to score. O’Sullivan missed the kick.
They came for more right after the restart, with Joshua D’Alton sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on five metres out. Rockwell couldn’t capitalise on two close-range line-outs but from the subsequent scrum, they put the ball through the hands for Wall to score. O’Sullivan nailed another tricky kick.
Bandon’s best passage of play was to follow, keeping Rockwell pinned back for six minutes but impressive tackling kept them out.
Bandon ran their bench early and ran the ball from all parts of the pitch, too, in an attempt to get on the scoreboard. It made for an attractive second-half, with Adam Murphy coming closest when he was denied by the linesman for a foot in touch before diving over.
However, it wasn’t to be as Rockwell defended their line to the end.
L McCarthy; E Nash, N Greene, J D’Alton, D Collis; L Archer, J Kevane; C Coomey (capt), H Golden, B O’Donnell; J Walsh, DJ Bakker; I Akabogu, T Blennerhassett, A Murphy.
C Aherne, C Walton, J Coughlan, T Good, B McSweeney, C Bateman, D Hall, J Appelbe, N Burke, K Buttimer.
J O’Dwyer; P Wall, S Tarleton, A Flannery (capt), T Tobin; J O’Sullivan, A Maher; D Foley, D Fanning, M Burke; L Fogarty, B O’Dea; C Kelly, R Anglim, S Shine.
K Grogan, M Mulligan, M Bergin, D Achimugu, C Meaney, J Browne, J Heffernan, O Fagan, H Buttimer, R Wall.
K Barry (MAR).