Cork Constitution 15 Young Munster 37: The thin line between success and failure that was so obvious in four tightly-fought games in league and cup last season put Saturday’s Ulster Bank League tie at Temple Hill in the must-see category.
Nobody, however, would have predicted that Young Munster would claim such an impressive victory especially after the hosts raced to an early 10-0 lead.
The win was extra special for Young Munster’s new head of coaching Gearoid Prendergast after the heartbreak of last week’s 35-36 loss to Old Belvedere.
Five tries, two of them excellent efforts from Robin Copeland, proved the difference between the sides while Prendergast’s charges handed out a rare lesson in the finer arts of forward play to a disappointing Constitution.
“We’re delighted with that win, the scrum was a big factor, we played with a lot of determination and we played with discipline after the first quarter when it was a little bit poor.
“We gave away a soft early score which annoyed me but then our scrum got on top, the opening try by Robin made a difference but the couple early in the second half put us in a very good position,”noted Prendergast.
Con’s coaching director Brian Hickey admitted it was a bad day at the office: “We were comprehensively beaten by a very good side. It was different from last year when there were frustrating games when we lost by a point here and there; we were never too far away then, but this time we were beaten in virtually every aspect. The set piece had been good for us up to now but we got a lesson in all aspects of it, scrum, line-out and kick off and that was our undoing because it gave them the platform they required and we were on the back foot for a long time.”
From Con’s point of view, the most disturbing feature of the match was the inability, even with two distinct prop groupings, to cope with the Young Munster scrum. “I think they (the lads) were a bit frustrated with what was allowed but he (referee) was the same for both sides and I think both loose-head props particularly were having the same issues. There were problems at kick-off time as well, particularly on two occasions. They should have been gobbled up. But there were poor decisions made to try to control it with the foot instead of picking up the ball. They brought a bit more to it than just the scrum, but we also struggled in the breakdown, at the tackle area, and overall we were a poor second, to be honest.”
Scorers for Cork Constitution:
S Daly, L O’Connell try each, T Quinlan penalty, conversion.
Scorers for Young Munster:
R Copeland 2 tries, A Kennedy, R Guerin try each, penalty try, D O’Mahony 2 penalties, 3 conversions.
S Daly; L O’Connell, N Hodson, N Kenneally (captain), R Jermyn; T Quinlan, J Poland; G Duffy, M Abbott, G Sweeney; B Hayes, C Barry; G Lawler, J Murphy, E Mintern.
L O’Connor, R Burke, S Dwyer, J Higgins, JJ O’Neill.
A Tynan; J Harrington, C Nash, M Doyle, D O’Mahony; A Griesel, R Guerin; G Ryan, G Slattery (captain), C Skeehan; A Ross, M Madden; R Copeland, D Walsh, S Rennison.
P Meyer, C Barclay, D Ryan, A Kennedy, P Downes.
G Conway (IRFU).
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