Wednesday’s Junior Cup Final at Donnybrook promises to be an evenly contested affair between two sides who have won the competition more times than any other schools…Kick Off moved to 4pm…
Blackrock College and Belvedere College square off in a game that is sure to be the biggest experienced in these young rugby players’ lives.
Blackrock will be hoping that a rare opportunity to win the Senior Cup, Junior Cup double will still be on the cards following Monday’s Senior Cup Final against St. Michael’s while Belvedere will be looking to continue their barnstorming form which has seen them score sixty unanswered points at the quarter and semi-final stage, dispatching St. Mary’s 12-0 in the quarters before dominating St. Gerard’s 48-0 in the semi.
Unfortunately for Gerard’s, the short turnaround after their quarter final replay against Newbridge did not help their chances but the professional and clinical manner in which Belvedere dispatched the Wicklow school deserves credit regardless.
While these two victories were highly impressive, there is a remote possibility that Belvedere may be slightly undercooked following two games in which their progress was never in any doubt. On the flipside of this, the Great Denmark St. school should be brimful of confidence and will not fear a ‘Rock side who will provide a much sterner challenge than their previous two opponents.
While Belvedere’s progress to this stage of the competition was relatively smooth sailing, Blackrock’s march towards a record 47th title has been nearly as care-free with the South Dublin team turning on the style in the previous two rounds. In the quarter final, Peter Smyth’s side had far too much firepower for a valiant Gonzaga side who they brushed aside 32-10 before dumping last year’s champions St. Michael’s out at the semi-final stage in an impressively physical 20-3 victory.
Although the margin of victory was somewhat flattering for ‘Rock, there can be no doubting they deserve their place in Wednesday’s showdown and undoubtedly will be relishing the opportunity to draw swords against one of their fiercest rivals.
There should be no lack of hunger amongst Belvedere either, who are looking to capture their first Junior Cup title since 2005, a relatively barren spell for one of the traditional powerhouses of the schools game. Whichever way this one goes, it promises to be a royal struggle until the last.
Leinster Schools Junior Cup Final
Blackrock College v Belvedere College SJ
*Note change of time