2023 Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Vinnie Murray Senior Cup Preview
January 6, 2023 2:00 pm Des Berry
The Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Vinnie Murray Senior Cup begins on Tuesday with an attractive double-header down for decision at Energia Park.
Holders CUS will open the competition against High School, while King’s Hospital will entertain Newpark.
The four remaining First Round matches are scheduled for Wednesday. Last year’s finalists St Fintan’s, and St Columba’s have received byes into the Second Round.
Tickets for all the games in Energia Park can be bought here.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 10th
The High School v Catholic University School, Energia Park, KO 1.15.
The High School has had a long and proud history, the first record of a rugby team in the school dating back to November 1876.
They were involved in the first edition of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup competition in 1887, the school playing in the first-ever match, losing by a single dropped goal to the eventual champions Blackrock College.
Captain Andrew Farrelly is ably supported by Chris De Lacy and Fergus Kelly, further boosted by the experience of Matteo Sanvito, Oliver Davey, Jack Barlow and Alexander Stewart.
However, the significant contribution of 4th and 5th years Sam Neely, Milo Lavelle, Sam McNamara, Adam Jordan, Finn McLean, Alexander Bowden, James Cox, Tomas Taylor and Elliot Walsh means this might be a year too soon.
Catholic University School won the Vinnie Murray Cup last year for the second time after an 11-year wait.
The focus is on the holistic growth and development of each individual and this team has reflected the School’s mission so far this season.
With the emphasis on “team first”, every player in the squad understands his role and is fully committed to team success.
Captain and hooker Lucas Maguire is an inspirational character, who has been part of the Leinster Schools squad for two years.
Head coach Marc Adam is able to call on a host of other boys with Senior Cup experience in Conall Lohan, Dualta Larkin, Hugh Quigley, Rian Tracey, Jack Grant, Oliver Manks, Ruben Maguire, Niall Cox and Sean Byrne.
The Kings Hospital v Newpark Comprehensive, Energia Park KO 3.30.
Last year’s Leinster Schools out-half Luke Fogarty leads a King’s Hospital attack ideally operating off fast ball for an ambitious game plan.
The backline is coached by former Springbok Dan van Zyl, who hopes to orchestrate a threatening attacking presence.
The centre partnership of Cian Behal-Valle and Edward Nuzum has shown real promise to cause problems in all areas of the pitch.
The squad retains many of the Fr Godfrey-winning squad of 2021, the attacking philosophy based on front-foot carries from a dynamic forward pack, which includes the influential Roger Doyle and James Sugrue.
Newpark Comprehensive has adopted the philosophy of joué, playing a brand of rugby that is pleasing to watch.
Led by the very talented and versatile openside flanker Conor Murphy, Newpark have come through the McMullen Cup, fighting back from ten points down with five minutes to draw with Good Counsel, New Ross.
Since then, Counsel conceded the replay giving impressive second-rower Jacob Llewellyn and out-half, Cathal MacGearailt the opportunity to test themselves at a higher level.
The forward pack is driven by the aggressive ball-carrying skills of hooker Scot Doran and number eight Sami Phelan.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11th.
Ardscoil na Tríonóide v Temple Carrig School, Energia Park KO 1.15.
Ardscoil na Tríonóide has been participating in Leinster Schools competitions since the mid-90s and is now looking forward to its first adventure in the Vinnie Murray Cup.
Although they stuttered through the 1B league before Christmas it is hoped that now with all players available to them, they can give a good account of themselves in the Cup.
Ardscoil tries to play a high-tempo, off-the-cuff game ably directed by their half-backs, Andrew Doyle and James Harris.
Up front their big men, hooker Jack Henry, prop Karol Donoghue, lock Darragh Ashton-Mulhall and number eight James Walsh provide the possession and forward momentum the half-backs require to unleash their backline.
Temple Carrig is building quite the reputation as an outstanding new school in making a significant impact at this level.
This physical, hard-working crew has shown resilience in coming from behind to beat St Fintan’s (19-17) and St Andrew’s (30-27) in the semi-final and final, respectively, of the Division 1B League.
The team is led by the abrasive number eight and captain Adam Williams and classy centre Ollie Barr, who was flawless from the tee in the League final.
The work rate and togetherness of the squad are typified in the pack by Dylan Potts and Dan Stewart, with outside centre Rhys Morgan providing the spark in the backline.
St. Gerard’s School v St Andrew’s College, Energia Park, KO 3.30
Core skills and athletic conditioning have been the pillars of St. Gerard’s School’s framework this season.
Led from the front by Fionán Denver, the number eight has consistently emptied the tank for the school in every game.
Fionán is ably complemented and supported by versatile half-back Jordan Younger, the primary kicker.
Go forward is provided by powerful carriers in prop Eoghan Mc Caul, hooker Cian Geraghty and lock Oisín Denver.
Without the ball, there are a number of strong and brave defensive players in loose forwards Ronan Hopkins and Martin Sweeney and three-quarters Nathan Harte, Conor Balmaine and Ross McCrea.
Following a good campaign, St. Andrew’s College will use the disappointment of losing the Division 1B League final to drive their Cup campaign.
They were pipped at the post by Temple Carrig (30-27) in a game that could have gone either way.
Coaches Ben Ryan and Kevin Croke have put an emphasis on all players being able to move the ball, regardless of position.
It is a team where everyone does their job for the team and winning is a squad effort. This is reflected in the selfless captaincy of Josh Perrem.
Mount Temple Comprehensive School v St Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda, Ashbourne RFC, KO 2.30.
Mount Temple has been building nicely in recent years, winning the McMullen Cup in 2019 and the Division 2A of the Leinster League last season.
This team is led by captain Adam Irvine, their out-half, and vice-captain Ben Dyer in the back row.
It is a mature squad, primarily made up of experienced 6th years, from full-back Ali Watt to loose forward Darragh Matthews.
The pack boasts fine ball carriers in props Ted Laput and Andrew Bloomfeld de Fuentes, who have been central to McMullen Cup wins over Gormanston College and Salesian College.
St Mary’s Diocesan School, better known as “The Marys”, has the physical tools to make life difficult for MT.
They made it through to the first round by beating St Joseph’s 26-7 in a McMullen Cup quarter-final Drogheda derby last Thursday.
The current team is made up of players from Boyne, Balbriggan and Ashbourne rugby clubs, opting for a fast, passing game orchestrated by out-half Luke Carley and centre Charlie Toolan.
A powerful pack features Leinster Clubs locks Mahon Ronan and Lincoln de Year as well as prop Darragh Martin and number eight Hugh Sowray.
Wilsonls Hospital v Skerries Community School, MU-Barnhall, KO 2.30.
Wilson’s Hospital will be eager to build on their 1B League campaign which ended at the semi-final stage against St Andrews (27-8).
This group has lost just three players from last season and will look to Leinster and Ireland Clubs back row Sam Mills to get them over the gain line.
Matthew Conlon and his namesake Bruton are the leaders in this team and are a match for any number eight and hooker in the competition.
Midlands Area representatives, Callum Mulligan, Leke Mogaji, Ciaran McKenna and Killian Bennett have been playing in the Shane Horgan Cup in recent months.
Tom Wheeler calls the shots at ten and will look to ignite an exciting backline with the likes of Eoghan Murray, Scott O’Boyle and Stephen Cahill entering their third senior Cup campaign.
Midlands Star Jude Auld will be the player the team look to for spark having racked up an impressive haul of tries in the 1B League.
The Joe May-coached Skerries Community College look to keep the ball moving through the hands in order to make the best use of a hard-running backline.
There is enough physicality in the forwards from Darragh McEneaney, Liam Nwajei, Sean Price and Mike Branagan to go toe-to-toe.
The counter-attacking instincts of Oisin Hegarty and Johnny Dunne are trusted to give the forwards front-foot rucks to hit.
For those strong enough to come through the first week, they will be joined in the second round by St Fintan’s and St Columba’s.
Comprehensive victories over St. Patrick’s Navan and Wilson’s Hospital qualified St. Fintan’s for the semi-final of the Division 1B league where they lost out 19-17 to Temple Carrig.
Director Of Rugby Marc Kaveh has assumed the Head Coach role and along with Oscar Reilly, they’ve developed a tight-knit group.
Led by captain Conor Cribbin and influential vice-captain Cian Macari-Kelly, there’s talent throughout this team, particularly in the close quarters.
Rory O’Connor-O’Hehir, Tadgh O’Connor-O’Hehir, Marcel Haas, Robert Harvey, Simon Cantwell, Ponamu Pallazetti and Luke Ingle are all involved in the province’s Leinster Metro programme.
St. Columba’s have come through Gorey Community School (23-21), St Benildus College (47-7) and Templeogue College (18-8) in the McMullen Cup to earn a place in the draw.
The Rathfarnham school is built around a strong forward pack led by prop Solomon Babajide, lock Aaron Murray, hooker Ben Patterson and number eight Caleb Owen.
They have been hit with the loss of Ireland U19 Tom Larke, meaning out-half Tomas Casado will have to orchestrate the attack from ten.
Smooth operators Kieran Ovenden, at full-back, and centre Aubrey Gardner are central to the game plan, while Marco Trolese is back from injury.
ARDSCOIL NA TRIONOIDE.
COACHES – James Reeves, Tadhg Kelleher, Keith O’Brien.
CAPTAIN – James Harris.
SQUAD – K Doyle, J Henry, K Donoghue, A Healy, D Ashton-Mulhall, J Fennin, C Lang, J Walsh, A Doyle, J Harris, O Kelleher, T Bride, D Farrell, C Kelly, O Grufferty, C Larn, D Goggin, T Kelly, O Latisev, A Behan, S Zdrajkowski, R McDonnell, S Kavanagh, L Byrne, T Brophy, E Johnson, C Moran, R Harris, P Whelan, J King.
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY SCHOOL
COACHES – Marc Adam (head coach), Connor Kelly (backs), Jacob Maguire (forwards), Mark Synnott (conditioning), Stephen Daly (Manager).
CAPTAIN – Lucas Maguire
SQUAD – Leo Beary, Lucas Maguire, Conal Lohan Kilraine, Evan Judge, Dualta Larkin, Hugh Quigley, Ruben Maguire, Dylan McNeice, Josh Gordon, Niall Cox, Sean Turner, Sean Byrne, Rian Tracey, Sennan Campbell, Jack Grant, Aidan Walsh, Charlie O’Byrne, Oliver Manks, Cathal Lynch, James Ginnelly, Eoghan O’Reilly, Eamon MacNicholas, Mitchell Grant, Oran Redmond, Jude Barrett, Jamie Collins, Euan Thompson, Shane O’Connor, Robbie O’Connell, Hugo Fitzgerald, Gerard Jaksland, Finn Walsh.
COACHES – Caoimhe Morris, Dominick Domianov, Adam Bingham.
CAPTAIN – Adam Irvine.
SQUAD – Andrew Bloomfeld de Fuentes, Stephen Middleton, Ted Laput, Cian O’Donnell, Ciaran Durnford, Thomas Fallon, Darragh Matthews, Ben Dyer, Tadgh Kennedy, Adam Irvine, Ferdia Watson, Evan Lunney, Adam Galligan, Gilly Rodriguez, Ali Watt, Conor Markey, Harry Elliott, Eddie Joyce, Theo Hellier, Matthew Bray, Reuben Matthews, Scott Herin, Will Norton.
COACHES – Simon O’Shea, Michael Doyle.
CAPTAIN – Conor Murphy.
SQUAD – Cian Crowe, Billy McCullagh, Andrew MacAdams, Oscar O’Neill, Sami Phelan, Conor Murphy, Scott Doran, Jacob Llewellyn, Mathew Sherlock Robertson, Henry Ferguson, Ivan Zakharov, Emmet Hodkinson, Mothero Suping, Lewis Thornton, Joey Walsh, Milo Drew, Caleb Ring, Tadhg Clarke, Callum Howard, Cathal MacGearailt, Tom Hay, Alex Drum, Demetrios Hannan, Ollie Fine, Neil Og Cleary.
ST ANDREW’S COLLEGE
COACHES – Ben Ryan; Ciaran O Donoghue, Kevin Croke, Nick Owens.
CAPTAIN – Josh Perrem.
SQUAD – Adam O Toole, Adam Tobin, Andrew McGloine, Arthur Forrest, Charles Beck, Charlie Byrne, Christopher Lane, Conn Doherty, Conor Roche, Elliot Reidy, Francis Manzocchi, Harry McChesney, Hugh Brownlee, Jack Bourke, Jake Dolly, James O Donoghue, Jinu Nam, Joe Balance, Johnny Doyle, Jude McCrea, Karl Deegan, Killian Bradley, Kiran Byrne, Max Kickham, Nathan Kennedy, Patrick Hopkins, Patrick McIlduff, Rocco Hill, Ryan Brown, Scott Lowry, Simon O Kelly, Tom Ryan, Victor Killane.
ST COLUMBA’S COLLEGE
COACHES – Hein Havenga, Ian O’Herlihy, Alex Lee, Conor Anderson, Willy Gibbs, Charlie Poole.
CAPTAIN – Solomon Babajide.
SQUAD – Caleb Owen, Cajetan Trebra-Lindenau, Harry Harbottle, Samuel Ihuoma, Leonid Mylvaganam, Camillo Nordmann, Tom Larke, Nikolai Foster, Pavlo Shvalov, Solomon Babajide, Tomas Casado, Benedict Huessen, George Wachs, Carl Krenski, Kieran Ovenden, Ben Paterson, Marco Trolese, Ned Chambré, Casimir Dalwigk, Thomas Dwyer, Saul Fitzgerald Hollywood, Felix Forde, Aubrey Gardner, Ryan Murphy, Aaron Murray, Julius Tenge, Cheuk Yin Wong, Gabriel Murphy, Max Cully, Hugo Laurenceau, Ethan Farley, Noah Kutner, Cameron McKinley, Archie McKeever, Archie Monaghan, Jacob Owen, George Priestley, Gavin O’Dowd, Rory O’Dowd.
ST FINTAN’S HIGH SCHOOL, SUTTON
COACHES – Marc Kaveh (Head Coach), Oscar Reilly (Assistant Coach), Kevin Warren (Strength & Conditioning).
CAPTAIN – Conor Cribbin.
SQUAD – Haitz Aiartza, Andrew Boyne, Ciaran Buckley-O’Reilly, James Burke, Daniel Butler, Simon Cantwell, Nathan Clarke, Cillian Cleary, Harry Connolly, Conor Cribbin, Simon Cunningham, Ryan Curley, Fintan Derry, Tsegaye Dopico, Brandyn Dromgoole, Hugh Dummer, Scott Ecock, Calum Finlay, Marcel Haas, Josh Hansen, Robert Harvey, Luke Ingle, Matthew Loughney, Cian Macari-Kelly, Oscar McCormack, Finn McDonald, Conor McGloughlin, Rory O’Connor-O’Hehir, Tadhg O’Connor-O’Hehir, Rohan O’Shea, Ponamu Palazzetti, Shane Patterson, Conor Toomey, Donagh Walsh
ST GERARD’S SCHOOL
COACHES – Phil de Barra, Charl Malherbe, Danny Kenny, Seamus Jennings, Ben Watson, Max O’Reilly, Sean Keenan.
CAPTAIN- Fionán Denver.
SQUAD – Eoghan McCaul, Oscar Cobbe, Cian Geraghty, Thomas Von Teichman, Conal Lunn, Turlough McCracken-Brown, Rob Hughes, Martin Sweeney, Fionán Denver, Harvey O Sullivan, Cody Fitzpatrick, Ben Barrett, Colin Whitten, Luke Tanner, Ronan Hopkins, Jordan Younger, Conor Balmaine, Sonny Kehoe, Ross Keating, Oisín Denver, Ultan Woods, Ross McCrea, Hugh Gilmore, Patrick McCauley, Rory O’Connell, Henry Doyle, Nathan Harte, Hugh Gilmore, Ryan McDonagh.
ST MARY’S DIOCESAN SCHOOL, DROGHEDA
COACHES – Seán Barrett, Páraic A’ Coistealbha, Sinéad Delany, Darragh Todd
CAPTAIN – Luke Carley
SQUAD – Sean Flaherty, Darragh Martin, Jamie Manning, Mahon Rohan, Daragh Kessie, Conor Moroney, Conor Nesbitt, Will Caffrey, Evan Darcy, Obinna Nkpa, Theo Sheridan, Lincoln de Year, Hugh Sowray, James Bellew, Adam Dooley, Senan Gough, Daniel O’Neill, Mahon Hall, Lorcan Smyth, Charlie Toolan, Luke Carley, Tiarnan McKeown, Christopher Kirwan, Rian Kindlon, Sean Emmanuel, Tom Stanley, John Mannion, Harry Willis, Christopher Thornton, Max Lennon, Liam Lynch, Rory Kelly, Charlie Bacon.
SKERRIES COMMUNITY COLLEGE
COACHES: Joe May
CAPTAIN: Sean Price
SQUAD: Liam Nwajei, Cillian Daly, James O’Connor, Jonathan Dunne, Mike Branagan, Cillian Arnold, Ryan Lawless, Charlie Watt, James White, Sean Price, Evann Shelley, James Grimes, James Heaney, Oisin Hegarty, Oscar Price, Darragh McEneaney, Alex Renaud, Joe Crilly, Luke Fagan, Alfie Forkan, Jack Litchfield, Jack Carabini, Oisin Quinn.
COACHES – Pete Beirne, David O’Brien, Chris Williams.
CAPTAIN – Adam Williams.
SQUAD – James Noonan, Max Sproul, Dylan Potts, Nathan Ross, Lukas Zdunek, Andrew Kieran, Daniel Stewart, Adam Williams, Killian Hingerty, Darragh Shanahan, Rhys Gamble, Ollie Barr, Rhys Morgan, Matthew Stewart, Jack Ward, Kai Jackson, Daragh Keogh, Kallum McCormack, Ryan Cheevers, Frank O’Shea, Donnacha Gleeson, Cathal Kirby, Tom Doyle, Nathan Griffiths, Daniel Mooney, Sam Farrar, Jack Caffrey, Ryan McCormack, Marc Homan, Nicko Stewart.
THE HIGH SCHOOL
COACHES – Dewald Barnard, Ray Walker, Luke Hardy, Andrew Brennan, Ali Meakes, Mark McDermott.
CAPTAIN – Andrew Farrelly.
SQUAD – Andrew Farrelly, Chris DeLacy, Fergus Kelly, Adam Jordan, Dara Fitzpatrick, Daniel Carter, Finn McLean, Matteo Sanvito, Gary Meaney, Jamie Morton-Bailey, George James, Ned Quigley, Keelan Murphy, Sam Neely, Sam McNamara, Ethan Jones, Oliver Davey, Oisin Burgess, Sam Sheppard, Freddie Robinson, Ciaran McCarthy, Arthur Feeney, Brendan Kelly, Milo Lavelle, Harry Guckian, Ollie Kendrick, Sean Hession, Charlie O’Neill, Evan Kelleher, Alexander Bowden, Jack Barlow, James Cox, Archie Sheridan, Alexander Stewart, Elliot Walsh, Tomas Taylor, Jake Walsh, Noah Heslin, Finn Maguire, Paul Nwamara, Daniel Gilbert, Christian Walsh, Issac Lindsay.
THE KING’S HOSPITAL
COACHES – Joe Walsh (Head Coach), John Lark (Forwards Coach) Dan van Zyl (Backs Coach), Ian Dumbleton (Director of Rugby).
CAPTAIN – Luke Fogarty.
SQUAD – Aaron Wilson, Charlie Ingle, Chiby Owoamanam, Chinedu Okwara, Cian Behal Valle, Cian Smith, Edward Nuzum, Elliot Pratt, Eoghan Keary, Euan Batt, Faizal Omotayo, Fraser McDonald, Henry Seebach, James Sugrue, John O’Meara, Keith Johnson, Luca McNally, Luke Fogarty, Maksym Oshodi, Mannie Akpan, Marcus Adedapo, Matthew Love, Michael Ohoka, Roger Doyle, Sam Davis, Shaun Kessington-Momoh, Stephen Crowe, Tomas O’Suilleabhain.
COACHES – Alan Campbell (Forwards), Karl Dunne (Backs).
CAPTAIN – Daniel Farrell.
SQUAD – Joel Gillanders, Matthew Bruton, Ciaran Byrne, Daniel Farrell, Finn Davitt, Sam Mills, Ross Ashmore, Matthew Conlon, Ciaran McKenna, Tom Wheeler, Jude Auld, Stephen Cahill, Michael Cruse, Eoghan Murray, Scott O’Boyle, Malcolm O’Boyle, Max Rippley, Nathan Pratt, Eddie Glass, John Zumerchik, Kevin Donnelly, Eoghan Jennings, Finn Davitt, Mark Webster, Fintan Harte, William Fisher, Rowland OReilly, James Heasley, Padraig Lillis, Jamie Reilly, AJ McLean O’Hara, Joshua Hollidge, Killian Bennett, Leke Mogaji, Callum Mulligan, Jake O’Neill, Ultan Byrne, Callum Roundtree, Yaw Appiah, George Flower, Darren Izekor, Sean O’Caoimh, David Trower, Jack Wheeler, Jack McGovern, Hlieb Verbovenko.