Blackrock College beat Pres Bray to reach quarter-finals
January 30, 2023 5:15 pm Des Berry
Blackrock College 49 Pres Bray 5.
Blackrock exploded into the Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-finals at Energia Park on Monday afternoon.
Props Tom O’Riordan and Alex Mullan both snatched a brace as they piled in seven tries against the resilient Bray school.
Pres’ came with a reputation for spreading the ball wide, primarily through the playmaking gifts of Ireland Schools out-half Jack Murphy and centre Finn Treacy.
The holders were keen to establish their authority early on with a pack of forwards demonstrating power through contact and passing out of the tackle.
The excess energy was burned off with a melee which resulted in Mark Walsh being binned for Blackrock.
The metronomic Jack Murphy aimed a shot at goal from inside his own half which rebounded off an upright.
It was as close as they came to a score for some time as ‘Rock moved quickly through the gears.
The holders showed what they were capable of on their first serious incursion, loose-head O’Riordan crashing over for Oliver Coffey to convert.
A textbook lineout led to a surging maul, Tom Brigg using leg drive to smash through for Coffey’s conversion to double the advantage in the 23rd minute.
The claustrophobic nature of ‘Rock’s defence was proving too much to handle giving the Wicklow school little room to manoeuvre.
An impressive collaborative effort was next on the list, the ball eventually moved left for number eight Brigg to put Mikey Yarr in, Coffey converting for 21-0 in the 28th minute.
There was a glimpse of the potential of Pres’s attack when they drove cohesively for Zach Kirby to ground the ball.
Nonetheless, Blackrock were not about to ease up, the forwards piling on the pressure for Andrew Quinn to go close and Mullan to clinch the fourth, Coffey adding the extras for 28-5 at the break.
The sight of captain Murphy being binned for batting down a pass was another body blow for Pres.
Soon, Brigg exploded off the back of a scrum for tight Mullan to pound out his second try, Coffey converting in the 45th minute.
Still, Pres’ did not cave in, Treacy, Ross Mackey and Billy Corrigan knocking down the carriers until Brigg’s offload enabled O’Riordan to grab his double, Coffey converting for 42-5 in the 53rd minute.
Murphy returned to vary his distribution off limited ball only for Michael Colreavy to snatch a loose ball for the seventh try, converted by Harry Whelan this time.
Murphy’s elegant chip over the top for Treacy to take the ball up was followed by another pinpoint kick for Dylan Henry.
It was creative and accurate only to be snuffed out by Gregg Barron in a show of Rock’s defensive strength.
Scorers – Blackrock – A Mullan, T O’Riordan 2 tries each; T Brigg, M Yarr, A Colreavy try each; O Coffey 6 cons; H Whelan con. Pres Bray – Z Kirby try.
Blackrock College – Andrew Quinn (Derry Moloney 37) James O’Sullivan, Eoghan Walsh, Mark Walsh, Charlie Molony; Harry Whelan (Paddy Clancy 57), Oliver Coffey (Capt, (Jack Larkin 57), Tom O’Riordan (Paddy Moore 56), Mikey Yarr (Gregg Barron 56), Alex Mullan (Sam Bishti 60), Michael Colreavy, Donnacha McGuire (Tommy Butler 60), Conor Tonge, Jack Angulo (Conall Hodges 56) Tom Brigg.
Presentation College Bray – Darragh O’Sullivan; James McDonald (Mikey Doyle 62), Finn Treacy, Lorcan Smith, Dylan Henry; Jack Murphy (Capt), Cian Eddy (Odhran Meade 54), Cormac McGrath, Finn Brien (Ronan O’Boyle 65), Jack McDonald, Adam Tighe (Tadhg Treacy 55), Billy Corrigan, Ross Mackey (Conor Bourke 65), Zach Kirby, James Heally.
Referee – R Jenkinson, Leinster Branch.