Preview: Bank of Ireland Vinnie Murray Cup Final
March 8, 2017 11:47 pm Site Editor
This was the main goal set out for both of these schools at the beginning of the season, or at least once direct qualification for the Senior Cup was put beyond them.
CBC were impressive in the way they were able to dismiss Wesley 39-12 in the semi-final.
It is no coincidence that all six of their tries came from the boys out the back.
James Reynolds is a graceful, gliding full-back, capable of countering with pace and blessed with that sign of class of always seeming to have time on the ball.
Half-backs Shane O’Hanrahan and Sean Power are the service providers to a well-balanced midfield with the thrust of Darragh Forster complemented by the cut of Cameron Watson.
Wings Conor Newman (2) and Luke Sweeney provided three of their six tries and are there to finish what others start.
You can have all the class in the world in behind, but if they don’t get enough possession, they won’t provide enough points.
The captain Eoghan Clarke is a pivotal character at number eight and second row Robert Ivers and hooker Mark Theunissen complete a fine spine to the front eight.
Kilkenny have run up 83 points in their two Vinnie Murray Cup matches.
They have two tall, athletic and quick wings in Tamalori Awonusi and Lukeman Onilenla. Their challenge is how best to use them.
In previous rounds, the plan did look too complicated at times. Rugby can be a simple game.
Sometimes, it has to be about just putting the ball into the hands of the most dangerous players as early and often as possible, in as much space as possible.
Out-half Josh Miller is a fine goal-kicker and is well able to spot space when kicking from hand.
In addition, the Marble City school has real menace in the pack from blindside Stuart Dudley, prop Owen Edgehill and number eight Reuben Pim.
The outcome could well come down to which pack can get the upper-hand to win the gain-line and the struggle for territory to give their danger men the chance to show what they can do.
CBC Monkstown v Kilkenny College, Donnybrook, Thursday (KO 3pm)
Paths to the Final
First round: CBC Monkstown 26 Pres Bray 8; Kilkenny College bye.
Quarter-final: CBC Monkstown 61 Tullow CS 7; Kilkenny 54 Wilson’s Hospital 3;
Semi-final: CBC Monkstown 39 Wesley College 12; Kilkenny College 29 CUS 5.
CBC Monkstown (Possible): James Reynolds; Conor Newman, Cameron Watson, Darragh Forster, Luke Sweeney; Sean Power, Shane O’Hanrahan; Max Read, Mark Theunissen, Callum Kavanagh, Robert Ivers, Eoin Vaughan, Robert Doyle, Zach Sattar, Eoghan Clarke (capt).
Kilkenny (Possible): Mark Braithwaite; Tamalori Awonusi, Andrew Ross, Jason Rothwell, Lukema Onilenla; Josh Miller (capt), Evan Stephenson; David Young, Stephen Gray, Owen Edgehill, Sam Smith, Gavin Parr, Stuart Dudley, Andrew Florio, Reuben Pim.