Round-Up – Metro Cup first round
March 17, 2022 12:43 pm Site Editor
The Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Metropolitan Cup first round took place with games over the last week.
There were precious few surprises as favourites Terenure College and holders Dublin University negotiated their first hurdles comfortably to leave eight clubs standing for the quarter-finals.
St Mary’s College 49 UCD 28
Paul Brennan’s St Mary’s overpowered UCD in a high-scoring shootout at Templeville Road last Wednesday night.
The tradition of both clubs is based around playing the game in the right way and this was no different as a positive approach to moving the ball in union with a raft of errors led to attacks playing from first phase and off turnover ball.
Scrum-half Rob Gilsenan pounced for two tries for the students, both converted by James Moriarty to twice put them in front.
But, it was a most unlikely hat-trick of tries from tighthead prop Podge Dundon that catapulted St Mary’s in front at the break.
UCD never stopped probing and left-wing Alex O’Grady and replacement flanker JJ Landers were able to keep them close on the scoreline with tries, both converted by Moriarty.
Loosehead prop Adam Mulvihill and flanker Nick McCarthy were prominent for St Mary’s, while veteran Peter Starrett rolled back the years.
St Mary’s resisted the temptation to look for seven points in the second period, out-half Ruairi Shields slotting three penalties and a monster drop goal to seal the issue.
Dublin University 41 Monkstown 12
Holders Trinity blasted past Monkstown as Rory Simington picked up a hat-trick on a lovely, balmy evening at College Park.
The conditions played into Trinity’s strategy to spread the ball and play with blistering tempo.
The desire to move the ball did not trump tightening up the game when it made sense, Simington going over from close range for David Fitzgibbon to convert in the 10th minute.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic. The Monkstown scrum was a real weapon all through with Martin Murphy and Cathal Bannon turning the screw there.
Dave Mahon’s men struck back from a beautiful crossfield kick by out-half Charlie McMicken which was collected by wing Jack Keegan for McMicken’s conversion to square it.
Fitzgibbon’s penalty was followed up by a second try from Simington and the flanker’s hat-trick to make it 20-7 at the interval.
Monkstown struggled at the lineout and Trinity’s next try came from one, Ben Nel streaking clear from 20 metres out.
It was left to Matthew Jungmann and Fillipo Panerello to run in the rest of the tries as Monkstown grabbed a late response from Ruadhan McDonnell.
Old Belvedere 39 Bective Rangers 14
Precision in the first and final quarters enabled Old Belvedere to move past Bective at Ollie Campbell Park.
It looked like the game was over almost before it had started when Belvo’s three-try blast from out-half Max Dowling, No 8 Jack Culligan and wing John Rattigan had Rangers reeling.
However, the quarters either side of half-time belonged to Bective as out-half Cian O’Connell converted his own try as they came to grips with the speed of the game.
Tighthead prop Colin Jackson was instrumental in their scrum causing problems with second row Mark Bennett and full-back Sebastian Berti having a major influence.
Their second touchdown by Mikey O’Hare, converted by O’Connell, raised the possibility of an unlikely comeback.
But, the home side finished strong with replacement Briain Leonard, hooker Joe Horan and wing Joe White completing the set of six tries.
Also, this competition took a back seat for Bective as they prepare for an All-Ireland semi-final play-off against the Connemara All Blacks on April 2.
Coach Bernard Jackman is just two wins away from delivering on the main goal of taking Bective back into the All-Ireland League.
Lansdowne 50 Greystones 12
There were no surprises on the back pitch at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday where Lansdowne showered eight tries down on Greystones on the 4G pitch.
The home side started brightly with two unconverted tries from winger Shane Hourihane and another from South African full-back CJ Jordaan for a 15-0 lead.
Greystones slowly grew into the game. After sustained pressure, based on continued drives from the forwards, they rumbled over in the right-hand corner for Dave Baker’s try to narrow the gap.
Lansdowne struck back almost immediately, lively scrum-half Jack Matthews touching down under the posts to make it 22-5.
Greystones got going again and mauled over for a try by Matt Looby, converted by Ross Nicoll to leave the scores 22-12 at half-time.
Lansdowne were first out of the traps, centre Kyle Dixon capping a fine individual performance with a converted try just right of the posts.
Bustling flanker Michael O’Brien drove over from a lineout close in to make it 36-12 in the third-quarter.
A brave Greystones team continued to battle valiantly, James Quinlan, Adam Benson, Alan Symes, Andy Roberts and Billy Ngawini doing everything they could.
But, Lansdowne just had more finishing power. A lineout maul in the left corner was finished off by second row Daragh Murphy.
Replacement winger Cathal Boyle rounded off a fine all-round performance with their eighth try, Madigan converting again.
Terenure College 46 Old Wesley 7
Terenure’s first-half blitz paved the way for a comfortable passage into round two at Lakelands Park last Friday evening.
Really, Wesley had to get the upper-hand early on to sow the seeds of doubt into a powerful Terenure who topped Division One of the Metro League.
They could never get going as veteran forwards Niall Lalor and Adam Melia were joined on the scoresheet by Cian Croke and Caolan Dooley, Conor Pender adding three conversions for 26-0 at the break.
Wesley regrouped at the intermission, coming out firing shots for Brian Short to claim a try from a well-constructed maul, the conversion added by Jack Maybury.
The club’s U-20 scrum-half Ewan Watson rewarded the trust of the coaches with a fine display.
Centre Jack Costigan and wing Paul Harte were also to the fore on an emotional night for hooker Craig Telford in his last match before retirement.
However, there would be no fairytale finale as Lalor picked up his second and Conor O’Sullivan the fifth for Pender and ex-Ireland Clubs international Mark O’Neill to add the conversions.