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Thursday 14 December 2017

Prop star Delahunt's powerful pack can push Kilkenny past CUS

CUS v Kilkenny College, Donnybrook, Sunday 3.0

Leinster League champions Kilkenny have a juggernaut pack of forwards, led by dynamic Ireland U18 Schools loose-head Shane Delahunt, also their appointed captain.

They have 11 back from last year's squad and handled St Andrew's easily 39-7 in the first round. Number eight Ross Deacon is another bull of a man on the ball. He will take stopping off the back of scrum and ruck.

In behind, the neat half-back pairing of Dylan Leybourne and Evan Kelly are the brains of the operation, keeping their pack on the front foot. Centres Ross Bailey-Kearney and Sam Sterling are not shy of contact in the midfield.

CUS fly-half Marc Hiney became an instant hero when slotting the winning penalty right at the death of their 13-10 ding-dong struggle against CBC Monkstown in the first round.

Hiney is an elegant ball-playing fly-half and he looks to find Leinster U18 inter-pro Ruadhan Magee, their big threat in the centre.

Twins Mark and Kevin Beakey tend to lead the charge from the back row.

Short on representative quality, the secret to their success has been the unity of purpose shown by hooker Brian Keelan's team. It was his superb individual try that made believers out of his side in round one.

Verdict: Kilkenny

CUS: C Divney; K Lynsky, R Magee, A Neary, J Fallon-Doran; M Hiney, M O'Driscoll; J Fisher, B Keelan (capt), M McCann, D Gahan, J Gavin, K Beakey, A Quinlan, M Beakey.

Kilkenny (Possible): H Rhys-Thomas; T Bulfin, S Sterling, R Bailey-Kearney, S Williams; E Kelly, D Leybourne; J Baker, R Foot, S Delahunt (capt), G Mullins, J Moynan, H Crowley, M Triggs, R Deacon.

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