herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Michael's must stand up to the might of Clongowes

Clongowes look the part of favourites so Saints can't underperform again

Colm Mulcahy, Clongowes Wood College, touches down for a try v Castleknock
Colm Mulcahy, Clongowes Wood College, touches down for a try v Castleknock

The Leinster Senior Cup Quarter-final weekend is upon us

Clongowes Wood v St Michael's

Donnybrook, Sunday 3.0.

The outstanding Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final is that which will take place between the pre-competition favourites and the school that may just have taken over that mantle in the first round.

The pressure on St Michael's is heavier than at any other time, quite simply because they have the names on paper. They have not shown that on the pitch. Not yet.

The shock they got in the first round against St Mary's amounted to getting out of jail. They were not the better side. Simple as that. The 19-14 victory was a hollow one.

In hindsight, it could prove to be the best thing that could have happened to them.

In contrast, Clongowes gave Castleknock the respect they deserved and went out and put 70 points on them. They were ruthless to the core with the muscular Colm Mulcahy picking up four tries and flanker Will Connors a hat-trick.

Verdict: St Michael's

Newbridge v St Andrew's

Donnybrook, Tuesday 3.0.

Leinster League winners Newbridge announced their campaign with a spectacular 57-10 dismissal of Kilkenny, powered by No8 Patrick Ryan and last year's Ireland Schools out-half Jimmy O'Brien.

The Booterstown school looked very impressive in moving past The King's Hospital 40-10 with the irrepressible No8 Jonny Guy a constant source of menace.

Verdict: Newbridge

Blackrock v Cistercian Roscrea

Donnybrook, Wednesday 3.0.

While Clongowes Wood really took the eye, Blackrock weren't too far behind them in their 39-11 execution of old rivals Terenure.

The fast surface is particularly kind to their brand of exciting rugby, led by the driving forward play of captain Hugo Kean and number eight Calean Doris.

Leinster League finalists Roscrea have something of a late-bloomer in number eight Dan Trayers.

Verdict: Blackrock

Belvedere v CBC Monkstown

Donnybrook, Thursday 3.0.

There was a lot to like about the way Belvedere dealt with Gonzaga 32-5 as number eight Tom de Jongh set the tone for their physicality and half-backs Hugh O'Sullivan and Conor Jennings controlled the game.

CBC are probably the rank outsiders of the final eight. This won't bother them one little bit as number eight Joseph Halwax and flanker Rob Courtney showed well in their 18-11 defeat of CUS

Verdict: Belvedere

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