Sport Rugby

Friday 21 July 2017

Tucker fury at 'lack of passion' in Shannon's record loss

St Mary's 53 Shannon 0
AIL Division 1A

Darren Hudson of St Mary's College scores his side's first try in their rout of Shannon on Saturday PAUL MOHAN / SPORTSFILE
Darren Hudson of St Mary's College scores his side's first try in their rout of Shannon on Saturday PAUL MOHAN / SPORTSFILE

Kieran Rooney

SHANNON coach Colm Tucker saw no point in making excuses following his team's humiliation at Templeville Road on Saturday.

The most successful team in the history of the AIL conceded eight tries, four of which were scored by St Mary's left-wing Darren Hudson -- and Shannon were 'nilled' in a record defeat.

Tucker was particularly critical of Shannon's lack of passion.

"St Mary's were very good, very clinical. They punished every mistake we made and were full value for that win," he said. "But we lacked the heart and passion you would normally associate with Shannon. Our tackling was appalling.

"It's now going to be a massive test to see how we can bounce back against Cork Con next week."

St Mary's have got their season going in dramatic fashion after defeats in their opening two games -- they fielded easily their strongest line-up to date, with international Rhys Ruddock featuring in the back row.

Coach Ciaran Potts believes that he has a stronger squad than last season when they reached the final. On this evidence, they are going to be serious contenders again.

St Mary's ran riot against a young Shannon side in the first half, scoring five tries through Irish U-20 star Hudson (two), prop Rob Sweeney, No 8 Hugh Hogan and right-wing Ronan Doherty. Out-half Shaun McCarthy landed three conversions and a penalty to leave them 34-0 at the interval.

It was hard to credit that Shannon had won the corresponding fixture last season.

Attitude

But that was a very different Shannon team, both in terms of personnel and attitude.

The visitors did improve after the break but St Mary's still added three more tries -- two for Hudson and one for accomplished replacement Ian McKinley, who added two conversions.

"We knew we weren't a bad team and that, at some stage, we were going to click," said Potts. "But we are not going to get carried away -- we must back this up with another good performance against Dolphin next week."

St Mary's -- P Gillespie; R Doherty, S Grissing, M Sexton (I McKinley 55), D Hudson; S McCarthy, M D'Arcy (D Campbell 55); J McGrath, Richie Sweeney (T Meredith 71), Rob Sweeney (K Carroll 62), C Ruddock, D Hall, R Ruddock, P Nash (capt), H Hogan.

Shannon -- M Lawlor; L O'Dea, R Mullane, M Kinsella (J Clogan 40), D O'Donovan; G Quinn McDonagh, P Rowley (R Guerin 40); K O'Neill, D Casey (J Cronin 40), G McNamara (K Griffin 40), D Heffernan (L Mullane 54), G Walsh (capt), L Mullane (B Walsh 44), P Butler, D Quinlan.

Ref -- A Rolland.

Irish Independent

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