Goliaths to 'Rock into final

Des Berry

Blackrock College v Cistercian College Roscrea, Donnybrook, Sunday, 3.0

This is one of those David and Goliath encounters with Roscrea working towards their first ever Leinster Schools Senior Cup and Blackrock two games away from their 67th.

'Rock are built for progress with an all-round collective that has few weaknesses and many strengths, not least the effectiveness of props Jeremy Loughman (pictured) and Oliver Jager, lock Jack Dwan the go-forward from their number eight Nick Timoney.

The axis between Timoney and scrum-half Charlie Rock, their captain, is crucial to putting them on the front-foot. Once there, they have an excellent three-quarter line in which inside centre Steve Lawton is instrumental and Gary Ringrose an accurate goal-kicker when called upon.

There is a unity of purpose about Roscrea that proved too much for Terenure in the quarter-final – flanker Rory Moloney – in his second season as an Irish Schools back rower, coming up trumps with a stunning initiation and completion of a direct attack.

Perhaps this is Roscrea's best route to glory. It would be ill-advised to take 'Rock on in a running game. Their main strength rests on a rock-like pack of forwards, hell bent on destruction.

Number eight Seán O'Brien captained the Connacht U20s this season. He is that pivotal to what they do behind a superior scrummaging front row of Jacob Walshe, a tasty operator, Ciaran Gavin and Oisín Heffernan.

Verdict: Blackrock