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Gerard's out to take Michael's scalp with latest act of defiance

St Gerard's v St Michael's, Tuesday, Donnybrook 3.0

It is very much a case of the school playing the most exciting rugby, in St Michael's, against the school that has made this competition what it is this year, in St Gerard's.

The Bray school will have to defy tradition and the natural order of things in Leinster for the third time to make it through to the Senior Cup final. Conor O'Rourke will come in for injured captain Robbie Glynn at scrum-half.

They have been doing exactly that from their 13-11 defeat of Terenure in the first round to their quarter-final whitewash (7-0) of Blackrock in the quarter-final. These were two gross acts of defiance in a world with far too little of it.

Former British and Irish Lions back-rower Eric Miller is looking forward to taking a third scalp: "We endeavour to play a similar kind of game to St Michael's. But, we have had to win our games tough and win them hard.

"We haven't shown our ability in attack and we hope to change that next Tuesday. We know we will have to play more rugby to beat them," he said.

St Michael's have a few concerns: "Centre Mark Craig (bang to the head) and hooker Finlay Barry (dead leg) have not trained since the quarter-final. They are coming along slowly," said director of rugby Greg McWilliams.

The progress of both players will be monitored closely. The contingency plan involves moving David Egan to centre, where he played in the Senior Cup last year, and bringing Nathan van der Laan in at wing. Andrew Murphy would move into the middle of the front row.

"I have watched a lot of Gerard's. I have been really impressed. They have the capability to play football and slow down the pace of the game. We will have to counteract whatever they come up with," said McWilliams.

Verdict: St Michael's

FIXTURES

LEINSTER SENIOR CUP SEMI-FINALS (3.0)

Sunday -- Clongowes Wood v St Mary's, Donnybrook.

Tuesday -- St Gerard's v St Michael's, Donnybrook.

LEINSTER JUNIOR CUP QUARTER-FINALS (3.0)

Monday - St Michael's v Castleknock, Anglesea Rd; Pres Bray v Clongowes Wood, Lakelands Pk.

MUNSTER SENIOR CUP SEMI-FINALS (3.0)

Wednesday - Rockwell v Castletroy, Clanwilliam.

Sunday, March 7 - St Munchin's v PBC Cork, TBC.

ULSTER SENIOR CUP QUARTER-FINAL REPLAY

Saturday -- Friends, Lisburn v Ballymena Academy, Lisburn 11.0.

CONNACHT SENIOR CUP QUARTER-FINAL

Saturday -- St Joseph's, Galway v Gallen CS, Newcastle TBC.


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