THE place to be this May Bank holiday for rugby fans young and old turned out to be Terenure College RFC for the Terenure 13's European Youth Rugby Festival. Now in its second year, the tournament has become a showcase for some of the finest rugby talent at U13 level.
This year, numbers were kept to 16 teams to ensure a competitive and exciting battle of the best, with all four Irish provinces represented and teams travelling from England and France.
Glamorous international sides Stade Toulousain and London Wasps joined the fray, in addition to England's Winchester RFC and last year's winners Canet St Marie (Perpignan, France).
The eventual Cup final between King's Hospital and Terenure Sharks was a bruising affair, with Terenure hitting King's early and often, scoring some spectacular tries.
Terenure notched up 27 points and managed to prevent their opposition from scoring – the only time this has happened in the tournament. Amazingly, 'Nure only let in one try in six games – an individual display of brilliance by a London Wasps player in one of the earlier pool games.
The Bowl final was an all-Dublin encounter between Barbarians – a side made up largely of Gonzaga players, and coached by Tim Schmidt, son of Ireland's new head coach Joe – and High School, who ran out 36-7 winners.
First time entrants West Offaly and Terenure's second side Terenure Colts contested the Plate, West Offaly taking the spoils 17-5.
A special award went to Winchester RFC from England, who took home the Fair Play Award.
During the weekend, the Heineken Cup made an appearance, as did representatives from Leinster Rugby (Isaac Boss, John Cooney and Dominic Ryan) and Dublin's Lord Mayor (Naoise Ó Muirí), who made the presentations.