Garden lads shine bright
Shane Horgan Cup at Cill Dara RFC
There was a very strong Wicklow contingent representing the county as part of the Leinster U16s South East squad in the Shane Horgan Cup last week.
The Bank of Ireland Shane Horgan Cup first round of games took place last Friday with Cill Dara RFC hosted a double header on the night with Leinster North Midlands against Leinster Midlands kicking off at 6.45pm which was followed by Leinster South East against Leinster Metro.
After a recent match against Munster Rugby in Waterford, the South East panel was reduced to a 23-man squad with strong representative from County Wicklow with Oran Kelly and Jamie Tobin staring for Arklow RFC and Liam Nicholson, James O'Donnell, Niki Moelders, Scott Fitzpatrick, Tom Hodgekinson and Conor Luddy representing Wicklow RFC.
The spectators that filled the side lines were treated to some superb rugby from both sides that seen the Metro side take the lead with a converted try to lead 0-7 after 10 minutes.
This scored came after both sides kept each other well marshalled but it seemed to be the bolt that kicked the South East into action.
From the second row, Oran Kelly playing at 5 put in a fantastic shift with some great tackling, ruck play and making great ground every time he got his hands on the ball. One of these charges led to Kaylem Codd from Wexford Wanderers crossing the try line which was then converted by James Whelan from Tullow RFC to level the match after 15 minutes.
The equalising score settled the South East panel which seem to play the better running rugby to gain the upper hand to lead 21-7 at half time.
A number of changes after half time saw the introduction of Jamie Tobin replacing Liam Nicholson from Wicklow RFC as hooker. Tobin carried on the sterling work of Nicholson winning ruck after ruck, making crunching tackles in defence and jinky running at the Metro defence which lead to the final try for the South East team.
The South East team showed the strength of the full panel as every one of the 23 panel got a run out but if Metro were hoping that the changes would weaken the team, they were very wrong.
The performance of the South East did not weaken which seen them run out 47-7 winners on the night.
The game was a toughly contested affair which the score may not reflect but nothing can be taken away from the quality of play from the South East team which is a result of the hard work, drills and plays put in each week by the squad and coaches at each training session.
It was great to see the support from the full South East development panel on the night from the players that were unlucky to miss out on the match day 23-man squad but supported the team from the sidelines.
The Bank of Ireland Shane Horgan Cup will have the following fixtures for the Leinster South East panel for the diary to come along and support these talented young men:
Round 2: Wednesday 30th October '19 South East V North East Midlands (Host Club TBC)
Round 3: Thursday 2nd January '20 North Midlands V South East Metro (Host Club TBC)
Round 4: Wednesday 19th February '20 South East Bye
Round 5: TBC South East V Midlands South East (Host Club TBC)