Dolphin have complained to the IRFU about the no-show of Young Munster for yesterday's Ulster Bank League game scheduled for Musgrave Park, where the pitch had been passed playable some hours before the appointed kick-off and 120 guests had been booked for a pre-match lunch.
It's understood Young Munster made contact with the IRFU en route to Cork from Limerick yesterday morning to say they were experiencing a difficult journey in the high winds. Club secretary Brendan Collopy said that the decision to turn back, when they were beyond Charleville, was made by the driver.
"It was his call for health and safety reasons and he's not a member of the club," Collopy said. "Young Munster have never failed to fulfill a fixture and we won't be starting now." A statement released by Dolphin yesterday questioned why the journey hadn't been completed.
"Bus Eireann, who are also sponsors of Young Munster, confirmed from both their Cork bus station and Busaras in Dublin that their scheduled inter city services between both Limerick and Cork were not disrupted due to the inclement weather conditions," the statement said.
"Furthermore, AA Roadwatch when contacted on Twitter responded by saying: "Gardai said conditions okay along that route, there's surface water in parts but it's passable."
Dolphin club president Noel Hickey added: "I understand that safety of players is paramount, but if the Limerick-Cork road was a hazard Gardai would have closed it and public transport operators like Bus Eireann would have ceased operating the route for safety reasons. For this to happen in the top division of Irish club rugby is not acceptable."
Collopy said the club's executive committee would most likely meet today and then contact the IRFU, for whom a spokesman was unavailable yesterday.
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CORK CONSTITUTION 9
Clontarf suffered only their second defeat of the season following a resilient performance from visitors Cork Con at Castle Avenue yesterday.
A galeforce wind made it difficult for either side to find touch throughout the game, and resulted in a mixed evening for both teams in front of the posts. In the first minute of play, Clontarf's David Joyce saw a relatively straight-forward kick sail well wide.
Cork Con looked more comfortable on the ball in the early stages, and were rewarded when captain Gerry Hurley kicked his side into the lead with a close-range penalty. Clontarf threatened on a couple of occasions, with the in-form Mick McGrath making a few excellent individual runs, yet failed to capitalise on their possession, managing only a Joyce penalty after 20 minutes. The sides were level at three a piece at half-time.
Clontarf continued to test the Cork Con defence following the restart and eventually found a way through, McGrath finishing off an excellent move that saw the ball quickly switch from left to right after some great hands by Sam Cronin. Joyce was unlucky to strike the post with his conversion effort into the wind.
The wind eased for the final 20 minutes, and the visitors were awarded two vital penalties. The first was an easy kick for Hurley, cutting 'Tarf's lead to just two points. Con went for the jugular, and won another late penalty, this time a much more difficult kick for Hurley.
Despite the distance, the captain managed to find the posts, handing his side a one-point lead. Shortly after Hurley was sin-binned for his team's persistent fouling, but Con managed to hold on.
Garryowen earned their first win of the season at Dooradoyle.
Richie Lobb landed three penalties for Ballynahinch, one from inside his own half five minutes into the second half, to make it 9-0. But tries by Harry McNulty and Anthony Kavanagh, and a two penalties and a conversion by Jamie Gavin sparked celebrations for the home side.
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 25
Peter Nelson registered a personal tally of 14 points at Sydney Parade yesterday, but Dungannon ultimately had to settle for a losing bonus point, as a strong first-half performance helped Dublin University to secure a much-needed triumph.
Nelson had opened the scoring with a well-worked try, but Trinity maintained their composure, and moved into the ascendancy following five-pointers by flanker Brian du Toit and the ever-dependable left-wing Niyi Adeolukan. Outhalf Sam Windsor also supplied the bonuses to the first of these scores, and his successful penalty towards the end of the half ensured that they brought a 15-5 advantage into the second period.
The Ulster men threw down the gauntlet upon the resumption with a magnificent seven-point salvo from the impressive Nelson, but thanks to further tries by Jack Dilger and Windsor, Trinity had developed an unassailable lead.
BELFAST HARLEQUINS 20
UL BOHEMIAN 0
Belfast Harlequins, following their one-point defeat at Buccaneers last week, bounced back with a well-deserved win in the poor playing conditions at Deramore Park. Quins were the better team throughout and adapted to the wind and rain, running in three tries.
They were 12-0 ahead at the interval and had tries by Mark Best, Rory Scholes and Daniel Dass. Liam Cambridge was successful with a conversions and a penalty.
A fantastic win by Malone was tainted by two red cards. They warranted their 8-3 half-time advantage after James McAllister was mauled to the line for the first and although Jack Carty replied with a penalty, the hosts retorted with one from Nathan Brown.
After 64 minutes Neil Alcorn ran in for Malone's second before Conor Joyce was given his second yellow. In the last few minutes there was a late tackle on a home player which resulted in an affray and Ben McDonald was binned for retaliation. Ben Henshaw then crossed for the visitors' try.