Champions St Michael's were clinical in their four-try defeat of Gonzaga in the Leinster Senior Cup quarter-final at Energia Park yesterday afternoon.
Gonzaga came into this tie with the confidence gained from knocking out Blackrock and they started well, holding the ball into a stiff wind and driving up the middle through Arthur Henry and Hugo Fitzgerald.
However, they struggled to break their opponents' two-man tackle ploy as Will Hickey, Jack Boyle and impressive locks Jack Guinane and Stephen Woods made dominant tackles. Guinane's poach and Boyle's grubber and pick-up formed the basis for James Power's try, which was converted by Chris Cosgrave in the 12th minute.
St Michael's were impressively cohesive in their phase play, creating the go-forward for Power's second touchdown in the 20th minute, converted by Cosgrave.
They were on a roll and the next try only seemed a matter of time.
However, Gonzaga somehow held their line, finding the character to break upfield for Harry Colbert to strike a penalty on half-time.
They could never land a blow on the champions, though. Hooker Lee Barron was the main beneficiary of their awesome maul, as he went over for a brace in the 40th and 54th minutes. Cosgrave nailed the conversions.
Gonzaga's defence never dropped in intensity, although Cosgrave added further gloss to the scoreline with penalties in the 59th and 66th minutes.
ST MICHAEL'S - C Cosgrave; E Kelly, S O'Kelly, H McWade (L Russell 62), H McErlean (J Nicholson 44); N Carroll, F Gunne (J Woods 55); J Boyle (J Egan 66), L Barron (Z Baird 66), J Power (D Rogan 67); J Guinane, S Woods; D Ryan (M Barron 55), C Booth (D Carroll 66), W Hickey (capt).
GONZAGA - J McNulty; H Lynn (L Hassett 58), B Barron, J Browne (D Colbert 17), S Wilson; H Colbert, E O'Callaghan (M Colgan 44); G Morris (N Maguire 44), G Kenny, R Shaw; S Carroll (C Murphy 67), S O'Connell; A Henry, T Cullen (capt), H Fitzgerald.
Ref - A Cole (Leinster Branch).