The University of Ulster Jordonstown was the venue for this encounter between the Irish Colleges and the Scottish Universites at the weekend. Irish Colleges approached the game knowing that nothing less than a win was expected.
They had demolished the Combined Services Under 23's at the London Irish Club on February 1st of this year,with the the final game against England Universities very much in their thoughts.
The physical attributes, intensity and power of the Scottish forward line looked particularly menacing from the start and the Scots aggressive display was counteracted fairly and squarely by the Irish when in the 18 and 22 minutes the Scots were awarded penalties for Irish infringements one of which was converted by Scottish outhalf David O' Hagan.
The power and physical pressure of the Scottish forwards soon lost its momentum with the Irish gradually finding form with Dan Kenny going over for his first of three tries, in the 30th minute converted by Phil De Barra. This try came about as a result of a flat ball taken from the ruck through the hands of De Barra.
The Irish Colleges well honed backline started playing as a cohesive unit when in the 39th minute Brendan O' Brien scored when he surged to the line for a try,l eaving the score at half time 12 points to 3.
In the second half, the Scottish forwards furrowed away endlessly but there was a realisation with the forward line that there was a lack of conviction in their backs with many passes going astray. College's dominance began to come increasingly into vogue and in particular the colleges forwards who were motoring effortlessly, when in the 52th minute Dan Kenny received a well placed pass from Brian Collins who broke the centre to pass to Kenny who went over for his second try ,leaving the score 17 pts to 3.
This try was a template of the avalanche of tries to come as it came as a result of an interception of a misplaced pass by Scots centre Marcus Mc Allister in which the Irish received gracefully and they then proceeded to put into operation a series of well executed cross field passes.
The end product of well tuned passing was a wide ball from Brian Collins to Kenny who barged over for the try. The tries continued apace with tries in the 57th ,65th,70th and the 72th minutes by Ben Reilly, Mick O Shea, Jim Taggart and Dan Kenny with conversions by Phil De Barra and Brian Collins who came on as a replacement.
Irish Colleges: Dan Kenny 3 Tries,1 Try each, Brendan O' Brien, Ben Reilly, Mick O Shea, Jim Taggart. Conversions Brian Collins(3), Phil De Barra(2)
All substitutes used.
Manager Moss Dineen; Assistant Manager Mick Poole; Head Coach Eamonn Molloy (Connacht); Assistant Coaches Chris Galway (Ulster) and Eoin Hogan (Leinster)