9 Dec, 11:09
Munster Rugby Coach Development Department hosted an IRFU Leprechaun Rugby Course at CIT on Friday last.
Bandon’s Coach, Dan Murphy believes, “ It’s a great achievement for this group of players to reach their second Munster U19 Final in a row. The effort and dedication put in by the squad since the start of the year has been evident in the results during the Munster Campaign. Reaching the final has generated a tremendous amount of interest throughout the Rugby Club and indeed Bandon town itself. Having gone so close in last year’s final, the team is determined to go one better this year.”
Commenting on this weekend’s opposition, Murphy said, “It is great to have two teams from South Munster contest the premier Munster Youth competition. Highfield have always been one of the standard bearers of underage rugby in the Province. They were in our section in the South Munster League and in the league match earlier this year, Highfield showed themselves to be strong, well organised and well coached. The final should be a caracker of a game.”
Highfield had a convincing 33-7 victory at home to Garryowen in the quarter-final, and according to coach John Styles faced a “much tougher challenge “ against Clonmel, clinching a 13-8 semi-final victory to book their place in the final.
Clonakilty and Waterpark contest the Under 17 League final with the Waterford side reaching the decider on the back of an unbeaten run, which included a 20-14 home win over Clon’ in the group phase at Ballinakill. This was Clon’s only defeat in the Munster League. A try by Olan Deane try was to prove decisive for Clon’ in last Sunday’s 5-3 away win over defending champions Bruff in the semi finals.
Clonakilty are captained by Philip Poillet who along with centre Joe White, are on the Munster U17 clubs squad.
Reaching the final today is another chapter in what has been very successful year so far for the West Cork men. They are already in the South Munster Final where they play Highfield or Kanturk and in the Quaterfinal of the Cup against Kanturk
Indeed today is a very proud day for Clonakilty R.F.C as their U15 side contest the South Munster League Final against neighbours Skibbereen, a short distance away in PBC grounds in Wilton.
Waterpark’s Coach Joss Jones commented, “We are delighted to be in the Munster Final with this bunch of lads. We have a very hard working squad, who have put in huge effort all year to help get us this far. I have to make serious mention here for all the players in our squad who are not in today’s match panel. We would not be here without them and the guys who are lucky enough to be selected know this and appreciate their contribution.”
The sides met in the group stages and Jones appreciates the challenge that his side faces today. “We were pretty sure after that meeting that we would probably meet them again today. They are an excellent side who are very well coached. I think this will be a very even contest, hopefully full of good rugby for all to enjoy and may the best team win.”