News, The Gain Line

THE GAIN LINE 13/05/19

63

What a great day it was in Creggs last Saturday!

A large crowd saw a very good game of rugby between Connacht and Munster in the sunshine on the new 4G pitch. Connacht came from behind to win 29 – 21, with four tries and the bonus point.

Cregg’s Shane Dowd got the well deserved man of the match award (a tight call as any one of three or four could have been given that honour on the day) but the out-half’s try and a total of 14 points capped a great day for Shane.

Two other Creggs men also scored tries – Maurice Buckley and new Connacht cap Andrew Callaghan. Great contributions too from the other Creggs men that featured on the day, Aidan Leech, Brian Diffley, and Brian Donohue.

It was tough on the man of the match from the away victory over Leinster the week before – James Brandon. He was forced to miss the game because of a college exam on Saturday.

Some of Creggs RFC Ladies Committee in the large crowd that enjoyed the game on Saturday.

Speaking to management of Munster, Ulster and Leinster in the last two weeks, it is clear that they all had much more training preparation time, training camps and friendly warm-up games. I have no doubt that if Connacht had one training weekend and one friendly game in advance of the Ulster match in Castlebar, they would have won that game and the series too.

I realise that in this instance, the Connemara players had been involved in the round-robin for the All-Ireland League, and they are a key part of this Connacht team. For instance, Munster can have a great squad without the Clonmel players but at this level at this time, Connacht needs the excellent Connemara players involved in this squad.

For next season, Connacht should look at increasing the budget to give this fine squad and management a better preparation in the build-up to their first game next season. At a minimum, they should look at fixtures and facilitate one training camp, even in advance of the round robin (which ties up one team over 2-3 weeks) and then have one good friendly warm-up game against say the Connacht Eagles. I’m convinced that if those two extensions of the programme were added for next season, Connacht would certainly have a much improve chance of landing the title.

The Connacht & Munster players enjoy an after-match meal in the clubhouse in Creggs.

Back to last Saturday, and the carnival-like atmosphere extended to see the teams and official being served a meal, the Heineken European Cup on television and a barbecue in the evening with youth teams being presented with their Connacht medals from six provincial title wins and cup finalists. Congratulations to all of them.

Finally, the highly successful day in Creggs last Saturday is again the result of fantastic work by many volunteers in the club. Well done to all that help make it such a great day!

JUNIOR INTERPROVINCIAL SERIES 2019 – Results & League Table

Saturday 27 April 2019

CONNACHT 20 ULSTER 34, Castlebar RFC
MUNSTER 13 LEINSTER 19, Skibbereen RFC

Saturday 4 May 2019

LEINSTER 31 CONNACHT 33, Wicklow RFC
ULSTER 31 MUNSTER 33, Ballyclare RFC

Saturday 11 May 2019

CONNACHT 29 MUNSTER 21, at Creggs RFC
LEINSTER 28 ULSTER 20, Dundalk RFC

POS

 

TEAM

PL

W

D

L

PF

PA

DIFF

TB

LB

PTS

1

 

Leinster Juniors

3

2

0

1

78

66

12

2

1

11

2

 

Connacht Juniors

3

2

0

1

82

86

-4

2

0

10

3

 

Ulster Juniors

3

1

0

2

85

81

4

2

1

7

4

 

Munster Juniors

3

1

0

2

67

79

-12

1

1

6

                         

Previous Winners:

2006-07: Munster
2007-08: Leinster
2008-09: Leinster
2009-10: Leinster
2010-11: Connacht
2010-12: Connacht
2012-13: Munster
2013-14: Leinster
2014-15: Ulster
2015-16: Munster
2016-17: Ulster
2017-18: Leinster
2018-19: Leinster

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