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16 January 2014
A Game of Two Halves
CUS 18 Templeogue College 8
January 16 @ Railway union RFC

Almost perfect weather greeted the CUS SCT when they started their cup campaign against Templeogue College today at Railway Union. The sun was shining and there was not a breath of wind. However our first–half performance did not take advantage of the ideal weather. We got off to the worst possible start when after 5 minutes our out-half’s attempted clearance was blocked down and Templeogue rang in for the game’s first try. We struggled to cope against a very determined and aggressive Templeogue pack where their 3, 6, 7 and 8 were the stand-out players.

We didn’t help matters by trying to force the pace – passes were knocked on, players took too much out of the ball and their very effective back-row turned-over possession frequently. A further penalty saw us 8-0 down and an upset was on the cards. However we settled down and began to play more patient rugby that saw us rewarded with a penalty that was duly slotted by winger Matthew Butler.

I don’t know what was said at half-time but it certainly made a difference. Within a few minutes it was 8-6 as Butler put over his second penalty. Then the turning point when after sustained pressure and a few side-steps resulted in a try for Matthew Butler- we were 11-8 ahead. We never looked back from there – Matthew Butler had a try disallowed for a forward pass after a fine break by second-row Charles Piquet. Crucially we were being patient, not trying to force the pace and we got the upper hand in the battle of the packs where Enda Kelly, Luke Trench (captain and no.8), Sean O’Hara, David Byrne and Donal McCarthy caught the eye.

An enforced change saw out-half Tom Newman replaced by James O’Kane and with 10 minutes to go he put in cross-field kick that winger Louis McConkey gathered and scored in the right-corner. Butler wasn’t finished though and he slotted the touchline conversion to give us an unassailable 10 point lead. Templeogue were forced to run the ball in their own half and this was snuffed out by aggressive CUS defence where centres Gary Power and Stephen Tarpey dealt with any threat.

Well done to the lads and to their coaches, Mr Simon Dodd, Mr Matt Brown and Mr Gary Miller. Many thanks to all of the past pupils who attended today’s game.Gonzaga await in the semi-final of the Vinnie Murray next Thursday 23rd at Sydney Parade at 2.30pm.

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