03 November 2014
Newbridge College win Shield in Clongowes Tournament
Congratulations to our Senior Rugby squad who won the Shield in the Clongowes 200 Tournament during the midterm.
All 26 of the boys involved were a credit to our school and showed just how much it means to them to represent Newbridge College. Over the two day event, they showed great character and commitment to play through injury and win this title for their school. Read the report below on the 2 day competition.
Newbridge win Shield at Clongowes Tournament
Our Senior team travelled to Clane to take part in a one off rugby tournament hosted by Clongowes. This tournament was held as part of Clongowes bicentenery celebrations and brought all of the best rugby playing schools together for a two day event. 12 Leinster schools, 4 Munster, 4 Ulster were joined by a Welsh and English team and were divided into four groups of five on day 1. Each game was 10 minutes a side and all teams would agree that each one managed to bring Cup season intensity to it.
We started our group with a game versus Campbell College and named an experimental 15 which performed well. Unfortunately, Paddy Corbett's try was not enough as we went down 7:5. In the second game, we played Castleknock College, a much more well known foe. Again, we started slowly and fell behind 5:0. However this time, we recovered well and tries from Jake Howlett and Daithi Murphy, both converted by Colm Murphy saw us home in a better display. Next up it was Clongowes in what was a great opportunity for us to pit our skills against real Senior Cup pedigree. Clongowes kicked two penalties and that was the end of the scoring in a tight game. Jimmy O'Brien almost set up a wonder try with a tremendous kick, catch & offload but the Clane school's defence held firm. In our final game of the day, we played Crescent Comp from Limerick and with time running out and the score 0:0, Brian Larkin made a brilliant break and he released Dylan Walker who dived over for a game winning try. Jimmy O'Brien knocked over the conversion for a 7:0 win. Other results meant that we finished 3rd in our group and qualified for the shield event on Day 2.
Day 2 started with a game against Gonzaga College. Again, we were slow out of the blocks but managed to secure the win with a well worked try by Colm Stapleton, converted by Daithi Murphy. The standard of our 2nd game was considerably higher when we faced Colegy Cymeodd of Wales who held Blackrock to a draw on Day 1. Stapleton was again on hand to cross for a well worked try and when Tom O'Neill crossed we were 10:0 up. The Welsh fought back to score a converted try but we showed great character to hang on for a great win. Next up was Terenure and we were now aware that a win would see us reach the shield final. In what turned out to be a very tight game, Ruairi Cleary crossed for the only try of the game and saw us secure a place in the final.
Waiting in the final was a very physical Rockwell College team who had come through the other side of the draw. Our squad was creaking at this stage, as we had plenty of players who were carrying various knocks and bangs which were picked up over the two days. We also were aware that the final would be fifteen minutes a side, which would be pushing our resources to the limits. We played with a stiff breeze to our backs and set about using it to our advantage, however Rockwell struck first, crossing for a 5:0 lead. Both Colm Doyle and Jimmy O'Brien kicked brilliantly to set us up in strong positions and first Jake Howlett and then Jimmy O'Brien scored tries. Colm Doyle converted both for a 14:5 halftime lead. Rockwell piled on the pressure in the second half and scored a try to close the lead to two points with 10 minutes left. From the restart, Rockwell tried to build again but this was met with unbelievable defence on our part. Try as they might, the bigger Rockwell players were knocked back by some huge hits and well organised defence. We showed great character and team spirit in what was our most difficult period of play over the two days and managed to keep our line in tact until the final whistle to win the Shield.
In what was a tremendous few days play, it would be remiss of this observer to pick standout performers for Newbridge. Instead, we can point to massive strides were made in the areas of togetherness and the development of depth in this squad. We would like to congratulate each and every member of the squad who played their part in some way over the two days. Finally we would like to congratulate the organisers of the tournament for all of their hard work in making the event an extremely entertaining and enjoyable experience for all involved.