The Rockwell loose head, Tom Dowling showed great power and pace to go over for their first try just 5 minutes into the game. This resulted from a great break by centre, Sam Tarleton, who cleverly offloaded to Harry Tobin, showing superb hand speed to send Tom in. John O’Sullivan failed to add the extras. Shortly after St. Munchin’s were awarded a penalty just outside the Rockwell 22 but failed to convert.
St Munchin’s fell further behind in the 15th minute when Rockwell hooker James O’Meara finished a beautiful backline move to dive over for Rockwell’s 2nd. try just to the left of the posts. This time John O’Sullivan added the extras to leave Rockwell 12-0 ahead. Eight minutes later St. Munchin’s were unfortunate to lose their winger, Conor O’Shaughnessy, to a serious injury which held up the game for ten minutes.
Rockwell winger, Jack Hunt, showed an excellent turn of pace to go over in the right corner for Rockwell’s third, unconverted try. This came about as a result of the very good line speed involving, Alan Flannery, Eddie Daly and Cian Mullane. Despite the setback, St Munchin’s continued to try and claw their way back into the game, with centre Jamie Ryan and number eight Liam Neilan looking dangerous with ball in hand. The Rockwell defence held resolute and stemmed the St. Munchin’s flow. On the stroke of half time Rockwell were presented with a penalty but John O’ Sullivan pushed the kick just to the left of the posts.
Whatever chance St. Munchin’s had of coming back into the game evaporated less than two minutes into the second half when Rockwell turned over the ball from their own kick off. The ball was delivered to Cian Mullane on the 22 and he made a great incision through the centre only to be held up five metres out. He neatly offloaded to the inrushing Sam Tarleton who put the ball down for Rockwell’s fourth try. This time John O’Sullivan added the extras.
Any time St. Munchin’s launched an attack they were unfortunate to knock on or they found it difficult to break the resolute Rockwell defence of Alan Flannery, John O’Sullivan, Sean Cotter and Jack Hunt, ably marshalled by Eddie Daly. Rockwell added their fifth try just under the hour mark from captain, and flanker, Harry Tobin. He picked from the back of a ruck, went blind to touch down. At this stage the Rockwell bench was emptied and St. Munchin’s persistence was finally rewarded on just under 70 minutes when they won their own line out, which followed a penalty inside the Rockwell 22. Hooker, Keith Hyland, went in to touch down from close range. With less than five minutes remaining the Rockwell backline moved the ball fluently out to Sean Cotter who showed a neat turn of foot to beat three defenders on the wing and score Rockwell’s sixth try. Eddie Daly duly converted to leave the final score 36-5.
Besides those mentioned, Rockwell hooker, James O’Meara made great incisions with his carry on many occasions., Robert Browne made several tackles all over the pitch, Steven Grogan at no. 8 powered through the St. Munchin’s pack on numerous occasions; captain, Harry Tobin, presented a beautiful offload between two Munchin’s defenders to Tom Dowling to allow him to score; flanker Joe Dwan worked tirelessly throughout. The front row controlled the set pieces throughout with Tom Dowling and Killian Lane totally dominant. Robert Browne and Kevin Grogan dominated the line outs and were excellent in defence. If Rockwell continue to play like this they will give Pres all to do in three weeks time on the 13th. February, again in Independent Park.
Rockwell College: Cian Mullane, Jack Hunt, Sam Tarleton, Alan Flannery, Sean Cotter, Eddie Daly, John O’Sullivan, Tom Dowling, James O’Meara, Killian Lane, Robert Browne, Kevin Grogan, Joe Dwan, Harry Tobin, Stephen Grogan. Replacements: Peter Wall, Cathal Ryan, Dylan Foley, Dara Murphy, Luke Fogarty, Richard Anglim, Brian Flavin, Adam Maher, Josh O’Dwyer, Dylan Farrelly.Coaches: Kevin Leamy, Denis Leamy, Eamonn Connelly. S+C; Pat O’Connor. Physio: Leanne Fogarty.
St Munchin’s College: Conor Sheahan; Conor O’Shaughnessy, Tyrone O’Halloran, Jamie Ryan, Joshua O’Neill; Donnacha O’Callaghan, Conor McInerney; Cathal Hynes, Keith Hyland, Craig Finn, Mark Crowe, Joachim Clohessy, Dylan Higgins, Conor Nesbitt, Liam Neilan. Replacements: Jack Devanny, Evan Kelly, Kean Sheehy, Jamie Hamilton, Louis McCormack, Aaron Deegan, Josh Egan, Ewan O’Brien, Darragh Long.