Skerries is a small village - surrounded by a large number of houses. The people used to be primarily farmers and fishermen - some still are - but many more commute as part of their working week. Skerries have played rugby at Holmpatrick officially since 1926. My uncle Joe was also born that year - recently he told me he remembers the first match - and who am I not to believe him! He has a great recall of the early days and we are very lucky and grateful to have his memories available to us.Skerries is off the beaten track. We used to say ‘you have to want to go to Skerries’ - it isn’t on the road to anywhere - just to itself!!This semi remoteness is usually worth about 7 points to Skerries as ‘posh’ Dublin teams struggle to find Skerries and then - once there - take another 15 minutes to find the ground! UCD J2s took no chances as they assembled at 1100 hours at Belfield- to head to North County Dublin in convoy. They reassembled at Skerries Harbour to take on fuel - while gazing on The Mountains of Mourne. Captain Johnno & Managers Mc Donough & Jones (now in his 22nd year of Managing UCD team) gave their final thoughts - the team switched on - this Skerries team are a serious outfit - the J2s would need all their focus & all their tricks to be in with a chance coming down the stretch. Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain! And no wind!!
When Webb Ellis ‘created’ rugby back in the day - had he stipulated that a game would be only 40 minutes - well then the UCD J2s would have seen some reward for their efforts yesterday. While both teams went hard at it - with good play from both sides - Skerries were more street wise. UCD shaved it in possession and time spent on the opposition half – they had two penalty attempts at goal from Brendan McDonnell – with the second one only missing by inches. By contrast with less possession Skerries profited from quick thinking by their No.9 ( - who tapped a quick penalty and dived over the line – half time 5-0 to the Skerries Goats.
It rained – the pitch was heavy – Skerries brought a seriously aggressive rush defence – the UCD J2s found themselves with no time on the ball – the heavy pitch made their natural running game almost impossible - eventually Skerries began to wear UCD down – well you will have to visit SRFC website to get the full details (if you really want them) – the final score did not reflect the effort and spirit that the J2s showed right to the end. There is much learning in this for us ( See final thoughts). Skerries fully deserved their victory and have improved much since we last met in early November – they are rightfully sitting on top of the League while we now are in a dog fight for 2nd place.
Remembering at all times to accentuate the positive:-
- The soup and sambos in Joe Mays (by the harbour in Skerries were lovely (thank you Bobby)
- The mini-tour of Skerries in the (temporary) sunshine with views of The Mountains of Mourne set the tone for the pre-match build up
- The Skerries folks were most hospitable and treated us well
- The Skerries Physio (Emma Quirke) kindly attended to our walking wounded – Cossie (Elbow). Johnno (bump on head), Sam (ribs), Rob (hammer), Richie (confused!!)
- Later in the season – we hope to meet again in the League final – the track will be drier – the weather should be more clement – we know our challenges and have time to work with the coaches to come up with a plan – the season has just got very interesting.
Honourable mentions: The whole team for their spirit and resilience; our laundrette (the gear walked off the pitch on it’s own); Jonesy (for being our only supporter) and Bobby (for stepping in as Coach at the last minute)
Man of the match: Conor Scully
Squad: Jerry Nolan, Kevin White, John O'Donnell, Sam Doggett, Conor Scully, Richie Akpan, Matt Edwards, Dave O'Brien, Shane Costigan, Tim Stafford, James Shanahan, Brionn Coffey, Tim Wu Murphy, Brendan McDonnell, Rob Shanahan, Eric Giannitrapani, Adrien Toulemonde, Kev Lynch, James Bredin, Cian Harrington.
J2 MATCH REPORT 35-15 V LANSDOWNE
During last weekend word filtered through in UCD and Lansdowne rugby circles that the great Peter Sutherland had died. The UCD RFC President - Terry Buckley - paid a fitting tribute in the UCD Rugby Newsletter. we heard about Peter’s great achievements as an international & world player on the highest political and business stages. We also heard about his love for rugby - initially in Gonzaga, then UCD, then Lansdowne.
It was just a coincidence that the next evening the UCD J2s were to play Lansdowne. Both teams paid their own quiet but poignant tribute with a brief silence observed prior to kick off. What followed was a tribute in its own way - a hard fought, keenly contested battle - with some excellent rugby on display from both sides - but played in a fair and competitive spirit - values that Peter espoused all his life. We may not see his like again - At Dheis De a Anan.
Farmers in Connemara let their sheep roam freely - but they know that from time to time you need to count your sheep and ensure they are in the general vacinity. Similarly - after the Christmas break - UCD Junior Rugby Managers & Coaches hold their breaths as they await the return of their flock. Captain (Johnno) hails from The Kingdom - he understands this full well - as a result he left nothing to chance and used every trick in the book to ensure the J2 / J4 flock knew that the festive roaming period was at an end. The 3 Wise Men have come and gone - the season was about to recommence and their is serious work to be done.
A fine clear night ensued- no rain, a slight wind - perfect conditions for the type of rugby the J2s aspire to. A sizable crowd turned up (in Junior Rugby that means more than 20 people!) - bolstered by a good & vociferous Lansdowne contingent. There are many connections between the 2 clubs and many on both sides are well known to each other.
The contest swung many times as each team look to assert their preferred style of play to good effect - UCD were structured in the pack and crisp & paceyvin the backs - Lansdowne less structured but very strong upfront and very strong in the tackle. UCD struck early with a fine 15 man move finished off by the solo scoring machine that is Brendan McDonnell. Lansdowne fought back - by half time we had a tied game (15-15) as McDonnell hit a penalty and converted a Rob Shanahan try. The crowd were enjoying it and were fully engaged with the Ref’s interpretations of certain laws! (our Ref was French (Nicholas) who will return to France after one more match - unusually he asked if we could video some clips of the game so that he could show his family on his return - thanks Paddy Barrett for delivering and keeping the Ref onside!!).
The winning of the game was settled in a 6 minute periid just as the 2nd half was warming up. To be fair to Lansdowne they threw the kitchen sink at it - wave after wave of bulky forwards pounded at the UCD 5 metre line - to a man the UCD team - backs & forwards - stood up and defended their line like their lives depended on it. Such was the ferocity that at one stage even the Ref got cleaned out if and required a moment to recover ( Paddy - we hope you got that one on video - if only to help Id the assailant!). Eventually UCD cleared their lines - the siege was lifted and one sensed the Lansdowne spirit - if not broken - was severely dented.
What followed were 3 more tries - the scoring machines McDonnell and Coffey.
Tired bodies retired to The Clubhouse afterwards for one quiet drink. Captain Johnno reflected on a good conclusion to what can be strictly week in the J2 season. There is work ahead - but their is time to do it - and on this showing there is plenty of intent & spirit. Next up is the long trip to Wesso in Donnybrook- sure we might see you there....
Man of the Match- Brendan McDonnell
Honourable mentions - Conor Scully, Johnny Hill
Team - Jerry Nolan, Peter Barrett, John O'Donnell (Capt), Sam Doggett, Conor Scully, Matt Edwards, Richie Akpan, David O'Brien, Shane Costigan, Tim Stafford, James Shanahan, Brionn Coffey, Tim Wu Murphy, Brendan McDonnell, Kevin White, Kevin Wynne, Jeremiah Nolan, Johnny Hill, James Bredin,
AIB Launches 65th Annual Rugby Colours Match
UCD, Dublin, Wednesday 5th April: AIB, proud partners of UCD Rugby, officially launched the eagerly anticipated 65th Annual Colours Match between UCD Rugby and Dublin University Football Club at the UCD Bowl this coming Friday, April 7th.
UCD captain Jamie Glynn was on hand for the launch alongside Trinity’s Brian Slater, while UCD’s Leah Hayden went toe to toe with Niamh Byrne of Trinity for the third year of the Women’s Colours Match.
While many of the UCD and Trinity players will have made new acquaintances on the recent Irish Universities outing against England, friendships will be put aside this Friday as Trinity try to win back-to-back Colours Matches, an accomplishment Trinity haven’t been able to achieve in over 20 years.
The Honours over the last decade are close to an even split, but favour UCD with six wins to Trinity’s four. Both teams went tit-for-tat in the early part of the last decade, with UCD then putting a run of four successive wins together from 2012-2015. Having lost last year’s fixture to a spirited Trinity side in a packed-out College Park, UCD will be looking to snatch back the ownership of the highly valued claret jug, The Colours Cup.
The teams are currently sitting close together in the All Ireland League with UCD in 5th place on 38 points, followed closely by Trinity in 7th place on 35 points. The 6:30pm fixture is one you don’t want to miss.
The Women’s Colours Match will act as the curtain raiser at the UCD Bowl as they kick off at 2:30pm this Friday. It’s the third year the Women’s Colours Match takes place, with Trinity claiming the Kay Bowden Cup in its inaugural year, while UCD took it home to Belfield in 2016.
Both sides have already met this season in Division 1 of the Student Sport Ireland League in October, where they drew 12-12 at Donnybrook. Fridayis a rare opportunity for both teams to play at the UCD Bowl, made even more significant as the venue will also host Ireland’s group matches in the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup.
The Colours Match was inaugurated in 1952 at Lansdowne Road with the first title taken by UCD RFC. The idea of a Colours Match was originally discussed between Sarsfield Hogan of UCD and Harry Thrift of Trinity following a Senior Cup win of UCD over Trinity in 1948 by a drop goal to nil. Negotiations went on for some time and with the assistance of the IRFU and of the Lansdowne and Wanderers Rugby Football Clubs, a scheme for an annual Colours match was finally agreed.
The two Universities would play once a year. Each University would act as the host in turn and be responsible for the management for the fixture and the entertainment. Following discussion with the other University, the host would invite the referee for the match. A formal teams’ dinner would then be held following the match.
The Colours Cup trophy was inaugurated in 2002 to mark the Golden Jubilee of the first Colours Match in 1962. It was first presented to the winners of the 51st Colours Match, UCD. The cup is in the form of a claret jug.
This is AIB’s first year sponsoring UCD Rugby. Speaking at the launch, Tom Kinsella, Chief Marketing Officer with AIB said, “We’re delighted to be supporting UCD Rugby Football Club and The Colours Match. The Colours Match is an historic and significant event between two of Ireland’s leading teams in club rugby and we’re very proud to be a part of it. UCD has seen some great players nurture their skills on their journey through the club here, who have now gone on to play for their country and became national heroes.”
“As proud sponsors, we’re hoping UCD Ladies Team will win their first back-to-back Colours title, while the Senior Team will snatch the Colours Cup back and keep it in Belfield this Friday”.
The Womens’ Colours Match kicks off at 2:30pm at the UCD Bowl on Friday, 7th April while the Mens’ Senior Team follow with kick off at 6:30pm.
Notes to Editors:
- Notable players who have played in previous Colours Matches, Brian O’Driscoll (UCD), Jamie Heaslip (Trinity), Adam Byrne (UCD), Josh van der Flier (UCD), Garry Ringrose (UCD), Sean O’Brien (UCD), Fergus McFadden (UCD) and Dan Leavy (UCD) to name just a few.
- Colours Matches are also played between UCD and Trinity in a number of other sports, including Hockey, Rowing and Sailing.
Collidge's first try came from one such attack, with the home defence stretched a penalty was awarded to UCD, a kick to the corner and the forwards mauled over with David Pogatchnik touching down at the back of the ruck. Unfortunately, the conversion was missed as the kickers left their kicking boots back in Dublin.
Encouraged by this score Collidge started to produce some excellent rugby, marshalled by half backs Niall O'Neill and Donnchad Reilly Collidge lifted the tempo and were rewarded with a second try after a strong carry by Jonny Guy, hooker Matthew O'Donovan was on hand to finish the job and touch down for a ten point lead at half time.
The first score of the second half would be crucial and UCD raced out of the blocks and two quick tries from Ronan Foley (much to the delight of his mother!) and Jamie Stone extended the lead. Foley's try was converted to stretch the Collidge lead to 22-0. At this stage our Ireland Under 20’s Rory Mulvihill and Jack Regan were welcomed back into a Collidge jersey and they duly added to the performance. We were also able to get Tim Carroll onto the pitch for the first time this season, after a run of injuries Tim was delighted to be back and was duly rewarded with a try after some strong runs immediately after coming on. Further tries from Tim Costigan, David Pogatchnik and Steven Kilgallen finished off a very professional job. At this stage we asked the bus driver to take a conversion but as he was not on the team-sheet the impressive referee did not allow it.
After the match the lads showered and changed at a speed never seen before as they were keen to return to Dublin to attend the Blue Ball. Not wanting to get their tuxedo creased it was quickly into tee shirts and shorts and onto the bus. The only delay was the centre pairing waiting for their fake tan to dry before getting on the bus.
As we neared Dublin there were a few anxious glances at the phones to see if dates were going to cry off (Sam Griffin still maintained hope that Mike Ross was going to accept his offer and accompany him to the ball). The baby faced assassin, Steven Kilgallen sought hair style advice from Jonny Guy (of Tony & Guy fame) but the bus driver was not keen on Steven using his mirror to style his locks, thankfully the Rockwell pair of Ben Murray & Jamie Stone had a spare mirror for Steven to use, you might think it odd that Ben & Jamie had a mirror between them but as they do everything together it came as no surprise to anyone on the bus. In fact the rest of the squad were waiting to see if they had dates for the ball...Emmet Burns & Robin Reidy swapped beard grooming advice and Alex Holmes had enough hair product for the entire team!
As we got nearer Dublin the call to change into their tuxedos was delivered and suddenly the bus was overcome with a sense of focus and concentration yet to be seen on the pitch. The driver was delighted with this as his bus was now smelling like the fragrance department of Brown Thomas......
Judging by the appearance of some of the players at the 20B match yesterday it is safe to say a good night was had by all..
Collidge play Lansdowne in the Semi Final next Sunday at 2.30 in Lansdowne so please try to come down and support as this will be a very tough battle as both teams look to secure a place in the final.
Each year at about this time UCD Rugby Club’s male and female players collect across the campus for the Irish Cancer Society through the Daffodil Day appeal and will be doing so again on March 9th
€6,500 was collected last year and this year’s target is €8,000.
Please contribute by taking a daffodil pin and donating
For photos click HERE
Thursday March 9th UCD RFC Campus Daffodil Day for Irish Cancer Society
Friday, April 7th Annual Colours Match (UCD Bowl)
Friday, April 28th Annual Dinner (O’Reilly Hall)
1966-1967 Prof Paddy Meenan Al Moroney
1976-1977 Brendan Murphy Dave Ramsey
1986-1987 Al Moroney Mark Connolly
1996-1997 Paul Devlin Denis Finn
2006-2007 Alex Spain Conor Geoghegan
Saturday, September 24th, 2016
13 Collidge players were with Leinster on Saturday at Tallaght Stadium in the narrow 24-22 victory over Gloucester.
Garry Ringrose, Barry Daly, Andrew Porter, James Tracy, Jeremy Loughman, Ross Molony, Josh Murphy, Sean McNulty, Josh van der Flier, Dan Leavy, Peadar Timmins, Adam Byrne (1 try) and Nick McCarthy (2 tries) … all played at some stage.
Note: at the beginning of the second half, 6 of the 8 forwards (including the front rowers) were Collidge .. Porter/Tracy/Loughman/Molony/Murphy/Leavy/Timmins
Well done to all!