Schools Cup Rugby 2010 - Official Thread

All ruminations on the grand old competition here. Less than a week now to the big kick-off. Here’s the Tonemeister’s big preview. On the ball as always as regards form, you’d have to go with Michael’s again this year, some real animals in that pack and the backs really have lovely soft hands when in possession. But it’s shocking to see Wardy get such an elementary fact wrong, Ballsbridge’s finest were of course the 2007 not the 2006 winners, he’ll need to get rid of that tardiness if he’s to stay ahead of the Thorn as the premier Schools Cup correspondent. I’ll leave in the ads on the article in any case if any of you are thinking about dental implants or need advice on refinancing those school fees for junior.

Some real value here, I’d advise you all to lump on Michael’s at 4/1, with Castleknock excellent each way value at 50/1.
Clongowes 15/8 St Mary’s 10/1 Roscrea 50/1 St Michaels 4/1 St Gerards 16/1 Castleknock 50/1 Blackrock 6/1 CBC Monstown 25/1 Gonzaga 50/1 Belvedere 13/2 Newbridge 50/1 Kilkenny 66/1 Terenure 13/2 Kings Hospital 50/1

Michael’s can achieve success the hard way

Terenure aiming to mark 150th anniversary with title
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By Tony Ward

Wednesday January 20 2010

When you’ve been to three Junior Cup finals in a row, despite not winning any, there are valid grounds for optimism when Senior Cup time comes around.

That is the lot of 2006 winners St Michael’s as the 2010 main event comes into view. The Ailesbury Road school is, along with '08 Junior Cup runaway winners Clongowes, rightly fancied to go mighty close again this time.

The draw has been kinder to the Clane school, given the presence of three Vinnie Murray Cup qualifiers in the top half.

However, they should be warned that there has been an appreciable narrowing of the gap between the traditional heavyweights – Michael’s, Clongowes, St Mary’s, Blackrock, Terenure, Belvedere – and the rest this time round.

If Michael’s are to make it a second outright success in four attempts, then they will have to do it the hard way, what with 'Rock, Belvo, 'Nure as well as particularly strong Castleknock, St Gerard’s, Newbridge and (most likely) Gonzaga sides all lumped together at the lower end.

The smart money will be on a Michael’s v Clongowes RDS showdown, but don’t rule out an all-Holy Ghost Mary’s v 'Rock alternative.

With the possible exception of qualifier 3 (who will meet St Mary’s in the opening round), every first-round tie has a most competitive look about it.

Pres Bray (if they overcome St Andrew’s), CBC Monkstown, Wesley (although watch Section A Schools Newpark/St Pat’s, Navan) and Gonzaga will be fancied to make it through as Vinnie Murray qualifiers 1 to 4 in that order.

That competition only gets under way today, because of the inclement weather.

The Senior tournament kicks into gear on Sunday, January 31, with the battle of the heavyweights when defending champions 'Rock take on last year’s beaten semi-finalists (by 'Rock) Belvo at Donnybrook. Revenge would be sweet, but the all-conquering Williamstown Junior Cup winning side of 2007 – despite losing star turn Andrew Conway – will be fancied to make it through.

The following day, six of the remaining seven are down for decision, with Mary’s, Clongowes, Kilkenny, Roscrea, Michael’s and 'Knock the fancied to make it through.

The CBC/Roscrea and 'Knock/Gonzaga games appear the most difficult to call, although Newbridge and most particularly King’s Hospital are well capable of taking it down to the wire against Michael’s and Clongowes respectively.

The eighth and final tie sees last year’s beaten finalists Terenure taking on St Gerard’s in a repeat of the 2005 quarter-final – won by the Bray School on the narrowest of margins.

The 'Nure, like great rivals 'Rock, are celebrating their 150th anniversary, and to that end will be highly motivated to avenge '05 and in the process set up the possibility of a rematch of last year’s final. But, as with so many others, don’t rule out a possible upset.

If form and tradition carries, it would lead to a quarter-final line up along the following lines: Clongowes v Kilkenny, Roscrea v St Mary’s, St Michael’s v Castleknock and Terenure v Blackrock. That being the case (and I anticipate at least two of those eight being wrong), I would take Clongowes, Mary’s, Michael’s and 'Rock to make it through to the last four.

Your guess is as good as mine after that, with both semi-finals likely to be either/or matches.

The bookies say Clongowes v Michael’s in a repeat of the '88 and '91 finals (both won by Clongowes) and who am I to argue with that? That said, it’s a brave or foolish man who will bet too heavily against a Blackrock Junior Cup-winning unit from three years before. Whatever else, I am neither of those.

  • Tony Ward

http://www.e-imagesite.com/Files/001agb059553166.gif

[COLOR=“White”]. . . . . . . . . .

You could give someone a seizure with that!

/lllBRW|GIJH EQ’hvbsvsld uhsd sdofghslffffffffffffffu l… jfkdgj jkdfkjkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkl.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d9/Battling_seizure_Robots.jpg

Lads - on a serious note I’ve been given the nod for Clongowes. 15/8 is terrific value.

I think Watch the Break’s little attachment above sums up the sheer colour and joy of the Schools Cup. Thank you Sir.

I forget to mention by the way that Setanta’s continued comprehensive coverage means that viewers will get an all too rare chance to hear the dulcet tones of Fred Cogley. The sad passing of Bill McLaren last week is a timely reminder that we should cherish one of the real legends of sports broadcasting in this country while we still can. Although in semi-retirement mode now, Fred still lives and breathes rugby every day of his life and there are no more capable hands in which the viewer could be placed. It’ll be a real pleasure to hear Fred’s expertise and passion as Leinster’s finest young guns do battle over the coming weeks. The man exudes pure class.

me hole, KH will beat them in the 1st round, you heard it here first

Eddie O’Sullivan captures the essence of what the Schools Cup means in this article. Great reading.

From little acorns . . .
Schools rugby continues to flourish and foster the growth of Ireland’s future icons

By Eddie O’Sullivan

Wednesday January 21 2009

It was the late spring of 1994 and the Willow Park U-13’s rugby team had just returned to the school to celebrate winning the U-13 Cup. It was obviously a momentous day for the young players and an exciting day for the school.

At the same time it hardly registered on the ‘Richter Scale’ of world rugby and probably didn’t warrant a mention at the bottom of the rugby pages in the following day’s newspapers. After all, it was just an U-13 rugby competition played amongst the Holy Ghost schools in the Dublin area: Willow Park, Blackrock College, St Michael’s College, Templeogue College and St Mary’s College.

During the celebrations of Coca-Cola and crisps an elderly Holy Ghost priest dropped in to congratulate the players. From his pocket he produced the U-13’s Cup medal he had won during the 1930s. As somebody, who hadn’t played rugby at school, it was an extraordinary insight into the history and traditions of schools rugby. For the young 12-year-olds it was a reminder that their achievement made them part of a tradition that extended back over 60 years.

Anybody who attends a schools rugby game will readily testify that tradition and passion runs very deep. The excitement that surrounds a cup tie between Presentation and Christians in Cork or Blackrock and Terenure in Dublin has to be experienced to be believed. That level of excitement is replicated on an ongoing basis every year throughout the country until St Patrick’s weekend. Around that weekend the four provincial finals are contested and another chapter in Irish schools rugby is consigned to history.

Schools rugby consistently plays a huge part in player development and this fact is readily recognised by the IRFU. What is evident, as long as schools rugby has existed, is that Irish schools play an integral part in the player developmental pipelines that the IRFU support and manage. Also, the Irish development pipelines are the envy of most rugby-playing nations throughout the world.

In the last 25 years, Irish age-grade rugby has developed under a twin-track approach through youth and schools rugby. For the most part, youth rugby caters for the development of players who do not attend rugby-playing schools. The youth system to date has produced players such as Mick Galwey, John Hayes and Shane Horgan, who are icons of the modern Irish game. Having said that, the traditional schools system always has and still produces the vast majority of our professional and subsequently our international players.

To this end the IRFU remain hugely indebted to the Irish schools that run rugby programmes for their students year in, year out.

Of course the landscape of schools rugby has changed in recent years. The drop-off in religious vocations has meant the coaching baton, in many cases, has passed on to lay coaches who are for the most part teachers in those educational establishments.

This requires a huge commitment from individual schools in terms of time, energy, manpower and finances.

Despite the huge commitment required from schools to run programmes, schools rugby has never been in a healthier state throughout the country.

In fact, along with ongoing development within the traditional powerhouses of the game, in recent years new schools have entered the fray. St Saran’s College, Ferbane, in the heartland of Offaly GAA territory, won the Connacht Schools Cup for the first time in 2004.

The standard of rugby within the Irish schools system is regularly put to the test when the Irish Schools team competes with England, Scotland and Wales. Also, on occasion they tour in the southern hemisphere. Historically, the Irish Schools have had consistent success at international level. Proof positive that the standard of schools coaching in Ireland is at least as good as anywhere else in the world. As a further testimony to the sterling work carried out at schools level: In the Ireland v Scotland Six Nations game of 2008, when Tony Buckley ran on as a substitute he joined Geordan Murphy, Bernard Jackman and Jamie Heaslip as four former pupils of Newbridge College. Quite an extraordinary achievement for the small school in Co Kildare.

Occasionally there has been criticism from some quarters of schools rugby on the basis that it is very intense and hugely pressurised. Be that as it may, it is also true that the competitiveness of schools rugby is something that young players enjoy and revel in. Along with the unique experience of representing one’s school, it is important in the development of players who progress to the upper echelons of the game after school. Like any player who has played Schools Cup rugby, Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara or Paul O’Connell will vividly remember the day they either won or were knocked out of the Schools Cup. But they will also verify the important role that schools rugby played in their development to the world-class professional players they have become.

No doubt this year’s Schools Cup competitions will be as competitive as ever in all four provinces. There will be tears of joy and tears of disappointment. Even if the medals that are won may not be readily available for display in 60 years time, surely the memories will remain as vivid as the day they occurred.

[quote=“sid waddell”]Eddie O’Sullivan captures the essence of what the Schools Cup means in this article. Great reading.

From little acorns . . .
Schools rugby continues to flourish and foster the growth of Ireland’s future icons

By Eddie O’Sullivan

Wednesday January 21 2009

It was the late spring of 1994 and the Willow Park U-13’s rugby team had just returned to the school to celebrate winning the U-13 Cup. It was obviously a momentous day for the young players and an exciting day for the school.

At the same time it hardly registered on the ‘Richter Scale’ of world rugby and probably didn’t warrant a mention at the bottom of the rugby pages in the following day’s newspapers. After all, it was just an U-13 rugby competition played amongst the Holy Ghost schools in the Dublin area: Willow Park, Blackrock College, St Michael’s College, Templeogue College and St Mary’s College.

During the celebrations of Coca-Cola and crisps an elderly Holy Ghost priest dropped in to congratulate the players. From his pocket he produced the U-13’s Cup medal he had won during the 1930s. As somebody, who hadn’t played rugby at school, it was an extraordinary insight into the history and traditions of schools rugby. For the young 12-year-olds it was a reminder that their achievement made them part of a tradition that extended back over 60 years.

Anybody who attends a schools rugby game will readily testify that tradition and passion runs very deep. The excitement that surrounds a cup tie between Presentation and Christians in Cork or Blackrock and Terenure in Dublin has to be experienced to be believed. That level of excitement is replicated on an ongoing basis every year throughout the country until St Patrick’s weekend. Around that weekend the four provincial finals are contested and another chapter in Irish schools rugby is consigned to history.

Schools rugby consistently plays a huge part in player development and this fact is readily recognised by the IRFU. What is evident, as long as schools rugby has existed, is that Irish schools play an integral part in the player developmental pipelines that the IRFU support and manage. Also, the Irish development pipelines are the envy of most rugby-playing nations throughout the world.

In the last 25 years, Irish age-grade rugby has developed under a twin-track approach through youth and schools rugby. For the most part, youth rugby caters for the development of players who do not attend rugby-playing schools. The youth system to date has produced players such as Mick Galwey, John Hayes and Shane Horgan, who are icons of the modern Irish game. Having said that, the traditional schools system always has and still produces the vast majority of our professional and subsequently our international players.

To this end the IRFU remain hugely indebted to the Irish schools that run rugby programmes for their students year in, year out.

Of course the landscape of schools rugby has changed in recent years. The drop-off in religious vocations has meant the coaching baton, in many cases, has passed on to lay coaches who are for the most part teachers in those educational establishments.

This requires a huge commitment from individual schools in terms of time, energy, manpower and finances.

Despite the huge commitment required from schools to run programmes, schools rugby has never been in a healthier state throughout the country.

In fact, along with ongoing development within the traditional powerhouses of the game, in recent years new schools have entered the fray. St Saran’s College, Ferbane, in the heartland of Offaly GAA territory, won the Connacht Schools Cup for the first time in 2004.

The standard of rugby within the Irish schools system is regularly put to the test when the Irish Schools team competes with England, Scotland and Wales. Also, on occasion they tour in the southern hemisphere. Historically, the Irish Schools have had consistent success at international level. Proof positive that the standard of schools coaching in Ireland is at least as good as anywhere else in the world. As a further testimony to the sterling work carried out at schools level: In the Ireland v Scotland Six Nations game of 2008, when Tony Buckley ran on as a substitute he joined Geordan Murphy, Bernard Jackman and Jamie Heaslip as four former pupils of Newbridge College. Quite an extraordinary achievement for the small school in Co Kildare.

Occasionally there has been criticism from some quarters of schools rugby on the basis that it is very intense and hugely pressurised. Be that as it may, it is also true that the competitiveness of schools rugby is something that young players enjoy and revel in. Along with the unique experience of representing one’s school, it is important in the development of players who progress to the upper echelons of the game after school. Like any player who has played Schools Cup rugby, Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara or Paul O’Connell will vividly remember the day they either won or were knocked out of the Schools Cup. But they will also verify the important role that schools rugby played in their development to the world-class professional players they have become.

No doubt this year’s Schools Cup competitions will be as competitive as ever in all four provinces. There will be tears of joy and tears of disappointment. Even if the medals that are won may not be readily available for display in 60 years time, surely the memories will remain as vivid as the day they occurred.[/QUOTE]

Belvo Rock is the daddy
Come onthe black and white

[quote=“W.B. Yeats”]Belvo Rock is the daddy
Come onthe black and white[/QUOTE]

meh, time for the underdogs, blue & gold all the way (also my managing solicitor is ex mongoes and would love to rub the ginger cunts nose in it)

I wouldn’t hold my breath Art…
Unfortunately most of these games are won and lost in the heads of the young lads and they are very susceptible to reputation

Is this the competition where a bunch of 17 year olds are feted like gods for a year, are beaten dockets by the time they’re 20 and are washed up with multiple chins and a sham marriage by 30? 'Nure will be hard bet.

Let it go SS
Your like a broken record on the SCT
Its the same every year

Embrace the competition you might find the commitment and skill of the young lads to your liking

All roads lead to Donnybrook on Sunday. Any of the Belvo boys heading along? Rocko I assume will be clad in the light blue and white hoops to support the school that he takes his name from. The winners face 'Nure in the next round, so the traditional giants have their work cut out this year. With the country seemingly in a state of chassis and parents needing to tighten the belts, could we be about to encounter “Schools Cup: The Revolution Years”?

I will consider attending to support the Alma Mater although I might conceivably not be arsed

[quote=“W.B. Yeats”]I wouldn’t hold my breath Art…
Unfortunately most of these games are won and lost in the heads of the young lads and they are very susceptible to reputation[/QUOTE]

the kilkenny lads didn’t do it last year

I remember sitting at home in front of the telly channel surfing one afternoon about eight or nine years ago when I saw Ollie Campbell was a guest on one of those afternoon chat shows on RTE, Open House I think it was. Ollie of course had a wonderful career in the green jersey and was the star of that memorable Triple Crown of '82. However the modest Ollie didn’t want to talk about himself at all, and laughed off any praise that Marty Whelan and Mary Kennedy showered him with. What he did want to talk about was his alma mater. He reached down and produced a beautifully painted portrait of the frontage of Belvedere College. You could see the sparkle in Ollie’s eyes as he remembered back to his schooldays. The affection he still held for his former classmates and teachers, and for the spirit and ethos of the Jesuit-run institution shone through. And it was clear that the consummation of that love and respect for Belvo was expressed through the Schools Cup. You can take the boy out of Belvo, but you can’t take Belvo out of the boy.

So while Ollie and Tony Ward were famously in opposition for many years in that great battle for the No.10 jersey for Ireland, one thing that unites them is the love for their alma mater and for the Schools Cup.

:clap::clap:

Ollie was and is an utter gent
Many’s the afternoon he gave up to train us and impart his wisdom be it on the old pitch in Jones Road or out in Cabra
A class act

What are our expectations this year, WBY?

I guess I wanna party like it’s 2005.