Schools rugby: Christians and Pres face tough tests in senior cup semi-finals

Schools rugby: Christians and Pres face tough tests in senior cup semi-finals
George Coomber, CBC, about to touch down for his sides second try against Castletroy College in their Munster Schools U19 Clayton Hotels Senior Cup match at Musgrave Park. Picture: Dan Linehan

CBC put their Clayton Hotels sponsored Munster Schools Senior Cup title on the line against Rockwell College at Musgrave Park, today, at 2.30pm.

It’s the first semi-final at the venue, which also stages the other tie tomorrow, when PBC take on St Munchin’s at 2pm.

Christians expect to have out-half Cian Whooley back from injury after he was forced out of the opening 32-21 win over Castletroy College at the same ground.

Whooley is one of three survivors from last season’s 5-3 success against Pres in the final, when Christians inched to the top of the roll-of-honour with 30 titles, one more than their Cork rivals.

Flanker Ronan O’Sullivan and wing Aaron Leahy are the others to have played last season while full-back Johnny Murphy was on the bench.

Leahy was one of four try scorers against Castletroy as the other wing David Kiely, centre George Coomber and replacement Alan McDonald also crossed.

Rockwell last appeared in the final in 2016, winning their 26th cup thanks to a 23-13 triumph against Árdscoil Rís.

This is their fourth game already and the Rock have only conceded one try while scoring 116 points themselves.

Two of their games were played on the 3G pitch, where they whipped newcomers High School Clonmel 64-0 before defeating Bandon Grammar School 24-0.

But, it was their 28-5 success against a much-rated Crescent College Comprehensive which made the others sit up and take notice.

Pres also face a difficult assignment against a St Munchin’s outfit, which contains many of their junior cup winning side from two years ago.

The Cork school were 21-8 winners over Crescent in a tough opening round tie, when All-Ireland minor football winner, Patrick Campbell, playing full-back, was one of the try scorers.

Prop Billy Kingston and dynamic number eight Alex Kendellen claimed the other tries with scrum-half Alex Walsh converting two and centre Darragh French the other.

St Munchin’s were involved in two very tight games. They started with a 13-12 win over Árdscoil Rís before edging Castletroy 27-24 in a seven-try thriller. They’re led by out-half Alex Wood, son of former Munster, Ireland and Lions great, Keith.

Meanwhile, the Pres-St Munchin’s rivalry gets underway in the junior cup quarter-final today at the Market’s Field, kick-off, 2.30pm.

Pres were on fire in the opening round, scoring six tries in a 42-10 rout of Castletroy, while St Munchin’s lost 40-0 to Christians.

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