Cork Constitution 18
Young Munster 3
YOU can add another important element to the theory that teams win games and squads win trophies after Cork Constitution’s defensive exhibition at Temple Hill on Saturday.
The energia All-Ireland League champions protected their unbeaten run in all competitions by making it 10 league wins on the spin against a Young Munster side that threw everything at them during a ferocious contest.
In difficult, greasy conditions, scoring was always going to be at a premium and while the holders struck late for tries in either half, it was their defiance in the tackle, which impressed throughout.
It first became evident right from the start as Munsters laid siege to the Con line near their posts, but the home defence remained calm, organised and committed to turn the ball over and escape.
But, the abiding memory, however, was the third quarter mid-field tackle by outstanding Con number eight Dave Hyland on his opposite number Jordan Stewart, who was charging at full speed.
Hyland, though, displayed text-book technique and courage to stop Hyland in his tracks with a magnificent tackle.
And when the Limerick side were penalised for coming in from the side at the subsequent ruck, Con, and Hyland in particular, had won another minor battle.
It was that kind of game, Munsters enjoying as much possession if not more than the champions, but simply unable to find a kink in the defensive wall and couldn’t penetrate accordingly.
The rain arrived during the opening quarter to add to the degree of difficulty with ball in hand, but Con began to show promise the longer the half went on.
A deliberate knock-on gave Jack Crowley the chance to open the scoring from a 30m penalty in the 28th minute and he duly delivered.
The young out-half was also central to a brilliant try, seven minutes later, scything through the Munsters’ defence before linking with Sean French on the right.
Con switched play to the opposite flank with Duncan Williams, Joe McSwiney and critically, Rory Burke, combining to send Brian Hayes in at right corner.
Evan Cusack missed a penalty close to the interval as Con led 8-0.
Munsters’ prop Paul Allen made an immediate impact only to suffer an eye injury during a stalemate third quarter.
French and Cusack exchanged penalties for 11-3 after 67 minutes before another substitute, Gerry Hurley, closed out the game.
His astute kicking pinned Munsters back before setting up Barry Galvin for the second try, brilliantly converted by Crowley, at the death.
Scorers for Cork Con: Tries: B Hayes, B Galvin; Con: J Crowley; Pens: J Crowley, S French.
Young Munster: Pen: E Cusack.
CORK CONSTITUTION: J Wren; S French, N Kenneally, captain, G Higgins, R Jermyn; J Crowley, D Williams; G Duffy, J Sutton, R Burke; B Hayes, S Duffy; J McSwiney, D Hyland, J Murphy.
Subs: M Abbott, P Casey, C O’Flaherty, G Hurley, B Galvin.
YOUNG MUNSTER: A Tynan; J Harrington, H Fleming, E O’Gorman, J Kiely; E Cusack, J Lyons; J Wycherley, M O’Mara, C Bartley; S Rigney, A Kennedy, captain; J Foley, J Stewart, C Mitchell.
Subs: P Allen, D Begley, T Goggin, C O’Doherty, K Stephenson.
Referee: P Martin (IRFU).