PRES powered to a Pinergy Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final against St Munchin’s after proving too good for Rockwell College at Musgrave Park on Wednesday.
The Cork side chalked up eight tries and while there was much to admire in their overall performance Pres struggled at line-out time, collected two second-half yellow cards and conceded a glut of penalties.
Pres set out their stall from the kick-off and blitzed the Rock with their speed, handling and support play, sweeping in for four tries before the half-hour.
They struck as early as the third minute, stealing a Rock line-out throw on the left before spreading the ball to the right, where they were stopped just short.
More impressive handling and distribution gave Pres an overlap allowing centre James O’Leary crash over for the first of his brace of tries, 5-0.
Number 8 and captain Rory O’Shaughnessy then showed true leadership by example with a couple of tries in quick succession.
His first came after 14 minutes, Pres breaking down the narrow side from a scrum close to their own 10m line, Gene Kareem-O’Leary sending the outstanding Tom Coughlan haring along the left wing to create the opportunity, which O’Shaughnessy finished. Ben O’Connor converted for 12-0.
And O’Shaughnessy wasn’t finished either because he collected the re-start, jinked past one tackler before tearing through a huge gap in midfield and showing impressive speed to touch down at the posts with O’Connor adding the extras.
Trailing by 19 points, Rockwell badly needed to stem the bleeding and put scores on the board themselves, out-half Kian O’Reilly obliging with a 26th-minute penalty.
But, Pres hit back with their fourth try within three minutes, again displaying pace and accurate passing between backs and forwards alike for O’Leary to bag his second, converted by O’Connor, 26-3 at the interval.
The second half dipped early on before Pres added three tries in six minutes, dynamic flanker Alex Alderson starting the rush before O’Connor and substitutes Luke Sisk-O’Mahony and John Wigginton-Barrett also scored.
Rockwell grabbed a consolation try through substitute Andrew Wall but had no answer to Pres’s slick play.
Tries: R O’Shaughnessy (2), J O’Leary (2), A Alderson, B O’Connor, L Sisk-O’Mahony, J Wigginton-Barrett Cons: B O’Connor (6).
Try: A Wall Pen: K O’Reilly
B O’Connor; J Wixted, G O’Leary-Kareem, J O’Leary, T Coughlan; H Murphy, L Tuohy; M Minogue, M O’Sullivan, T McCarthy; D Noonan, C Murphy; F Roussel, R O’Shaughnessy (c), A Alderson.
M Dillon, P Wall, G O’Keeffe, A Davenport, O Squires, O Nangle, S Kelleher, J Wigginton-Barrett, L Sisk-O’Mahony, D Foley.
C Neville; M Lambe, Z O’Loughlin, C McAuliffe, M Carey; K O’Reilly, W Bermingham; B Everard, R O’Connor, C Carroll; C Bowen, R Kerry; T O’Dea, J Ryan (c), A Harold-Barry.
R McKevitt, D Crotty-Casey, A Wall, M Hayes, M Blake, R Kelly, S Leahy, R Powell, M McCarthy, F O’Grady.
S Kierans (MAR).