Roots & All is a project where we pick a few teams that don’t normally make the spotlight week in week out and feature them regularly throughout an entire campaign.
Good to be back with a report just prior to the festive season and things are going reasonably well at the club. The Christmas period is a relatively quiet one at Queen’s as I’m sure it is at most universities, with students returning home and matches few and far between.
The 1st XV managed two great wins in the All Ireland League to climb up the table, the first coming against a much fancied UCC side at the Mardyke, When Ritchie Mcmaster slotted a touch conversion on the final whistle to claim a well deserved 26-24 victory. This was followed up with solid home win over a Midleton featuring former Ireland and Munster back Jason Holland. It had been a tough start to the season for the young 1st XV this year, but Head coach Paddy Armstrong’s hard work each week has paid off and they appear to be hitting some form going into the upcoming senior league clashes.
The 2nd XV continue to impress running in a number of big victories, maintaining a run that has seen them unbeaten since early September. They are a very young side play a great brand of Rugby and it’s great to see their enthusiasm on the training pitch spreading throughout the whole club. They will face local rivals Malone in the McCrea cup competition in a repeat of last year’s epic final which went into extra time, with Malone coming out on top. The Queen’s lads, under the guidance of Mark Sampson and Chris Moore will be keen to reverse that this year!
The women’s team wrapped up winning their All Ireland League a week earlier having beaten everyone, playing 6 games and winning them all, scoring 285 points, whilst conceding only 29, to finish 8 points clear of local side Belfast Harlequins. This success translated into 6 of the Queen’s squad being picked for the Ulster Women’s team, forming the backbone of the side in the games against Munster and Leinster in the interprovincial series so far.
In other news, our 5th XV had another outing, this time against Ards resulting in a victory and it was great to see some players making their debut not only for the club, but in their first ever game of Rugby , long may it continue. Finally, the club is finalising the accreditation process for the IRFU club excellence award, which is recognition for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at the club.
May we wish all readers a Happy Christmas, with plenty of Rugby ... and Turkey.
‘Keep the Blue Flag Flying High... until next time.’
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