Don’t expect your run-of-the-mill match report here…I got to Templeville Rd after kickoff and didn’t get the starting lineups, so I had no idea of any of the names.
But basically although Gerard’s opened the scoring with an early penalty and doubled their lead with a second, the first time Clongowes’ backs found a bit of space they went over and from then on the result wasn’t really in doubt.
When Eric Miller’s Gerard’s had the ball going forward they weren’t able to get into the opposition 22, mostly thanks to dogged Wood defence courtesy of a back row that occasionally drew the attention of the ref but more often than not forced a turnover.
On the other hand the 2010 & 2011 champion Clongowes just needed to get a couple of passes away from the base and even when tackled there always seemed to be a man available for the offload and in the end it was a satisfying 5-try haul for them.
The score was 17-6 at halftime and once the hailstones that wrote off the third quarter subsided, Clongowes turned the screw to see themselves safely through to the quarterfinals.
Still, Miller should be proud of his lads – you couldn’t help but admire the way their hooker shouted “Lads – we DO NOT DIE!” at his team-mates after the fourth try went over, but they really seemed to be second best in every area on the day.
Are Clongowes contenders? On the evidence of today, it certainly seems so, though as they go deeper in the tournament they are bound to face sterner tests and just like all the other teams still left will no doubt be watching Monday’s draw with interest.