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High hopes as we open the AIL campaign with a Bonus Point win


A fresh start. The beauty of a new season is we get to start with a clean slate and hope in our hearts. Hope springs eternal and all that stuff!!

A wise man once said ‘ it is the hope that kills you’ but on this occasion our high hopes were fully justified as we came out on top of a tough encounter with Young Munster with a bonus point 29-14 win.

This was a fresh looking Lansdowne team with no less than six players making their Lansdowne AIL Debut to include Hugo McLaughlin, Tom Barry, Luke O’Connor, Rory Parata, George Kenny (lining out beside his brother James) and last but definitely not least the Causeway Capital Man of the Match, Harry Van Eaden.

A low point to the day was an injury to our Captain Cillian Redmond early in the second half and we wish him well and a speedy recovery.

As expected, Young Munster rumbled onto the pitch with a huge pack that did their best to roll us over but our boys were up to the task and gave as good as they got with quality fringe defence and total commitment in the tackle and at the breakdown.

After conceding an early try to a rolling maul, we settled into our stride and matched them up front while showing more creativity and a quality cutting edge out wide and tries from James Kenny and Rory Parata together with a penalty and two conversions from Charlie Tector brought us to 17-7 by half time.

To be fair, Young Munster didn’t lie down and we absorbed some serious pressure for the first 15 minutes of the second half before breaking loose and picking up our third try courtesy of Barry Fitzpatrick.

Young Munster did respond with a second try from another rolling maul but the best was yet to come from the Lansdowne men with some champagne rugby that started with a break out from deep in our own half led by Sean Galvin followed by a series of quality off-loads and interplays and finished off with a pin point cross field kick from Rory Parata fielded beautifully by Hugo McLaughlin and touched down by the corner flag. A thing of beauty and the bonus point in the bag!

Other highlights of the day included our President ( President Roo) doing us proud with his inaugural AIL pre match speech (despite some heckling from his own guests!) and our Head Coach (Fassie) getting to celebrate his 50th birthday with a bonus point win!

As the great Van Morrison once said ‘My Momma told me there’d be days like these’ and no doubt tougher challenges lie ahead but we will take this and build on it.

Onwards and upwards.

Here’s hoping.


Match Report: Johnnie Lombard

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