Trinity started their Division 1A rugby campaign with a frustrating 0-24 loss to Terenure today in a drizzly and overcast College Park.
Trinity also opened last year’s campaign with a match against Terenure, beating them 25-18 in the first game after promotion to Division 1A, showing that they could compete with the top teams. However, a failure to convert opportunities into points at critical moments cost Trinity today in what was a disappointing loss.
Things started badly for Trinity today with Sam Pim, returning from an erasmus year in Queensland, shown a yellow card for a high tackle in the opening minutes.
Despite this early setback, Trinity showed resilience with an excellent searching kick by fullback Jack Fitzpatrick giving Trinity a platform to put themselves in front early in the contest. But Terenure defended well, turned the ball over and marched up the pitch with little resistance. They won a penalty and opted to kick for touch. This proved to be the right choice as it allowed their powerful maul to drive toward the Trinity try-line. Oisín Heffernan took the ball and carried it over the line for five points to Terenure.
Number 10, Mark O’Neill, converted putting the visitors in a strong position and five minutes later Terenure were over the line again for another try. Their route to the try-line was almost identical to their opening score with the Terenure maul driving into the opposite corner to score with Michael Melia touching the ball down. However, O’Neill couldn’t make it two from two on the conversion and the score remained 12-0.
Trinity were eager to strike back and they began to press forward. In an impressive move, Billy O’Hora chased down his own grubber kick and raced down the sideline into the Terenure half, but Trinity couldn’t find a way to put points on the board.
This period of Trinity dominance was brief: just before half-time Terenure threatened to make it a three score game and — were it not for a try-saving tackle by number 7 Toby Boyd — they would have. After more pressure from Terenure, Trinity were saved by the referee’s half-time whistle and went into the huddle at half-time to regroup and plan a comeback.
It was Terenure who started stronger after the restart though as they surged forward and began a siege on Trinity’s try-line. Stout defending from Trinity, along with a lack of composure by Terenure, allowed Trinity to weather the storm
As the drizzle grew steadier, the conditions began to play a larger factor, with Trinity number 9 Angus Lloyd repeatedly asking for a dry ball. The rain made it difficult for both teams to pass the ball as they both began to rely on kicking the ball to gain field position instead of risking an errant pass or a knock-on.
As the time began to run out, Trinity were forced to push up in the hope of clawing back Terenure’s lead. Given they were only 12 points down there was still hope of a comeback. However, these hopes were dashed as Terenure capitalised on Trinity’s weaker defence as they ran in two tries to finish the game with a 24-0 bonus point victory.
While the final scoreline didn’t flatter Trinity, especially given the decent share of possession they had, they must be disappointed knowing they are capable of playing better rugby.