Trinity Women’s Rugby extended their winning run to five in a row as they took apart a competent Wanderers side on Sunday. With the students coming into the game as leaders of Leinster Division 3, it was always going to take something special from Wanderers to overthrow them but unfortunately, they were outgunned on the day.
Trinity set out a marker after only four minutes. With penalty advantage coming, Molly Boyne made a great break and strode over the line and under the posts to put the first points on the board, with Honor MacNamara making no mistake from the kicking tee.
Wanderers struggled to hold onto the ball as they gave away penalty after penalty, allowing Trinity to get a foothold and settle into the game. However, despite their ill-discipline, it was Wanderers who were to score next. A swift ball from the back of the ruck was worked through the hands to Michelle Ricci at outside centre who put the ball down for the try, cutting Trinity’s lead to two points.
It didn’t take long for Trinity to respond though – Molly Boyne again with the break, as she picked the ball off the back of the ruck near the ten-metre line and caught the Wanderers defence sleeping. Nobody could catch her as she darted under the posts and MacNamara added the extras to make it 14-5 after twenty-five minutes. Shortly after, Trinity were over again, this time through team captain Jane Leahy. MacNamara missed the conversion but Trinity were in the driving seat as they went into half time leading 19-5.
Wanderers started the second half much brighter, having a few periods of relative dominance with ball in hand. But Wanderers struggled with Trinity’s relentless defence, losing several of their own line-outs. Trinity were very strong and solid in defence and, despite having much more of the ball in the second half, Wanderers never looked like creating much and after a while they started making the same mistakes that had cost them dearly in the first half.
And those errors cost them yet again, when, twenty minutes into the second half, Honor MacNamara collected the ball in midfield and held off the Wanderers tackler to get in under the posts and give herself an easy conversion to put even more daylight between the two sides at 26-5.
MacNamara’s try seemed to galvanise the Wanderers side as they got within inches of the Trinity line after several phases of hard-hitting rugby. Their pack kept the ball moving forward and gave them a platform to operate off. In the end, though, Trinity held them out and that sapped the life out of the Wanderers team heading into the tail end of the match.
Wanderers were very unlucky to lose their out-half Majella Cox to injury near the end of the game as it left them with only 14 women against a merciless Trinity side. Having soaked up the Wanderers pressure, and with the extra player, Charlotte Bowen went down the other end and scored a lovely try. MacNamara added the conversion from a tight angle, making it 33-5 with only a few minutes left on the clock.
But Trinity arguably saved the best for last. Tara Coleman, who was making her debut for the Sunday team, was the last player to get on the scoresheet. Coleman had been brilliant since coming on in the second half and used every ounce of her pace as she made a blistering run down the wing and finishing deftly, leaving MacNamara with a simple conversion to bring the final score to a massive 40-5.
It was always an uphill battle for Wanderers as they came into this fixture without a win. That battle was made all the harder for them by their ill-discipline, as they conceded 21 penalties over the course of the match. Trinity, on the other hand, were brilliant and a match for any opposition. Honor MacNamara stood out, in particular. Not only did she score 15 of the team’s points, but her kicking from hand and general decision making were excellent.
Speaking after the match, Leahy hailed a valiant effort from her troops: “Today’s win was huge for us. Wanderers are one of our long-time competitors and we have great respect for them. On a day where we fielded an impressive nine players who have only just picked up rugby, we went out and proved that we have earned our place at the top of the table. We were missing some key players, but we showed our depth in the squad. We’re really looking forward to stepping things up in training over the next few weeks and hope to continue to grow our squads.”
DUFC Women’s next match is against second-place MU Barnhall on Sunday November 4.