Ulster Carpets Sponsored Wolfpack Youth Rugby Round Up Saturday 29th of November 2014 by Garry Watters. Winter Conditions not a problem as youth teams adapting comfortably

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Ireland is not only the Worlds number 3 nation because of our doggedness and skill, we also have 13 year olds who are over 6 foot tall! Fact, period! A player was spotted at the weekend who is an u14 and is over 6 foot tall. People say its not possible, its not possible, just come down to youth rugby on a Saturday morning and you’ll see whats possible!
InTouch’s outreach department attended Cavan v City of Derry U18s and U16s on Saturday and watched two absolutely superb games. The conditions have changed, the teams have immediately evolved to suit the conditions, basically you have to get behind them in these conditions, the players know this. Drift defence, re-organising the line, tight close quarters rucks, picks and goes, the teams who pick and go from a 5 meter scrum are crosing the line, a well organised series of pick and goes cannot be stopped because the players remain calm and focused and do their jobs, the ball carrier keeps the body position low, carries for a metre, 2 mters keeping the body position low better to make a foot than 2.3 meters and get turned over, no definitely definitely stay low to the ground, support player x 2 rucks over, another pick and go, meter, 3.5 feet max gained ground, pick and go, pick and go, pick and go, try line cross it with a pick and go!
Set pieces to the fore as quality ball is secured from lineout and scrum, if its five meter line consider a maul, maul it decide as a group, have a code for this, the coach will agree the codes and keep them top secret nobody knows them except you, don’t even write them down not unless their locked up, if its a scrum 5 meter consider a push over, keep it solid cross the line and in other scrums get solid ball out to the number 8 and then pick and goes.

We got a substantial range of images on Saturday from both games. These images are for free download and they are full size full resolution images, no copyright required, no credit required, keep them, send them to the local papers


InTouch TV Interviews to follow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Below are updated scores from across the leagues and also a selection of available match reports!

VIRGINIA RFC U14s March On With Comprehensive Win in Co. Down

Virginia RFC U14s were back in action in the Ulster Premier League on Saturday, after the previous weeks walkover of Rainey Old Boys. They traveled to Banbridge RFC on a glorious sunny morning in Co. Down.
It was a flying start for the Cavan boys, as early pressure forced a fumble in the home defence and Martin O’Connell pounced to open the scoring within the first few minutes. This was quickly followed by Nial Preston making up for an early fumble of his own and scoring under the posts, with Martins conversion making the score 12-0. Virginia kept up the pressure throughout the half with Aaron Kierans powering over for the third, and any threat from the hosts was dealt with well by Luke Tierney, Mark McSherry and Niall Carolan. Evan Charters and Aaron Hawthorne anchored the scrum well, with Ryan Sheils and Adrian Lynch offering good support to some great runs by Cai Walker and Rioghan Smith. Nial added another two trys, with Jamie Davidson scoring one of his own, and three more conversions from Martin making it 38-0 to Virginia at Half Time.
Plenty of substitutions made at the break didn’t initially stop the black tide, with another try each for Nial and Martin stretching the lead out to 48 points. Banbridge though showed some good tenacity and played with great pride as they took the game back to Virginia. Good defence from the visitors kept Banbridge at bay, with Robert Lochaden, Niall Branagan and Jake Sullivan all making crucial tackles, and Luke Brodie on his long awaited return from injury putting in an impressive shift. The defensive line however was eventually broken for the first time in three games, when a couple of missed tackles allowed Banbridge to score and convert to make it 48-7. This seemed to stir Virginia back into action, and they started to use their backline to good effect, spinning the ball out wide from Daniel McConnan to Cian Doughty, Adam Charters and Conor Hetherton. Nial added his fifth try of the day, aided well by a brilliant supporting run from Ronan McKeown, and Jamie capped it off with a great solo effort at the death. Martins fifth conversion making the final score 60-7.
Virginia welcome Lurgan RFC next weekend as they try to extend their winning start to the season to eight games.

Virginia U12s travelled the long road to Creggs RFC on Saturday for their first trip into Connacht.
They hit the ground running, with Nathan Tobin and Diarmuid O’Reilly quickly turning Creggs over getting the ball wide to Mark Gibney who stormed over the line to score the opening try. Virginia then kept up the pressure with good phase play, strong rucking from the likes of Eli Caffrey and Cathal O’Reilly eventually opening up space for scrumhalf Luke Doyle to score the second. The hosts were a strong attacking team though with fast runners, and put some good rugby together to score the next try to make it 2-1. Some good play through the hands of Ciaran Levi-Valensi and Cormac O’Reilly gave Mark some space out wide for his second, and with the first half almost over Kieran Duffy fended off a few tackles to add another try making the half time score Creggs 1 Virginia 4.
After the break it was Creggs who came out with intent and were able to score 2 unanswered trys of their own, and were growing in confidence. Virginia needed to dig deep with tired legs from their own half, Darren Kavanagh put in the tackle for Conor Nulty to rob the ball and get it wide to Ben Curran, His good pass to Oscar Eriksson freed him to cross halfway and offload to Jake Duffy who was able to sidestep and outrun the Creggs wingers for a very important score . Creggs hit back to score again with the last play making the final score Creggs RFC 4 Virginia RFC 5.
Fundraiser in aid of Irish Cancer Society
During November some of our coaches and dads were working hard growing a beard or moustache for the Irish Cancer Society in order to promote and create awareness for male cancer. There was a shave off in the clubhouse on Saturday night and €2,500 was raised towards vital funds for this worthy charity. A big thank you to Lorraine McQuade who came along on the night to shave the lads, and well done to all who took part and all those who donated.

Skins travelled light to Letterkenny with a few last minute cry offs and a couple of no shows meaning they had to take to the field with fourteen players, however Letterkenny very sportingly matched their numbers and also started with fourteen. Skins faced a very large pack with a number 8 at well over six foot tall but were undeterred and started well trying to move the ball around the pitch at every opportunity. The two sides traded blows until against the run of play Letterkenny broke the Ekn line to score a try which they failed to convert.
At the restart Nial Keenan chased the kick and his pressure paid off as he was able to gather the ball and drive forward taking almost the entire pack to put him to ground, the ball being recycled quickly and driven forward by Oisin Monaghan who was having an impressive debut at flanker. The ball was then swiftly passed along the backline and Jack OHaire crashed over the line to score in the corner which was unconverted.
Letterkenny came straight back putting sustained pressure on the Skins line which was defended strongly managing to hold up the LK pack who eventually crossed over but did not score. The size of the LK pack was beginning to take its toil as straight away they crossed the line again only to successfully ground the ball on this occasion. The try was unconverted.
Shortly after the restart LK were penalised for a high tackle and Daire Hill opted to kick long for the corner. The ball did not make touch but bounced between the defending backline towards the line and Conan ” The Barbarian” Leonard showed great pace and alertness to beat the LK players over the line to ground the ball leaving the score all square at half time.
After the break the large LK pack became more dominant with Ekn having to do all the defending with the exception of a strong solo effort by Daire Hill who was just held up on the line.
Ekn never stopped working but were out on their feet with ten minutes to go and LK crossed the line for two late tries at the end of the second half which in fairness could have been more but for the impressive defensive display of OHaire at 15, making the final score 22 – 10.

One to put down to experience and to check the calendar for the return fixture at Mullaghmeen.


Saturdays top of table clash at Letterkenny coached by old Portorian Shane Fulton saw the Enniskillen under 16 team both having to defend and attack a well organised team. The midfield backs had to defend like demons and were given very little time when in possession. Our forwards marshalled by Josh Kyle retained and worked the ball well going forward and when the backs were stopped they were on hand to finish off the scoring.
The first few phases of play were an indication that this was to be a true test of the young Skins players, but through good carrying and support back row forward Cleary broke the defence and got the first try on the board after three minutes. Letterkenny started to apply pressure and after an indiscretion by a Skins player they were awarded a penalty which was slotted over to bring the score back to five three. The visitors showed they were going to play their own game when Rory Morris powered through the first up defence to add the next score which out Half Jarlaith Maguire converted increasing the lead to 12 points to 3. The remainder of the first half was a battle of the forwards and both teams found it difficult to break down the opposing defensive lines.
After only five minutes of the second half the stalemate was broken when after good offloads and support running second row Connor Maguire showed his strength and pace to cross the white wash for an unconverted try and increase the margin to 17 to 3.
Letterkenny responded 5 minutes later with converted try of their own and bring it back to a one score game at 17 to 10.
The pressure was eased shortly after when young Cleary got his second of the morning and Maguire put over a great kick for the two additional points and restore a fourteen point advantage which was held to the final whistle.
This was a step up in class and the coaches were impressed to see the way the young Enniskillen players coped with more accomplished and well drilled opposition. They must treat this as a stepping stone and look forward to the rest of the season where they will faced stern tests in both the league and cup if they are to for-fill their undoubted potential.

Randalstown U16 XV V Carrick U16 XV
Randalstown travelled to Carrickfergus for this league fixture looking to continue their progression of recent weeks. The town lads started with some purpose and took the game to Carrick giving by far their best performance of the season in the first half.Danny Webb and Curtis Gay had great runs at the Carrick line and were most unlucky not to get a score and it was twenty minutes before Carrick made the breakthrough scoring the only try of the half.This was a most promising performance but lack of concentration just at the start of the second half let Carrick stretch clear with two further tries but to their credit the Randalstown lads clawed their way back into the game and should have had that elusive score, Carrick being penalised four times in succession on their own try line.Peter Longwell had a good game on the wing with Scott Mc Clay and James Murphy putting in great work, Daniel Cullen also performing well again at scrumhalf..Eoin Letters had a solid game at fullback fielding and running well with Andrew Stewart and Curtis Gay putting in superb work in an all together encouraging performance. Team A Stewart, L Kirkwood, C Gay, P Mitchell, S O Rawe, C Doran, S Mc Clay, D Webb, D Cullen, R Griffin, R Magill, J Murphy, R Hume, P Longwell, E Letters, L Carey

Carrick u18 22-12 Randalstown u18
Randalstown u18s’ league aspirations were dealt a heavy blow on Saturday morning when they travelled to meet the much improved Carrick side. The visitors were not helped by several last minute cry offs which is occurring far to often for this coach’s liking.
The visitors received the kick off and controlled the game well for the first 15 minutes however,after this it was Carrick who dominated all facets of the game to lead 10-0. Speedy centre Phil Steele did score an excellent intercept try which was converted by his centre partner Michael O’Connell to leave the score 10-7 at the break.
Randalstown kicked off the second half in a more determined fashion but failed to put together any real phases of play to threaten the Carrick line. The home side scored two more tries before Phil Steele again got onto a loose ball to sprint over to score in the corner.
The final whistle sounded with the home team winning 22-12. It was a disappointing team performance, however Ryan O’Dea has to be mentioned for his excellent defensive performance which saved a few tries and halted the physical Carrick pack on numerous occasions. With several first choice players not making themselves available this morning it was pleasing to see several fringe players stepping up and giving 100% for the jersey.
It will be interesting to see how the squad will react to their first defeat of the season. Training is on this Wed 6.30-8.30 with a home match against the new league leaders Rainey on Sat. All support appreciated.

Following some great recent form which saw the downfall of rivals Monaghan and Ballymena and with some good work being done on the training paddock in recent weeks it was with great optimism that this Randalstown U14 side traveled to Carrick to meet the league leaders head on.
Right from the kick off Carrick set about proving to all just why they’ve been the dominant force this season. Sustained pressure in all facets of the game, tackling, breakdown and running into space had Town on the back foot from early on and it wasn’t long before they crossed the whitewash. Following a sustained period pressure in the Town 22 quick and accurate interplay between backs and forwards produced the first score which was duly converted.
Unfortunately this initial score did not produce the response hoped for. Although Town were enjoying parity in the set-piece with line-out and scrum performing particularly well this wasn’t being translated into territory nor points with possession being wasted on several occassions. As such it was of little surprise that Carrick quickly added to their tally with another well worked try, bringing the score to 14-0 to the home side. Following the concession of a another penalty in the Town 22, sustained pressure and some great work from the pack towards the close of the half forced a penalty which was duly converted to bring the scoreline to 17-7 at the half.
The second half started well for the visitors with some great hard lines and super work at the breakdown forced a succession of infringements in the Carrick 22 and on their 5m line with the sustained pressure looking like it was taking it’s toll. After the fifth such infringement a rarity in youth rugby, the award of a penalty try but this was no less than the visiting Randalstown side deserved.
Unfortunately this didn’t spur this young side on and instead of kicking on errors crept into the game with tackles being fallen and basic passes not going to hand. As such Carrick capitalised on this dis-organisation within the Randalstown ranks and swiftly added to the score with another successful conversion bring the score to 24-7 where it remained for the rest of the half.
A tough day at the office for these young players who came up against a very well drilled and well-organised side and it was clear to see a unit that was singing off the same hymn-sheet and the work being done on the training paddock to produce such a complete performance.
Back to the drawing board on Wednesday night before a trip to Rainey next weekend.

Lisburn- 17 Newry- 24
Newry’s under 16’s were surprised by a Lisburn side and were not expecting the level of rugby that was put up against them, Newry were missing a range of players which resulted in Joe Rice playing at fullback, who is usually a hooker. But none the less Rice put up a top quality performance having this be his first ever time playing in this position. Newry started the game badly conceding a penalty infront of the posts which Lisburn took full advantage of and got the first three points of the game…….. see more at :- https://www.facebook.com/Newry.Rugby.Club.Youth?fref=ts

NEwry U14s – Match Report – 29th November 2014
With a number of players missing, Newry had to play their game against Lisburn with only thirteen players, and when Tiernan Forde suffered a nasty cut at the end of the first half, conceded the game, as Lisburn had not matched numbers and played a full fifteen players.
Throughout the first half, Newry played with great spirit, and their support play, continuity play and overall performance was not reflected with scores, being held up on the line a number of times……… see more at :- https://www.facebook.com/Newry.Rugby.Club.Youth?fref=ts

Qualifying U18
10:30 Ballymena 41 vs 12 Larne Kirker Dalton
11:00 Ballymoney vs Instonians
11:00 Donegal Town vs Inishowen

U18 League Section 1
Lurgan vs Armagh
Rainey Ob vs Monaghan
11:00 Banbridge vs Virginia
11:00 Carrickfergus 27 vs 12 Randalstown

U18 League Section 2
Coleraine 12 vs 19 Omagh
Dromore 27 vs 0 Malone
Letterkenny vs Enniskillen
11:00 Ballyclare vs Portadown Billy O Gorman

U18 League Section 3
Ballynahinch vs Dungannon
Lisburn 29 vs 0 Newry
Ards (win for Ards) vs Clogher Valley
Cavan vs (win for City Of Derry) City Of Derry

Qualifying U16
Ophir 27 vs 21 Civil Service
Ballymena vs Ballymena 2
Ballymoney vs Instonians
Donegal Town vs Inishowen
Finn Valley vs Ballyshannon

U16 League Section 1
Rainey Ob 32 vs 14 Monaghan
Banbridge vs Virginia Ryan Wilson
Carrickfergus 26 vs 0 Randalstown

U16 League Section 3
Ballynahinch 0 vs 43 Armagh
Cavan (win for Cavan) vs City Of Derry
Lisburn 17 vs 24 Newry

U16 League Section 2
Ballyclare vs Portadown
Coleraine vs Omagh
Dromore vs Malone
Letterkenny 10 vs 24 Enniskillen

Qualifying U14
Ballymena vs Larne
Ballymoney vs Instonians
Donegal Town vs Inishowen
Finn Valley 45 vs 5 Ballyshannon
Limavady vs Strabane
Ophir vs Civil Service

U14 League Section 1
Banbridge 7 vs 60 Virginia
Carrickfergus 24 vs 7 Randalstown
Lurgan 10 vs 24 Armagh
Rainey Ob 0 vs 26 Monaghan

U14 League Section 2
Ballyclare vs Portadown
Coleraine 37 vs 14 Omagh
Dromore vs Malone
Letterkenny 22 vs 10 Enniskillen

U14 League Section 3
Lisburn (win for Lisburn) vs Newry
Ards vs Clogher Valley
Cavan vs City Of Derry

U14 Friendly
Ballynahinch vs Civil Service

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