Cistercian College Roscrea are counting down to this weekends Semi Final of The Leinster Schools Senior Rugby Cup.
Last week a little bit of history was created at Tallaght when the home to Shamrock Rovers hosted its first Leinster Senior Cup quarter-final, but that paled into insignificance when measured against the drama that followed.
At the end of 80 absorbing minutes Cistercian College qualified for the semi-final by edging out Terenure who were this year’s cup favourites. According to Rugby pundit Tony Ward “it was a performance more convincing that the three-point winning margin might suggest”.
This week the college is en fete and on high alert as the countdown continues - training, coaching, conditioning, motivational talks and, of course, the regular class day are all underway as students prepare for this Sunday’s semi-final clash against big guns Blackrock.
Team captain and Connacht Academy player Sean O’Brien is setting out to ensure that his squad make the most of this week’s fine weather as they prepare for the semi-finals.
The college was last in a senior cup final in 2011 when losing out to Clongowes Wood College with a team that featured the now Connacht players Shane Layden and Conor Finn. Before that 1999 saw Gavin Duffy’s Roscrea side loose out to Blackrock.
The Leinster Schools Senior Challenge Cup is the premier rugby competition for secondary schools affiliated to the Leinster Branch of the IRFU.
First held in 1887 the competition celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.
Cistercian College first played in a Leinster Cup final in 1910. The college, located on the Tipperary-Offaly border, punches far above its weight for a small school. Indeed, the college has five students at international level playing for Ireland under-18 and under-19. These students commenced their schoolboy training within the Cistercian College Junior Rugby Academy.
The college enrols students from all across the country with this year’s senior cup team representing 12 counties and the provinces of Leinster, Munster and Connacht.
The college continues to foster youth development with and have launched the Rugby Training Skills Development Camp to take place over the Easter holidays. For more information check our www.ccr.ie or follow the college on Twitter @ccroscrea.