Fired-up Colleges go on rampage
One training session was never going to constitute adequate preparation for an Ireland Under21 team that was already short eight or nine first-choice players. They were emphatically thrashed at Sydney Parade yesterday by an Irish Colleges team that made light the plethora of substitutions they made. They demonstrated the better application and understanding, worked hard to ensure continuity and fully deserved their victory.
The incentive of places on a Colleges tour to South Africa next year certainly added to the focus of the winners. Dominant up front, they boasted the game's most influential back in Paul Gleeson, who worked intelligently and dexterously to prise openings.
Prop Marcus Horan, who is eligible for the under-21s, and the back row of Colin Varley, Colm McMahon and Paul Hatton, exploited some slipshod fringe defence to grab huge yardage and established the momentum that generated scoring opportunities.
In contrast, their opponents suffered from their lack of preparation and had to rely on individual cameos from David Wallace, Martin Cahill and Shane Horgan.