On Sunday in Monkstown RFC in the heart of Dublin City, Buccaneers U-20s squared up to Dublin University in the Leinster Rugby Purcell Cup quarter-final. Martin Staunton’s squad were travelling more in hope rather than in great expectations as this cup team is a very different selection from the Buccs who started the league last September. However, the much-changed Pirates came flying out of the traps and a super first half display propelled them to a 31-26 victory.

With some players having gained Cup campaign experience through reaching the Bateman Cup All-Ireland Final, that was a real positive for the young players who raced into a 21-0 lead with a shock and awe style strategy start. This was a full squad performance and a real cup upset against a fancied Trinity team. On any Cup day to travel to Dublin and create a winning performance requires a massive squad performance. Buccs did not disappoint their supporters or themselves in creating a winning display, a real achievement by the entire squad and their management team.

From the start of the game, Robbie Byrne was in vintage form deservedly winning the man of the match accolade with Oisin Dolan and Charlie Naughton also in contention for the best players on the pitch. The Pirates swashbuckling squad style of play was rewarded by tries from fearless full back David Colgan, high energy Gavin Daly and a brace of tries from front row specialist Dolan. Outhalf Naughton gave an exemplary display, running this game excellently whether through kicking or leading his backline in attack and defence. Ethan Friel also got in on the try-scoring act.

Flying winger and try scoring machine Donagh McCormack came off in the first half with an injury from a high tackle. We wish him well and a speedy recovery. This was a full squad performance and the focus from the players in the aftermatch meal in the clubhouse was on Galway Corinthians next Sunday and repeating getting that competitive spirit out of the Buccs 20s dressing room and giving a season defining performance on the pitch.

BUCCANEERS:-1. Dylan Bolger, 2. Oisin Dolan, 3. Charlie Byrne; 4. Luca Giles, 5. Fionn McDonnell; 6. Cameron Brill, 7. Gavin Dal, 8. Robbie Byrne; 9. Ethan Friel, 10. Charlie Naughton, 11. Donagh McCormack, 12. Yishai Avrahami, 13. Jack Crampton, 14. Deema Feehan and 15. David Colgan. Replacements:- 16. Aaron Burke, 17. Jim Connolly, 18. Kieran Egan, 21. Nathan Loughnane and 22. Pref Malassou.