GIRVAN Dempsey hailed the performance of former St Michael’s man Ross Molony for his super performance from the bench as the Leinster A side retained the British and Irish Cup title last Friday night with a 44-17 win over Leeds Carnegie.
They ultimately had plenty to spare over the English club but coach Dempsey admitted there were nervy moments while paying tribute to the players.
“They’re just a pleasure to coach,” he said after the game. “The way they performed tonight is just a culmination of all the hard work they’ve put in all season. The defence was outstanding. What was more pleasing was some of the execution in attack against a very tough Leeds side.
“Ben Marshall went off very early on with an injury and then Ross Molony, a young guy, first year in the Academy – he’s on the Irish under-20s squad going to the Junior World Cup – came on and had a superb performance, a man of the match performance – outstanding.”
The A side has been the breeding ground for many of Leinster’s first teamers in recent years and Dempsey says that, no matter the personnel, his side prospered
“It got a bit nervy until Brendan Macken got his intercept try. But overall the defence was the most pleasing thing. I think defensively there were some super hits going in. We worked hard for each other in defence. It was just incredible.
“This year has been really pleasing; 39 players have played in the B&I Cup this year for Leinster A and everyone has contributed to the success of the team.”
With the domestic season over, opportunity now knocks for the likes of Clontarf’s Bryan Byrne, Michael Kearney and Noel Reid along with Leinster team mates Dominic Ryan, Brendan Macken and James Tracy as the young bucks named in the Emerging Ireland rugby squad to take part in this summer’s IRB Nations Cup in Romania.
They have been named in a 26-player squad for the tournament which gets under way on June 13 with a hope of emulating the development through this competition to become fully capped members of the senior team.
The likes of Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Jordi Murphy and Dave Kearney were all very much on the outside of the senior panel but progressed to earn senior caps with Moore and Kearney now very much established in the senior set-up while McGrath will also travel with the senior panel to Argentina.
Emerging Ireland’s first game of the tournament takes place on Friday, June 13 against Russia. They then play Uruguay on Wednesday, June 18 with the team’s final game of the IRB Nations Cup coming against hosts Romania on Sunday, June 22.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said of the panel: “There is a good mix of experienced and younger players in this squad.
“They will face three tough fixtures as Romania have already qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and both Uruguay and Russia are in the final stages of the Repechage for World Cup qualification.”