Kilkenny - 80
Carlow - 05
On another beautiful day for rugby Kilkenny quickly gave a foretaste of things to come when, straight from the kick off, a couple of well worked rucks saw the ball set up for outside centre Michael Ryan to score in right corner after only 2 minutes. Out half Jake McDonald converted into a slight breeze.
Beginning what proved to be almost total domination of the set pieces, birthday boy Mark Corrigan stole the first line out from Carlow, two minutes later Kilkenny won the first scrum, against the head and, to prove his mind wasn't yet on the birthday cake, prop Corrigan also won the next line out on Carlow's throw and drove his team 30 metres up the pitch. A quick recycle from the ensuing ruck and scrum half Ian Buckley sniped up the blindside for a try.
From the kick off a fine catch and powerful run by Eoin Clarkson led to No. 8 Daniel O'Connor picking the ball up from a ruck on the half way line and showing impressive speed to score under the posts.
16 minutes into the game and back row Daniel Rafter made a jarring tackle and turned over the ball for Clarkson to power up to the Carlow 22, alert winger Lyndon Brannigan snapped up the ball from the ruck and scorched up the touchline and under the posts for a fine try.
A couple of minutes later and fine running and offloading by hooker Ben Devlin, Clarkson, O'Connor and Jake McDonald was halted only 5 metres from the try line by a forward pass. Kilkenny won the ball again from the Carlow put in and O'Connor stormed over from No. 8 for his second try.
A strong tackle by Lyndon Brannigan after 24 minutes stopped a threatening Carlow move, from turnover ball out half McDonald made a jinking break up to 20 metres from the Carlow line, O'Connor carried it closer until finally Eoin Clarkson rumbled over from 5 metres out festooned with desperate Carlow defenders. This finished the scoring for the first half to leave Kilkenny with a commanding lead of 40 points to nil.
3 minutes into the second half and pressure on a Carlow line out led to a scrum to Kilkenny on their own 10 meter line. Two quick passes sent the ball to centre William Ryan who straightened beautifully off his right foot and hared in for a try from fully 60 metres out. Carlow kept fighting gamely and it took a big tackle from Marcus Stapleton, on at half time for Daniel O'Connor, to halt another good move from them.
After 39 minutes a crunching tackle by Finn Connolly turned over the ball, two width of the field passing moves and two textbook rucks released Ryan once more for another lung bursting run in from 40 metres out. Four minutes later and a great catch and run by Jack Ormonde, who replaced Lyndon Brannigan, set up the on fire Ryan for his fourth try bringing the score to 59-0.
Shortly after, replacement wing Alex Foley pulled off a fine tackle leading to a series of very quick rucks, three good passes by substitute scrum half Keelan McDermott and an excellent 30 metre break by the quick stepping out half Jake McDonald to give Michael Ryan the chance to touch down for his fifth try of the afternoon.
Kilkenny were in no mood to show mercy to their opponents and on 50 minutes Ben Devlin showed great determination to rip a ball out of a maul and send it spinning from the left touchline through five pairs of hands to far right of the field where the still not satisfied Michael Ryan lay waiting to shoot over for an incredible sixth try of the day.
In a great tribute to their team spirit Carlow kept playing rugby and were rewarded on 55 minutes when their centre picked up the ball and raced in from forty metres for their only try of the day. The conversion unluckily came back off the post.
Stung by this Carlow score Ben Devlin took the ball on a storming run up the left touchline, quick passing by the backs stretched the Carlow defence to breaking point and Marcus Stapleton finished off the try scoring by going over from 10 metres out. To complete another excellent display of place kicking Jake McDonald again converted this try, in fact, missing only two attempts at goal all afternoon.
Niall McDermott, 10 October 2009