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U17   02/10/10

Kilkenny under 17 completed a very busy week’s preparation for their Leinster league premier division campaign when playing their third game in 8 days when defeating a game Arklow side on the south east league on Saturday as well as playing a very competitive game against a Kilkenny college selection in Kilkenny College on Wednesday night.

When added to the South east development squads screening match on Monday 6 players were involved in 4 games over the period. The number of games allowed Kilkenny to give substantial game time to their entire panel as well as newcomers to the game, Ricky Drennan and Jack Cotter who impressed as well as several under 16s returning to the game.

U17 Friendly: Kilkenny 19-20   Kilkenny College Selection
The college came out on top in this highly entertaining game played at a furious pace for the age grade under lights in the college during the week when kicking the winning penalty with the last kick of the game. This was a highly encouraging game for the club who started with the majority of their under 16s and players new to the game.

It was no surprise therefore that the college scored an excellent try in the 4th minute as the club defence was at sea. The college scored another in the 16the minute as the club side kicked aimlessly up field without a chase and college counterattacked effectively. It looked all over for the club as college went 17 nil ahead after 19 minutes when despite having all the options covered the club defenders stood off the tackle allowing  the college score under the posts.

At this stage Kilkenny club had reached the pace of the game and started to dictate and in the 32nd minute scored under the posts through substitute Diarmuid Hickey converted by Sean Moran. The 2nd half was a contrast with the club bringing the game to their more experienced opponents with Sean Moran and Robbie Corcoran scoring tries to leave club 19 points to 17 ahead as clocked ticked towards injury time. To their credit the college mounted a late attack and stole the game at the death as they forced a penalty under the posts with last play of the game.

U17 South East League: Kilkenny 42-0 Arklow
Despite the scoreline Kilkenny were made to work hard for this result against Division 1 side Arklow on Saturday in this South East league game played in wet and blustery conditions last Saturday at Foulkstown.  The Visitors made all the early running with the wind at their back but the difference between Division 1 and Premier was illustrated as Arklow lacked a cutting edge to go with their early dominance.

Kilkenny were slow to adapt to the conditions and attempted to play a loose game which had succeeded in their facile win over Tullow and in their game versus the college, a game that was totally unsighted to the wet conditions. A Premier team would have capitalised on this game plan and the territorial dominance to build a good lead.

However after 25 minutes of flat back play and individualistic attempts to play the game which resulted in a stream of turnover ball to Arklow Kilkenny forced a turnover ball in their own half.  A succession of quick hands and slick passing fed Cormac Connely who broke down the wing before scoring a great opener with a 50 metre run. In a moment of brilliance, newcomer Jack Cotter who could have scored 6 executed a brilliant switch with Hugh Lane at top speed to outwit the defence and leave Kilkenny 10 nil ahead before the break.

Kilkenny clicked into gear in the 2nd half playing structured rugby and using the elements intelligently to Keep Arklow pinned in their own half, scores by Robbie Corcoran, Jack Drew, Liam McWey, and Diarmuid Hickey gave Kilkenny a well-deserved but hard fought victory.

There were a number of extra plusses in this game as organisationally the panels hard work produced the first clean sheet in defence this year, the first try from a line out drive and the first try from a back row move while the line out which was an initial shambles ended up dominant after the players fixed the faults themselves.

As well Robbie Corcoran’s delivery and passing was first class throughout. However premier division teams should always expect to be ahead of Division 1 sides in these regards and tougher games lie ahead.

Panel for both games:  
Mick King, Darren Knox, James Rafter , John Curtin , Conor Quinlan , Craig Murphy , Darragh Morrissey , Diarmuid Hickey , Liam McWey , Tadhg O Carroll , Nick Feehan, Gary Dunne

Backs - Robbie Corcoran, Ciaran Sutton, Hugh Lane, Sean Moran, Dara McGrath, Cormac Connolly, Jack Cotter, Ricky Drennan, Jack Drew, Adam Jordon,


Leinster League round 1 Kilkenny are away to Wexford in the Leinster league this Saturday morning. Wexford who are so strong that they field 2 teams at this age group, one in premier and one in division 1, have a big physical side and will pose a massive challenge to Kilkenny as they will be the most physical side that the Kilkenny will have met to date and in their only other outing against a premier side, Kilkenny suffered a defeat to Carlow.

However as that was the first game of the season they were caught out several times organisationally and coughed up simple scores. It is unlikely that will happen again but Wexford will still pose a challenge.

Congrats!!  To Michael Dunne, Darren Bawle and Shane Brennan who all featured in the A schools interpro versus Munster last week. It was the first time for Leinster to beat Munster at this level in over 7 years.  The re match is this Wednesday in Donnybrook. The lads are members of the Kilkenny under 19 side.

New players are always welcome to try out rugby for any of the club sides. Under 17s contact is Mick McGrath 0868242735 and training is at 7 sharp each Thursday under 19s train Tuesday and Thursday at 7 30 , under 15s are Wednesday and Monday at 6.30 and under 13s on Wednesday at present 6.30, Minis are Sunday mornings.

Development Squad-
6 Kilkenny under 17s took part in the South East Development squad programme over the last 4 months and the screening for the Leinster youths’ panel was held last Monday in Enniscorthy with former Irish Coach Gerry Murphy attending as one of the Leinster Branch personnel screening the players.

They were Liam McWey, Diarmuid Hickey, Darren Knox, Adam Jordon, Hugh Lane and Darragh Morrissey. All the Kilkenny players did well on the night, however some did not do themselves full justice. Good news however is that the initial plans to cut the panel from 30 to 12 to 15 Leinster panellists has been put on hold until Christmas and all the players will have another screening, due mainly to the level of improvement in the squad as a whole while the Leinster league will allow all Kilkenny’s players a chance to get competitive games under their belt.

The 1995 year were screened for the panel this Monday and Kilkenny players involved were, John Curtin, Sean Moran, Gary Dunne, Nick Feehan, Cormac Connolly, Ciaran Sutton and Matthew McWey.

Mick McGrath, 4th October 2010