We’ve reached the semi-final stage of this year’s Leinster Schools Senior Cup with four teams who fully believe that their name is on the trophy, including St Michael’s.
For many of these young men, bigger and better things lie ahead, but for some, these next few weeks will go down as the biggest days in their rugby careers.
In our series, former Leinster and Ireland prop, Reggie Corrigan, highlights the key players who will need to be on song if their side is to come out with top honours, beginning with St Michaels.
St Michael’s College claimed a huge win yesterday when they overcame Blackrock College in Donnybrook to make it through to the last four where they will face Belvedere, the side they let a 16 point lead slip against in the final ten minutes of last year’s semi-final.
They have a range of young players worth keeping an eye on with regards to their future rugby careers, but here are our standouts from yesterday’s scintillating performance.
The outside centre was instrumental in yesterday’s win. His kicking was excellent both for touch and from the tee, has a great range of skills and his passing is very crisp.
While he may not be the biggest in the world, he made a lot of big tackles yesterday. He has a great turn of pace and is able to get around the pitch.
I think he’ll have a big say in the semi-final.
Gilsenan is an outstanding scrumhalf who was instrumental against Blackrock. Gilsenan covered every blade of grass in Donnybrook and his fitness levels are through the roof and he can tackle.
His crisp passing ensured guys were able to break lines and from the base of the scrum and maul, he was excellent. He’s already played for Leinster at U18 level and is definitely one to watch for the future.
A try-scorer in the quarter-final, Fish is a big and strong second row who has played Leinster and Ireland U18s already.
He shows great physicality, his tackling and ball carrying are exceptional. Fish is a very complete player and one that will no doubt be on the shortlist for potential academy players.
The blindside flanker was everywhere for St Michael’s yesterday, making numerous carries, but what really impressed me was his tackle count, it was off the charts.
He reminds me a lot of Josh van der Flier, every time Blackrock carried, he was in straight away trying to turn over the ball, he was everywhere, ripping the ball and destroying the opposition. Clearly a big game player.
My man of the match from the quarter-final, he was outstanding from start to finish and his intercept try at the end was the least he deserved given his performance.
Great at picking up the loose ball, very quick and tackled everything. He can carry well and most importantly is a huge leader, it comes as no surprise that he’s captain of this St Michael’s team.