Gonzaga brutally beat Wesley in the quarter-finals of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup at Energia Park on Monday.
or so long, there was nothing in it as Wes’ ran a lot, sending their heavy artillery Sean Foulds, Liam O’Neill and Tom Geoghegan through the enemy lines.
They just didn’t have the cohesive play to get past a choking defence, the scoreboard unchanged for half an hour.
Then, in the middle Jody Browne bounced off from 5 yards for Stephen McMahon to convert after a burst from Hugo McLaughlin.
Wesley’s reaction was solid, sending Toby Durham and Jamie Fish onto the field, attacking around and Golden chasing his own kick to knock McMahon down when the half-time whistle blew.
As it continued, a sweet left-handed serve from McMahon sent Hugo Neville immediately past Matthew Golden’s tackle to make it 12-0 in the 41st minute.
Noah Maguire’s agility in clearing the ball forced full-back McLaughlin to take a penalty in the 46th minute.
And that’s it. The three-point lead allowed Gonzaga to comfortably come on in place of Oisin Murray and Tomas Noone to show their power in depth and McLaughlin added two penalties for his second conversion.
Wesley was left to play to the end, hard past Toby Durham and Foluds to create enough basis for No. eight Oran Handley to empower Johnny Cazzini to kick out a switch.
That’s the least that they’re worth exploiting.
Scorer – Gonzaga: J Browne, H Neville, O Murray, T Noone try each one; H McLaughlin 2 pens, 2 cons; S McMahon child. Wesley: Hey Handley, try; J Cazzini baby.
Gonzaga: H McLaughlin; H Neville, H Goddard, J Browne, O O’Neill; S McMahon, M Sullivan; T Hammond, T Cotter, G Morris, T Murphy, L O’Callaghan, N Maguire (Captain), GO ‘Donnell, P Wilson. To replace: O Murray gives Sullivan 52 minutes; T Noone gives Morris 60 minutes; One McVerry for O’Donnell 65 minutes; A O’Flanagan gives O’Neill 66 minutes; L McLaughlin for Hammond, T Wyley for Murphy, M Wall for Neville all 68 minutes; M Tyrell gave Wilson 69 minutes.
Wesley: M gold; F Nolan, T Durham, J Fish, J Crooks; J Cazzini, K Moran; S Foulds, R Jones, A Lowry, H Hjelseth, J Walsh, LO’ Neil, T Geoghegan (Capt), O Handley. To replace: C Collins gives Walsh 40 minutes; C Mitchell-Doyle for the Golden 52 minutes; R Handley for Lowry, L Clinton for Moran, R Cockerell for Nolan all 65 minutes; S Pedlow for Foulds, M Campbell for O’Neill, H Girardi for Fish all 67 minutes.
Referee: D Blake (Leinster Branch).
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/schools-rugby/gonzaga-wear-down-wesley-to-book-leinster-schools-senior-cup-semi-final-spot-41420444.html Gonzaga stalks Wesley to book a place for Leinster’s senior cup semi-final