This is a case of one school chasing its 70th Leinster Senior Cup and another chasing its first at Energia Park in Donnybrook tomorrow.
While it’s certainly true that Blackrock brings strength, pace and skill, Leinster League winner Gonzaga has shed the skin of the underdog in recent years.
‘Zaga compares to the best in the province as it has stepped on Clongowes Wood (34-26), Wesley (32-7) and St Mary’s (34-21).
Captain Noah Maguire, Gavin O’Donnell and Paul Wilson complement each other in coach Declan Fassbender’s game plan.
The three-quarters are served well by capable half-backs Michael Sullivan and Stephen McMahon, who have arrowheads in attack with Jody Browne at center and Hugo McLaughlin at full-back.
Blackrock could just be too big, too fast, too strong, such is the talent at coach Justin Vanstone’s disposal.
The Ireland U-19 trio of hooker Gus McCarthy, her captain, flanker Liam Molony and outsider Hugh Cooney offer maturity.
The snappy passing of scrum half Oliver Coffey and the physicality of inside center Luke Kritzinger recognized the Ireland Schools cap. Additionally, tighthead Paddy McCarthy’s potential is sky-high and Ruben Moloney’s penetration from full-back is deep.
It’s more black rock though.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE (Possible) – R. Moloney; Molony C, Cooney H, Kritzinger L, Walsh E; Z Quirke, O Coffey; M Holmes, G McCarthy (c), P McCarthy; T Brigg, A Mullan; L Molony, I Cruise-O’Brien, Kevin Jackson.
GONZAGA COLLEGE (Possible) – H. McLaughlin; H Neville, H Goddard, J Browne, O O’Neill; S McMahon, M Sullivan; Hammond T, Cotter T, Morris G, Murphy T, O’Callaghan L, Maguire N (c), O’Donnell G, Wilson P.
Blackrock vs. Gonzaga,
Live, Premier Sports 1, tomorrow 1.0
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/schools-rugby/rock-chase-70th-leinster-schools-cup-crown-as-league-winners-gonzaga-eye-maiden-title-41512855.html ‘Rock Chases 70th Leinster Schools Cup crown as league winner Gonzaga Eye Maid title