It was a major transition year for the 2004 group as they moved from minis to youths.
The boys having to cope with moving to 15 aside games, full pitches and the occasional man-child.
The coaches had to cope with a mountain of paperwork, regulations and finding referees.
We lost a number of our group during the transition, as family moves abroad, commitments to other sports and secondary school workloads took their toll on the squad. Having begun with the aim of having 2 teams we were only able to field one team.
We began our first competitive games in October, with a number of grading games to determine which division we would play in the league. We were grouped with Clontarf, Lansdowne, Greystones and Seapoint in the grading leagues, teams we would have usually matched or beaten at mini levels. However, superior squad sizes both in terms of number and physical size meant a gap had been created and we lost all of the grading games.
We were placed in league division 3, with the likes of St Marys, DLSP and Cill Dara to name a few. After few difficult games against the stronger teams in the division the boys began to gel as team and finished the season a creditable 5th place. We had a bit of run in the plate competition before losing in the quarterfinal to Ardee.
This quote from our backs coach Andrew O’Connell, following our quarter final defeat, I feel best sums up our season, “One of the key elements to coaching minis and youths is to teach the boys the core tenants of rugby so that they can take them into their lives, live them and benefit from them. Respect (discipline) and resilience being two of the most important. If they can behave in life under pressure as they behaved under pressure last Sunday we will have done a good job and they will have grown all the while.”
- Nick Hodges