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President's Note

26 February 2024


Women's 1st XV at home on Saturday evening against Wicklow RFC 24-10 | Photo: JC Sports Photography

Hi Everyone,

First things first. While last week was a quiet week on the content front, being a run in to an International, a lot has happened for the club over the previous two weekends.

On the weekend before last, our Men’s J1s had a great win over Wanderers on the Friday night (16th) 19-10. This side continues to produce quality rugby and results. A super start to that weekend – well done to all.


Huge congratulations to Eimear Corri, Sarah Delaney, Christy Haney, Aoife Wafer, Dorothy Wall, Natasja Behan, Enya Breen, Meabh Deely, Beibhinn Parsons, Aoibheann Reilly, India Daley, Hannah O'Connor and Maeve Og O'Leary.

This was followed by a great win for the Women’s 1st XV at home on Saturday evening against Wicklow RFC 24-10. Then, the Women’s J's beat Tullamore away 19-5 on Sunday. The success of the women was then further illustrated on Monday when the club was notified that there will be 9 players in the Six Nations squad with a further 3 as panellists. Huge congratulations to Eimear Corri, Sarah Delaney, Christy Haney, Aoife Wafer, Dorothy Wall, Natasja Behan, Enya Breen, Meabh Deely, Beibhinn Parsons, Aoibheann Reilly, India Daley, Hannah O'Connor and Maeve Og O'Leary. Women’s rugby continues to be an extraordinary success. A huge congratulations to all of you.



U20's after they beat Seapoint away to win the league after an undefeated season.

Staying with that weekend, I could congratulate the U20's for a great away win to NUIG 31-48, but it makes more sense to jump forward a week to Sunday, Feb 25th, when the U20s beat Seapoint away 10-42 to win the league. And if that still isn’t good enough, they were completely unbeaten. This is a serious team and an incredible effort by the management and coaches – what a talent pool to have in the club and bodes very well for the future.

There was also a tonne of activity across our younger members which is detailed in the mini’s section, but super to see so much going on at these vital age levels. A special mention to the U13s to wish them the best of luck in the Leinster A League final against Old Belvedere. The game will be played in Old Wesley RFC, Ballycorus at 12:15. Good luck to these young athletes!

So, all went to plan over the past two weeks--well, not quite. The Men’s 1st XV played Wesley on Saturday 17th in what we felt might be the toughest encounter of the league to date. We were right.


Wesley have been on a crusade, and carry a grudge due to their points deduction before Christmas | Photo: JC Sports Photography

Wesley have been on a crusade since Autumn. They have won more matches than any other side bar Mary's, and carry a grudge due to their points deduction before Christmas.


While they have been running up 40+ point score-lines in their encounters since early January, I think their performance against us took everyone by surprise. They were superb and executed brilliantly considering they were uncomfortable in their set pieces. Usually when you see that sort of dominance, as we displayed, in the scrum and lineouts you would expect the side under pressure to make mistakes. They seemed to cope with our dominance in these aspects of the game and played some lovely rugby. However – this dominance will serve us well, other sides won’t cope as well as Wesley did.


This group don’t stay down for long, and we have talked about the resilience of the team a lot this season – I believe we’ll see it now | Photo: JC Sports Photography

This loss hurt. It was evident in all the players faces after the match.



Sometimes that’s no harm. Anyone who has been in this game long enough has suffered a loss like this at some point, and a pain anchor can serve as a very effective motivation for next time out.


Believe me, I know. I’d say to the guys - bury it. It was a one-off and we’re far better than that – we’ll bounce back strongly. This group don’t stay down for long, and we have talked about the resilience of the team a lot this season – I believe we’ll see it now.


Next up is Queens University away on Saturday. A must win and should we secure all our points, we could well be back in playoff contention by Saturday evening.


That’s the beauty and the unpredictability of this league. A loss on Saturday could, mathematically, see us in relegation zone, or a win could likely see us in playoff contention. I know which outcome I’m betting on and, as I’ve said many times before – don’t bet against these guys. They know better than anyone what they have to do and they have great integrity and accountability. I’d still follow them anywhere. I know you would too.

See you out there.


Paul


Paul Flavin

President 2023-24

Blackrock College RFC



 


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