Not since 1984 has a Blackrock 2nd XV won a title at J1 level and not since 2012, the year after the divisional format was introduced has the team had the opportunity to play against some of the top second XV’s in the country from clubs like UCD, Old Belvedere, Terenure, Lansdowne and Clontarf.
On the line this Sunday at Stradbrook is just that. Near the end of a long season the Rock 2nd XV have the opportunity to not only win the Metro Division 2 League title but also gain promotion to Division 1 for the 2016/17 season.
This would be a massive accomplishment for a team that (despite commitment from a core group of players and management) only a season ago struggled to put a team on the park in many fixtures.
There have defiantly been challenges with injuries among other things resulting in 60 players being involved in the team at one time or another throughout the season. Each of those players has contributed greatly to the success of the team to date and players have shown great commitment turning out for more than one side over a weekend on more than one occasion.
After a good start to the year with Cup wins against NUI Barnhall and Old Belvedere the team suffered a loss to Lansdowne knocking them out of the early season competition.
The league competition then began with a rocky start with close wins over Seapoint and eventual finalists Naas before suffering a close loss to St Mary’s in match three.
Since then the team has grown immeasurably, with the fantastic attitude and commitment of the players resulting in just two further losses and finishing the league top of the table five points clear of Naas, followed closely by a strong Trinity side one point behind.
Despite some late season injuries to senior players (which is obviously extremely disappointing for those affected) the team, with the side-line support of family, friends and many of the wider senior squad sealed this weekend’s home final with a bonus point win against Lansdowne at the original home of Rock Rugby (and many of our players), Blackrock College.
The team now look forward to the massive challenge of playing a very strong Naas side who also defiantly deserve their place in the final.
The match kick off at 3pm this Sunday at Stradbrook so please come down and support the lads as they compete for the league title!