The DCU senior rugby team got their season off to a flying start courtesy of a win over NUI Maynooth, with the scoreboard at full-time reading 17-5. Both teams put up a strong fight but it was DCU who kept the lead from the beginning.
Going in at half-time with two converted tries under their belt was a confidence booster for the side. DCU coach Phil de Barra admits he knew they had a fairly strong team out, but that there are no easy games.
The second half saw Richie Keane extend the lead even further with a long penalty to set the score at 17-0. De Barra felt the penalty conversion was a key moment: “This effectively ended the game for Maynooth, who would have needed three tries to come back from this. In the second half I felt we showed a maturity and managed to steer the game our way, stay out of trouble and protect our lead.”
De Barra is happy with how his team has gelled together this year and felt that the whole pack played well and put in a full performance. “There were almost 50 at the training session on Monday which made it fairly difficult choosing the team. All of our scholarship players bar one were fit for selection and this made a pretty big difference to the game play.”
Looking ahead to the next game against Cork Institute of Technology, de Barra said, “We are happy that the game is at home and that the team doesn’t have to travel to Cork. The fact that the next two games before Christmas are home games, rather than away, will help the team to focus. The really good start they’ve had winning away against NUIM should help as well.
“There are no easy games and all the teams are quite competitive, but I’m hopeful that other teams coming up against DCU will look at the win we just had over Maynooth and see that they won’t have an easy game.”