The newly established DCU Ladies Rugby Club began their inaugural season in the Leinster women’s Division 1 with a 43-12 home defeat at the hands of Terenure’s CYM Rugby Club.
The defeat though does not deter the optimism shown by DCU’s Rugby Development Officer Rob Mullen, who said that after the success enjoyed by last year’s ladies rugby sides that “for them to develop as players they needed to be challenged”.
“I think going into weekend rugby is a massive challenge for the girls, which will only benefit them… we want to push on and play more competitive games,” he added.
The DCU side will be looking to build on the successes of a strong 2018-19 season, which included a Sevens title, which was won by a large margin, and five trophies out of five competitions, including an all-Ireland tier 1 cup and a division 1 title.
“We’d expect to win (the Sevens tournament) again, we have five girls on contract with the Ireland sevens at the moment,” Mullen said, but expressed how entry into weekend rugby will lead to a closer, more competitive season for the Ladies’ team and add to the experience players gain in college competitions.
Meanwhile the Mens team look forward to starting their league campaign at home to reigning Brendan Johnston cup winners IT Carlow on Wednesday 9th October.
“It’s important for the lads team to get off to a good start in the league, it’s been quite disappointing in the league the last couple of years so that’s our main priority,” Mullen said.
“Maybe we can get a few wins under our belt and then push on and try to get a good cup run” he added.
The DCU men’s team fell to a narrow defeat in last year’s Brendan Johnston cup to Ulster University, a side noted my Mullen for having Ulster inter-provincial players in their arsenal, and will hope to progress past the quarter finals in this year’s competition.
As for the league DCU look forward to visiting Ulster University in November, as well as facing tough opposition on the road at Limerick IT and Garda College, the latter getting the better of DCU 47-24 in last years’ Division 1 campaign.
Mullen hopes that the incoming freshers can make an impact that will spur DCU onto stronger performances. “We want to recruit good players and we want to get good players into college so that they can contribute to the team,” he said.
“We have, for example, Jordan Finney coming in this year who has played at the Leinster u18s and u19s, players like him will only improve the squad,” he added.
Image Credit: Isabella Finn