Sunday, 22 April 2018

Cleary Cup Final

You Win or You Learn

“You win, or you learn”. That quote was never more relevant than it was for our U15’s boys rugby team after we came out the wrong side of our North Munster Schools Cup Final last Friday in Clanwilliam. There is no point in reminiscing over all the little variables that may, or may not have contributed to the final result. Doing so has never changed the result of any match. What is important to reflect on however, is the standards these boys have brought to rugby in the school.

Our focus over the last few weeks has been on absolute hard work. The message we sold to the boys was that talent never won anything. They now understand that hard work supersedes talent all day long and without it you get nowhere in rugby. The work they put into our first half try took the effort of all 15 players with Leon barging his way over the line, for what was a super score.
When you are 10-5 down at half-time, you are absolutely still in the game. But, when you are camped between their 10 meter and their try line for the entire second half, you always expect to get the return you deserve for your dominance. We just could not get over the line and David came very close at the death. The effort and commitment these boys put into winning that game last Friday was just brilliant to watch. This commitment was epitomised by nobody more than our captain Tadhg who, after getting a bad knock to his leg just before half-time, did all he could to play through the pain barrier, but it was just too much of an ask. He was a huge loss for the second 30. They gave it everything and we could not have asked for anymore. The Villiers jersey was on display and they promoted it with pride.

There is no silverware to display at the end of a good season, but so much was achieved outside of that. Thomas is going to a final Munster Clubs trial this Wednesday in U.L and he has the full support of all his teammates. Tommy is probably our most improved player. Fahad seems to be getting faster and Max’s leadership qualities sets him apart from any opposition player he comes up against.
What gives me great hope for the future is that we have one of the best 15yr old rugby players I have seen in years in Eoin. He dislocated his thumb in a rugby match on Wednesday, got it popped back in, strapped it up and just got on with it. 48 hours later he put in an utterly dominant performance and battered everything that came his way in a Clonmel jersey. He is one to watch for the future.

Unfortunately, it was not to be this time, but lessons were learned and reputations were enhanced. There were tears at the end, but that just shows how much they care. There is no shame in not winning a cup final in that manner. These boys will have some great days in rugby. Last Friday was not one of them, but down the line, they will reflect on that match and understand that they gained so much from this performance.

We have already set a target for next season. This team is going to put everything into qualifying for the Munster ‘A’ Schools Junior Cup. Last October we just came up short against the schools rugby superpower in Presentation Brothers Cork. There was only 4 points in it at the end of that game. If we qualify for the Junior Cup next year, then we might just get an opportunity to make up for that game.

Richie Mc’Caw is the greatest rugby player to have ever played the game and he famously said, “I don’t believe in luck. I believe in hard work”. These boys have that in bucket loads.


Saturday, 24 March 2018

U15 Cleary Cup semi-final win

Exhausted is an understatement. But that’s what witnessing an exceptionally close cup match can do to you. As we faced Nenagh St. Joseph’s in The Cleary Cup semi-final today, we saw a game that was demanding on the players in both a mental and physical capacity. Nenagh are a side with good skills and comparable work rate. While physically superior to us, we dominated them at the breakdown. Over the last few weeks the breakdown has been our main area of focus. Different techniques were introduced to the boys and they put them into practice on the pitch today with great effect. Our forwards were a credit to themselves, their school and their upbringing. They were fearless against the bigger team. Our front row of Christian, Ross and Godwin showed determination, endurance, grit and passion in defence. In the second row David Keane and Victor won lineout ball, carried, passed, tackled and did everything asked of them for the 70 minutes. They were brilliant. There is no doubt in my mind we have one of the best backrow units in U15’s schools rugby throughout Munster. Max, Thomas and Eoin were simply immense today. They epitomised teamwork. These boys are both dogged and skilled at the same. You couple that with an earnestness that would inspire some of the great names in the game, then you know you have something special at your disposal in these three boys. Noah Patterson did not pass one ball out of place today. He was so accurate with his distribution and even managed a couple of snipes at the breakdown. Outside him, Doug Howell portrayed a sidestep that you just cannot coach. He left defenders in his wake with break after break. Our centres of Vincent and Glenn drove at their carriers and blitzed their line a number of times making huge ground. Our ¾ line of Diarmuid, Fahad and Tommy McDowell showed great instincts in carrying Nenagh’s kicks back towards their defensive line while leaving several defenders in their wake. Tommy 8’s getting better with every game and his confidence in growing more and more. Diarmuid will just throw himself at anything that comes his way. He portrays a toughness that contradicts his size. Guy came on at fullback at halftime and secured the back field area. He tidied up so much ball and was a great addition. We had a number of standout moments in what was a thrilling match: Eoin McCormack’s try and overall dominant performance. He was simply brilliant. Fahad’s two tries and general mayhem causing jinking runs. Ross O’Shea performed a miracle tackle in the corner 1ft from our try line. He just worked and worked until he reached their winger and put in a tackle that forced a knock on at the line. It was a massive sigh of relief and a huge contributor to winning this nail biting schools cup semi-final. Max put in a hit towards the end of the match when the pressure was on. He drove their player back 3 yards and we turned over the ball. With 2 minutes left, it was a key. Success does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Success is no accident. There are no secrets to success. It is the result of graft, learning from your losses and persistence in seeking perfection. What these U15’s boys have above all else is loyalty to one another. That is key to team success. The final is on the 13th of April. Their ability as rugby players will be tested that day, but do not question these boy’s loyalty and character. They have it in bucket loads. Friday the 13th! Will it be lucky for Villiers? Something tells me it will.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

U15 Boys Rugby Blitz Report

What is it about rugby? When it is played in the swirling wind and wild rain, it can often bring the best out of a player. Villiers U15’s boys took to the field once again this Wednesday 14th March to compete in round 2 of the North Munster B Schools Blitz. As we took to the pitch for our first of three 12 minute matches, we knew that good performances in our games would edge us closer to the big day in Thomond Park, where the top teams who have qualified from throughout North Munster, would come together to compete for the title of North Munster B Schools Blitz Champions. The weather galvanised our group. For all three matches we ended up playing into a very strong wind and rain and only work rate would get us out the other side. These were 11 a-side games and only 12 minutes long. This meant we had to set out our stall early on, as we knew that scoring the first try would lessen the time the opposition would have to get one back. Eoin McCormack touched down for our first try and would go on to touch down a few more times as the morning went on. We on the first game 3-0, the second game 3-0 and the third game 3-0. Played 3 and won 3. 9 tries scored and none conceded. This was as impressive as it could get from a group of players who are really gelling and becoming a very good rugby team. Without our injured captain (Tadhg Shanahan), Thomas Lillis stepped in to fill the role and although Eoin McCormack took it upon himself to go up for the coin toss before the last two games, (losing two of the tosses) Thomas led the boys very well and went about his job quietly but with great effect. Thomas is trying to convince me he is an out-half. He started the game in the pack and played well, but when he was switched to his favoured position, he played some very good stuff indeed. We will see!! Tommy McDowell epitomised our defence and work rate as he kept chasing one particular ominous looking attack that looked like a losing battle. Against SMI Newcastle West Tommy had to work so hard to make a tackle that everybody else thought was pointless. As their player got over the line and went to touch the ball down, Tommy kept running and made a last gasp effort to disrupt the touchdown. They knocked it on. To say the boys were proud of him after that effort, is an understatement. The pats on the back and the “Go on Tommy”, went on for quite a bit. Ross O’Shea really came into his own today. In the second and third games, he made a number of big carries that turned into a huge amount of ground gained for our attack. Ross knows how to run good lines and with a bit more physicality added to his game over the coming months, Ross could be big player for us next year. As could Christian Storey. He made some big carries and made some impressive yardage in all 3 games. These are just a couple of highlights from an impressive display from everybody. We will be notified in the coming days about whether we were successful in our pursuit of the big day in Thomond Park. Do we deserve to be there? Yes! Have we done enough and built enough points over the two preliminary rounds? Time will tell. We are back on the training pitch tomorrow in preparation for our Cleary Cup Final against the winners of High School Clonmel and Abbey CBS, Tipperary next week. Still plenty of work to do if we are to win the cup, but these boys are not afraid of hard work. After all, 6 of our players are attending Munster U16’s Preliminary trials in UL over Easter. More on that in the coming weeks. It is a big few weeks for the Villiers lads. Who knows how successful these next few weeks will be. Will we give it everything? Of course we will!!!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Model United Nations

Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, or other multilateral body, which introduces students to the world of diplomacy, negotiation, and decision making. 

At Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors of countries that are members of the UN, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. The students, better known as “delegates”, debate current issues on the organization’s vast agenda. They prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN’s rules of procedure – all in the interest of resolving problems that affect the world.

This year, Villiers students have attended MUN Conferences in Cambridge, Poland, Prague and Dublin. Thank you to their teachers Ms. Woods and Ms. Gowing for all their hard work in organising and preparing students for each conference.


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