Neyland Juniors enjoy 'fantastic tour' to Ireland

Neyland and Young Munster juniors pose together

Neyland RFC Under 14s recently went on their tour to Munster under the guidance of coaches Colin Picton, Julian James and Phil Rogers, with 34 committee members, parents and grandparents joining the 20 players on what all agreed was ‘a fantastic tour’!

Neyland 22 - Young Munster 12

On the Saturday morning they set off for their old friends and hosts Young Munster RFC, with the player looking resplendent in new tracksuits sponsored by Kim and Lyn of Davey World Services; and they also had new kit bags sponsored by Scott Gregory of the Green Shed. The players also had after match polo shirts sponsored by Darren Briggs of the Ascona Group.

On arrival at the ground it was great to catch up with Hugh McGrath and Cairan O'Callaghan, who were on the first visit to Neyland in 2003.

Young All Blacks fight back well

The game was played in beautiful sunshine and Neyland soon found themselves 5 - 0 down after some good work in Munster's 22 broke down and the home side broke out to score a try in the corner but from the kick Neyland were soon on the attack and after some great hands scrum half Tyler Sutton sniped over and Fletcher Picton added the conversion.

Munster came back into the game but some ferocious defence in the Neyland 22 allowed them to turn over the ball and a brilliant run by centre Rocco Braithwaite-Hibbert took play to Munster's 22 where Sutton's crossfield kick was gathered by full back Liam Rees to give Neyland a 12- 5 lead.

Aled Rogers was next to score after some good work by both backs and forwards to lead 17-5 but then the game was spoilt by dubious refereeing that even had the Young Munster coaches and supporters scratching their heads at some decisions, one of which led to a penalty try to make it 17-12.

First-ever Neyland win against Munster

Neyland were hanging on but some brave defence led to a turnover and a penalty, from which Liam Rees  put a super kick from half way to the 5-metre line and from the lineout Neyland went a few phases before prop and captain Seb McIntosh crashed over the line to clinch a first ever win for a Neyland team against Young Munster.

After great hospitality by their hosts and the presentations including ‘Man of The Match’ awards to Rocco Braithwaite-Hibbert of Neyland and Adam Bolger of Young Munster.

Not content with the first match, the children of both sides went outside for a kick about whilst the adults watched Saracens versus Munster!

Such is the friendship between the clubs that their hosts (Fiona Hoban) even gave every touring player an Easter Egg.

Neyland and Cashel junior players pose together

Neyland 33 - Cashel 17

Sunday saw the team travel to Cashel RFC for a first ever visit to the club but the game was disrupted by a few injuries to Cashel players and finished 12 a side,

Neyland opened the scoring with a try by Rocco Braithwaite-Hibbert and further tries followed  from Fergus Reynolds, Harvey Myles Nash and Fletcher Picton with Liam Rees kicking three conversions.

Just on half time Cashel hit back with a try in a very entertaining first half.

The ref was unable to carry on for the second half so Charlie Watts made his international debut with the whistle and Cashel hit back with a good try and a penalty try (safe to say this is the end of Charlie’ s international career)! Fergus Reynolds added another try converted by Liam Rees to complete the scoring and an entertaining game and tour.

Congratulations to all

Congratulations to the players whose behaviour on and off the field was excellent and they were a credit to the club, town and parents. Also to Niall Griffiths, the tour captain, who was injured before the tour but still went and played a major part alongside on-field captain Seb McIntosh, who led the team well and spoke brilliantly at both presentations.

Thanks also to Lisa Paines for organising a fantastic tour and the parents for the fundraising efforts and contributing to a wonderful tour.

Thanks also to all the sponsors: Phil and Anna at Manillas and Neyland Town Council, along with the others who have previously been mentioned and the people of Neyland who supported the fundraising events to make a tour the players will never forget.

To round off a memorable tour the players were also treated to an afternoon of Go Karting whilst some of the adults went shopping and explored the cultural side of Limerick!