Connacht U18s Take the Interpro Series Title

04 September 2023

Connacht U18s Take the Interpro Series Title


The Connacht U18s faced the Munster Clubs U18s for their final Interpro match of the season in calm and bright conditions at the Sportsground. A win or a bonus point draw for the home side would see Connacht U18s lift the trophy for the Interpro series.

Both sides were buzzing with anticipation at the start of the U18s game. Connacht knew what was on the line for them and expectations were high given their performance in the series so far. The first half saw Connacht continuously pressing into the Munster half from the very first play of the game. Both sides were playing with a nervous energy, leading to a few handling errors. Munster did a great job of keeping Connacht from getting a try despite most of the play being in the Munster half. The first points of the game came in the 7th minute when a Connacht player blocked down a Munster kick followed by a brilliant lineout and maul from Connacht which pushes Munster back. A penalty was given to Connacht and Charlie O'Carroll goes for the posts. He puts it cleanly between the posts and Connacht finally lead 3-0.

After this, Connacht seemed to settle into the game and into their plays, showing how well they work as a full team with their player depth and solid foundational skills. Vice-Captain Diarmaid O'Connell was especially impressive both in his tackling and defensive skills, but also in his ball carrying and offloads. Munster had only made it into the Connacht half once, but they continued to work tirelessly on defence and even held up a try attempt by Vice-Captain Sean Walsh. Eventually Connacht make it over the line for their first try of the game at 17 minutes when Charlie O'Carroll threw a pass to Diarmaid O'Connell who completes an impressive offload to Paul Sharkey who was flying up the wing and finds space using his speed to make it over the line. Charlie O'Carroll kicks the conversion and Connacht lead 10-0.

Connacht continued to build momentum using the full depth of their squad and Munster found it hard to both stop them and find holes in their defence. Once again winning the ball back from Munster when it spills out of a ruck, and Connacht punish them with their second try from a maul by Donagh Kilcommins in the 26th minute to make the score 15-0 going into halftime.

Having begun to press into the Connacht half and built some rhythm, Munster were ready to go for the second half. This half began similarly to the first half with both teams making scrappy mistakes, showing their age and needing to settle into the game again. This time, it’s Munster with the first try of the half as they power over the line off a scrum and the conversion is put between the posts to make the score 15-7 after 11 minutes. This try seemed to settle both teams again, and the rest of the game was yet again Connacht-dominant. Rory Lyons and Charlie O'Carroll each add a try to the board in quick succession with Tom Sheehan adding one conversion to make the score 27-7. Vice-Captain Sean Walsh seemed to be involved with nearly every try and successful play Connacht had in the second half and spurred on the team with his leadership. By this point, there was less than 10 minutes left and Connacht was sprinting towards the win and the trophy while a silent Munster bench looked on. All the Connacht players and subs got game time and the discipline and depth of the full team was evident. The final whistle blew a short time later and cheers erupted from the stands, the players, and the coaches. When they lifted the trophy after, it mirrored the game itself – they lifted it as a team and held each other up in support. Final score: 27-7.



Connacht – 16 Christopher Cusack on for 7 Charlie Keane at 31 minutes. 2 Jack Pollard back on for 16 Christopher Cusack at 2 minutes into the 2nd half. 17 Christopher Donlon on for 3 Jason Duggan at 11 minutes into the 2nd half. 18 Brian Donohoe, 21 Billy Ruane, 22 Ronan O'Connor, and 23 Thomas Cotton on for 1 Donagh Kilcommins, 9 Charlie O'Carroll, 12 Tom Sheehan, and 14 Finnan Strain at 27 minutes into the 2nd half. 16 Christopher Cusack, 19 Charlie Curling, 20 Eoin Naughton on for 2 Jack Pollard, 5 Rory Gavin, and 7 Charlie Keane at 29 minutes into the 2nd half.

Munster – 20 Andrew Purcell on for 6 Aiden Carroll at halftime. 19 Jamie Walsh on for 7 Jack Phelan at 7 minutes in the 2nd half. 17 Darragh Fitzgerald on for 1 Darragh McDonald at 11 minutes into the 2nd half. 21 Marco Cleary on for 9 Cathal Garvey at 14 minutes into the 2nd half. 18 Ryan Stevens on for 3 David Coyne at 15 minutes into the 2nd half. 23 Marcus Moloney on for 10 Ben Wallis at 22 minutes into the 2nd half. 16 Luke Fitzgerald on for 2 Christian Foley at 25 minutes into the 2nd half.  22 Zane Dooley Cullinane on for 12 Michael Connellan (injured) at 28 minutes into the 2nd half.

Squad List - Connacht

Sunday 3rd September, 13:00 @ Sportsground



15. Dylan Bruton (Buccaneers RFC/CBS Roscommon)

14. Finnan Strain (Corinthians RFC/Coláiste Chroí Mhuire)

13. Sean Walsh V/C (Corinthians RFC/Colaiste Einde)

12. Tom Sheehan (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College)

11. Paul Sharkey (Galwegians RFC/St.Joeseph's Patrician College)

10. Joseph Smyth (Ballinasloe RFC/Garbally College)

9. Charlie O'Carroll (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College)

1. Donagh Kilcommins (Corinthians RFC/Coláiste Bhaile Chláir)

2. Jack Pollard (Buccaneers RFC/Blackrock College)

3. Jason Duggan (Ballina RFC/St Muredachs College)

4. Liam Cahill C (Corinthians RFC/Coláiste na Coiribe)

5. Rory Gavin (Galwegians RFC/Colaiste Iognaid)

6. Diarmaid O'Connell V/C (Sligo RFC/Sligo Grammar)

7. Charlie Keane (Corinthians RFC/Coláiste Bhaile Chláir)

8. Rory Lyons (Westport RFC/Sancta Maria College)


16. Christopher Cusack (Castlebar RFC/Davitt College)

17. Christopher Donlon (Dunmore RFC/Dunmore Community College)

18. Brian Donohoe (Ballina RFC/St.Muredachs College)

19. Charlie Curling (Corinthians RFC/St.Joseph's Patrician College)

20. Eoin Naughton (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College)

21. Billy Ruane (Ballina RFC/St.Muredachs College)

22. Ronan O'Connor (Sligo RFC/Summerhill College)

23. Thomas Cotton (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College)

24. Kevin Hughes (Corinthians RFC/Ballinrobe Community School)

25. Cillian O’Neill (Sligo RFC/Summerhill College)

26. Eamon Keane (Sligo RFC/Summerhill College)


Head Coach: Sean Skehan

Assistant Coach: Paddy Thornton

Development Coach: Diarmuid Codyre

S&C Coach: Adrian Pilkington

Physiotherapist: Joe Corduff

Team Manager: Philip Coyle

Squad List – Munster

Sunday 3rd September, 13:00 @ Sportsground


15. Conall Cournane V/C

14. Oskar Olszewski

13. Michael O’Sullivan C

12. Michael Connellan

11. Eli Reynolds

10. Ben Wallis

9. Cathal Garvey

1. Darragh McDonald

2. Christian Foley

3. David Coyne

4. Fionn O’Meara

5. Bobby Doherty

6. Aiden Carroll

7. Jack Phelan

8. Michael Frawley V/C


16. Luke Fitzgerald

17. Darragh Fitzgerald

18. Ryan Stevens

19. Jamie Walsh

20. Andrew Purcell

21. Marco Cleary

22. Zane Dooley Cullinane

23. Marcus Moloney