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DUFC: a year of two halves

Published: 6th June 2017

“A great way to finish the year,” is how head rugby coach Tony Smeeth describes his first team’s final game of the season. Trinity started the day in 9th place, facing the very real prospect of a relegation play-off to remain in Division 1A of the AIL.

However in the final minute the students pulled off a strong candidate for ‘try of the year’ to defeat Terenure 27-25 and retain their status in the premier rugby division.

“We were absolutely on fumes at that stage, so for the guys to do that – that will really stand to them,” says Tony.

The club’s return to Division 1A for the 2016-2017 season could be described as a year of two halves. “Finishing 6th is probably better than we would have expected at the start of the season,” admits Tony. Expectations rose following a strong start back in September but their toughest concentration of games were waiting for them after Christmas.

“It was probably a bigger accomplishment to stay up than getting up,” admits the rugby veteran. “For next season we need to look at how we can break into the top four – I don’t want it coming down to the last match again!”

On paper certainly, the omens for next season look good. As opposed to the previous year when they lost 17 of their top 25 players, this year they’re only losing three or four. The team is also heading to Parma for pre-season, where they will spend a week training at Pro-12 side Zebre’s facilities.

“Training sessions will resume at the start of August so hopefully this Italy trip will be an added incentive for players to get back from their travels!”

*AIL fixtures recommence in September 2017