Having narrowly lost out to Wicklow, Portlaoise U-18s faced Tullow and the fact that Tullow had already beaten Wicklow made Portlaoise more nervous than usual.
Pre-match nerves vanished after the kick-off when Portlaoise’s fast ball handling surprised Tullow and led to a practised running movement culminating in a converted try. This was no flash in the pan as soon afterwards the front row turned over possession and through a series of disciplined rucking movements took play into the opposition half. This set up another running movement with a converted try as the outcome.
No sooner did one movement collapse than Portlaoise lines were reformed in defence, ready for a break-away try.
Portlaoise dominated the line-out and their scrum clearance was speedy and accurate and ball handling was maintained right out to the wing. Quick tackling turned over possession from the opposition scrums. In one incident as the full-back was sprinting towards the try line a robust challenge was made by the opposition flanker at speed. The flanker literally bounced off the full back cartoon style and the full back ran on to score the try.
To crown the perfect day, place kicking success of seven from eight led to a score line of 54-5 in Portlaoise’s favour from an impressive tally of eight tries.