Force take on IT Carlow In double header


By Tom Rooney


The DCU Force senior and second sides both travel to Carlow this afternoon with an identical modus operandi; scalp the heavily favored opposition and secure a place in an All Ireland Final. This, of course, is easier said than done, but the thought of two DCU teams contesting for national titles in a fortnight’s time at the Mardyke Arena in Cork, is simply too good to ignore.

The senior side will arrive at the birthplace of their Head Coach in the knowledge that they did so by the skin of their teeth.  The razor-thin victory over NUI Maynooth last week was a far from vintage display, and took a Trojan defensive effort in the final quarter to keep the visitors at bay and secure the win. This will not suffice today, as IT Carlow are far too good a side to be undone purely by blind endeavor.

If anyone doubts this, they should consult members of the LIT side who were treated to a 48-7 spanking at the hands of today’s hosts in their quarter final clash. Bernard Jackman is well aware that his sides have a mountain to climb today; he attributes this to the introduction of rugby to the IT Carlow’s curriculum and the culture it has subsequently bred.

“Carlow IT are favorites every year for this competition because they have a degree in rugby and business so they have a lot of highly skilled players in the college. Part of their continual assessment is gym and rugby training so that is a big advantage to them.”

The Force will be bolstered by the return of blindside Eoin Cremin and centre Ben Woods, however, they will be without their marquee performer Matt Healy, who has been selected for the Irish Amateurs. Woods in particular can add some dynamism to the midfield which was in short supply last week; according to Jackman however it was the conditions that decided this, not the game plan.

“We always try to play with width, it’s just the way the game developed and with the wind that was blowing it was difficult at times. I was very impressed with the heart and determination that was displayed by the whole team. We just to be more clinical in the opposition twenty-two,” he said.

He also thinks that the solidarity of two sides travelling together this afternoon will make the whole ordeal a little less daunting. “Today is very difficult, but at least we play in the same venue and it will be great to have the whole senior squad there.”  So, can the Force do the double? “Without doubt, yes.”

The seniors kick off at 5pm, and if successful they will meet either Athlone IT or Cork IT, who are also playing this afternoon.  The seconds play at 3pm and if they progress, the winner of NUI Maynooth and NCI will await them.

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