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2011 SCHOOLS CUP

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2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby Beattiespastie » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:05 pm

2011 is going to be a hard one to call this year with so many of the sides still finding their feet but I reckon Ballymena will again be strong contenders. MCB are going to be in and around as always along with RBAI but the dark horses may just be Campbell College as rumour has it they have been recruiting over the summer and found some useful additions to their squad.
It was interesting to see Brian McClaughlin at Pirrie Park this morning watching the MCB V RABI medallion squads locking horns in an excellent game which MCB deservedly won 15 V 12. McClaughlin was sharing a laugh and a joke with wee Davy Wells,perhaps Wellsy was imparting some advice on how to close games out in the second half!

My money goes on Ballymena at this stage but the rest of the pack will no doubt be snapping at their heels,it will be another great advert for schools rugby for sure. :D
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby Binman » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:34 pm

I think Campbell will go close this year.
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby Glengrimley » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:34 pm

I have to agree that at this stage its a tough call. Of the teams I've seen to date Ballymena are the strongest contenders and should be there or there abouts this year. They will need to keep Morrison fit though as alot of their positive attacking rugby starts with him.
Ballyclare have had a great start so far, I understand they had a summer tour to NZ so were probably a few weeks/matches ahead of the rest at the start of term - the also played the big teams whilst the Ulster schools players were out. However they have a strong pack and given a decent draw they will do ok.
MCB looked a bit shaky when it watched them play BRA, they managed to score against the run of play in my opinion and held out for the win although they were under severe pressure in the second half.
BRA are strong again although they lost a number of their better players from last years team. They have a strong pack and a creative back line with plenty of pace. It will depend on the draw but I would expect to see them back a Ravenhill for the semi at least.
RBAI and Campbell - I haven't seen them but having read the match reports so far RBAI seem the stronger but I've also heard the rumours that Campbell "recruited" well over the summer.
I know Armagh had a great side last year but I don't know how many players remained in school this year.
Overall I think that you can probably pick the winner from either Ballymena, BRA, RBAI or Campbell.
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby Beattiespastie » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:25 pm

Patterson is key to Ballymena's progress this year but in all honesty I was shocked at the lacklustre performance of MCB in last years semi final which on any other day of the year they would have won comfortably and thats the fascinating dynamic about schools rugby....getting it right mentally,physically and tactically on the day is key.
The last post was excellent in its assessment of Ballyclare and the value or otherwise of pre-season( August ) tours or training regimes...is it beneficial in the long run or ultimately too much too soon? I think some coaches maybe put too much emphasis on getting 'one over' on the bigger schools in the early season friendlies thinking that it will galvanise their teams self belief and ultimately lead to a successful campaign but I would tend to think the opposite.Surely you want to build slowly and time your team to be at their peak or thereabouts coming into early new year?...Medallion rugby mirrors the senior set-up when some schools outside the Belfast big three come into the first weeks of the season all guns blazing after some early training in August only to find the team they beat in the first few weeks in September is virtually unrecognisable in late November with younger players brought through from 3RD year etc who add a new zeal to the team...its fascinating stuff and its going to be hard to call come spring time! :afro:
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby Instonian » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:08 pm

I would say its between a few teams, methody strong but have a good maul and two smilar crash ball centres. Could be bullied up front with a young pack. Armagh have one or two strong forwards who carry the pack. Superb kicker plays everywhere in backline. ballyclare I think are having a good season whilst other teams suffer from inability to field their 1st choice teams. Not many standout players well rounded team.Campbell have a very strong backline and backrow, but could struggle come lineout and scrum with larger packs dominating. Those are the teams I have watched and my impressions and chat amongst people from various camps. As an instonian I think this years crop have the best chance in a while to win silverware. With a large pack based mainly of upper sixth which is still a factor in schools rugby and a large number of representative players and with a frontline kicker when he turns up. Wins against methody and blackrock at this stge shows could be a year for us!h
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby pwrmoore » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:33 pm

I thought I heard that Inst had lost quite a few times already this season - are they really a prospect for the Schools Cup?
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby The FRU » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:22 pm

You'l find the main runners and riders here http://schools.thefru.co.uk/frumu/rugby-rankings/
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby Instonian » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:20 am

INST HAVE THEMSELVES TO BLAME FOR ANY LOSSES WITH ONE EXAMPLE WAS HALF OF THE TEAM WERE RESTED FOR AN AWAY TRIP TO BLACKROCK MIDWEEK AND THAT SATURDAY BALLYCLARE BEAT US ON OUR HOME TURF WHICH HOPEFULLY WON'T HAPPEN COME CUPTIME! This years crop won the med shield previously with 12 from tht starting 15 still playing! This I believe holds a team in good stead! Rbai vs CCB in two weeks will be a pretty close contest which could have bearing for the cup!
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby Beattiespastie » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:57 pm

MCB will win this years schools cup....they are quietly turning out results and building well..RBAI are losing semi-finalists and Ballymena will push Campbell for a losing finalists birth. I have been lucky enough to watch teams being built in recent years at Pirrie Park and suddenly...out of left field... I can see Nicky Wells putting together a razor sharp outfit that suddenly look like a great team in the making........Last years semi final defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for MCB and those mistakes are showing no signs of being repeated.
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby playingadvantage » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:40 pm

Big one tomorrow Inst v Campbell. Will be interesting.
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby Beattiespastie » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:45 am

MCBs demolition of CAI was clinical and the young pack is looking good...Methody have pace all over the place and they look better at this stage than they did last year. Campbell havent gelled yet and they are running out of time so I reckon Ballymena and RBAI are looking good...Ballyclare will falter before the semi's despite an excellent pre tournament run against the big guns...its all about big match temperament and who has it and who doesn't.
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby bangorboy » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:39 am

Beattiespastie wrote:2011 is going to be a hard one to call this year with so many of the sides still finding their feet but I reckon Ballymena will again be strong contenders. MCB are going to be in and around as always along with RBAI but the dark horses may just be Campbell College as rumour has it they have been recruiting over the summer and found some useful additions to their squad.
It was interesting to see Brian McClaughlin at Pirrie Park this morning watching the MCB V RABI medallion squads locking horns in an excellent game which MCB deservedly won 15 V 12. [url]McClaughlin was sharing a laugh and a joke[/url] with wee Davy Wells,perhaps Wellsy was imparting some advice on how to close games out in the second half!

My money goes on Ballymena at this stage but the rest of the pack will no doubt be snapping at their heels,it will be another great advert for schools rugby for sure. :D


I was almost believing you until I read that bit... never seen him looking anything but a glum depressing long faced g*t.
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby Beattiespastie » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:21 pm

He always was a serious looking chap especially in his RBAI glory days which contrasted sharply with the 'warmer' character that is Davy Wells...but hey...he is in a serious job that at last shows signs of bringing forth some sunshine and cheer in the guise of the younger lads like Gilroy coming through into the senior set up!
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby Beattiespastie » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:36 am

MCB comfortably beat Blackrock this week and look in great shape...the schools cup may be 'coming home' again this year!!
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Re: 2011 SCHOOLS CUP

Postby bigtruckmayne » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:55 pm

Regent House 1st XV have much the same squad as when they were robbed of the Medallion Shield in 2008, the whole way up school this Regent year had been the number one team. This season the team has been plagued by injuries and bad form, playing at roughly 60% of their potential. Therefore i would be right in saying extreme dark horses will be regent house. Bearing in mind this squad has only ever lost once to Inst and Methody and has comfortably been the best team in the country the whole way up school, I wouldnt write off regent. Regent narrowly lost to Ballymena last weekend and were much the better team and i can only see a very unlucky draw knocking Regent out of the Cup this year.
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