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Schools' Cup: Inst show class of champions as they thrash Coleraine

RBAI 25-3 Coleraine GS

By Michael Sadlier

Published 08/02/2016

Knockout: Rhys O’Donnell (left) clears the ball for RBAI
Knockout: Rhys O’Donnell (left) clears the ball for RBAI

Holders Royal Belfast Academical Institution will be looking to make home advantage pay again when they meet Sullivan Upper in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools' Cup quarter-finals on February 20.

Inst turned it on in front of their own supporters at Osborne Park on Saturday morning by putting Coleraine Grammar School to the sword in a four-try to nil display which was notable for its ruthless efficiency.

Sullivan will certainly have taken note after their 14-0 victory at Regent House and will know that Inst will be a hugely challenging prospect in their own backyard but the Holywood school - who lost skipper Chris Jordan to a serious leg injury in addition to having had coach Willie Anderson hospitalised - will still be gunning to put it up to Dan Soper's squad.

In the other round three games, Campbell College annihilated Friends' School 49-7 and now advance to meet Methodist College at Fox's Field in the plum tie of the last eight draw.

Methody defeated Rainey Endowed 15-0 at Pirrie Park, though the fortunes of the draw have now brought them up against one of the favourites to lift the trophy in what will be an eagerly anticipated clash of the two Belfast giants.

Elsewhere, the quarter-finals bring together Ballymena Academy, who accounted for Wallace High School, and Belfast Royal Academy who saw off Down High School on Saturday.

Dalriada host Bangor Grammar in the other quarter-final after the Ballymoney school won at Foyle College with Bangor doing likewise at Ballyclare High School.

It was Inst's set-piece dominance which paved the way for their victory over Coleraine at a chilly and damp Osborne Park.

After witnessing his side score four impressive tries while also managing to keep their own line intact, Inst head coach Soper admitted: "The way they went about winning that game was very professional.

"There was nothing over extravagant about what we did. It was reasonably well-disciplined and the things which stood out for me were the kick-chase and how we fielded their kicks compared to how they coped with ours.

"I also thought our lineout took just about any opportunity away from them."

Playing with the wind and rain, Inst built up a 13-0 lead in the opening half through tries from flanker Charles Cloke - scored after just four minutes - and an excellently taken touchdown from winger and skipper Conor Field after the Belfast school re-gathered a defensive kick to irresistibly sweep downfield.

And the half ended with Coleraine under the pump again with centre James Hume kicking a penalty.

An early penalty from out-half Callum Smith got the visitors - now with the wind behind them - on the scoreboard early in the second-half.

From there, however, it was all about Inst and with key forwards Cloke, John Dickson, David Whitten and Callum Reid all putting in a huge work-rate, Coleraine's challenge was quickly extinguished.

Field got his second with an assist from Reid after Coleraine's lineout was, yet again, stolen and then after a ball went loose in the visitors' 22, prop Dickson pounced, side-stepped the cover and then unselfishly presented out-half David Lyttle with a try under the sticks.

Hume converted and it was game over with Inst emptying their bench and Coleraine briefly fighting back - with centre Matthew Norris looking dangerous - but without bringing any scores.

Soper added: "We knew that if we dominated that (the lineouts and scrums) we wouldn't give them a platform to play from as they have some pretty dangerous backs.

"At 13-0 (at half-time) we knew it still wasn't probably enough so we had to go and win the second-half.

"We didn't start it well by giving them three points but the guys were then very polished in how they went about things."

Coleraine head coach Richard Boyd said: "We're extremely disappointed.

"We always knew it would be a huge challenge and they were very strong and didn't allow us any momentum in the game and facing that wind (in the first-half) we had to stay in touch to give ourselves a chance.

"We didn't really turn up and we didn't really get any ball from our set-piece and they made it very hard.

"We're now in the Subsidiary Shield so we'll see how we go," Boyd stated while also pointing out that a considerable number of his players will be back next year.

Coleraine travel again for the Shield quarter-final but not that far as they meet Foyle College.

Belfast Telegraph

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