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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 8 April, 2020
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Joe Schmidt and Cian Healy on hand to open Clontarf's new 4G pitch

On the field, there were big wins for Terenure, UCD and Garryowen.

IRELAND HEAD COACH Joe Schmidt helped cut the ribbon as Clontarf Rugby Club officially opened their new state-of-the-art playing surface at Castle Avenue.

Clontarf RFC Unveil New Pitch Blaney Russell, President, Clontarf RFC, Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt, Kealan Feeney, Clontarf Under-9s player, Geoff Curran, Chairman, Clontarf RFC, Martin O'Sullivan, IRFU President and Norman Ginnelly, Director, Ulster Bank. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The new 4G pitch has been in use since September but this afternoon it hosted its first Ulster Bank League fixture as Clontarf maintained their position at the top of the table.

Schmidt was part of the opening committee, alongside Clontarf President Blaney Russell, chairman Geoff Curran and IRFU President Martin O’Sullivan.

The pitch is made up of a number of layers which consist of a hardcore rock foundation, a rubber shock pad and artificial grass carpet, which is then filled with a mix of rubber-crumb and sand that allows for optimal playing conditions.

The facility has an expected lifespan of 10 years and meets all World Rugby criteria and pitch standards.

Cian Healy, a member of Clontarf, was also in attendance and admitted the new playing surface – similar to the one at Donnybrook – will facilitate a brand of attacking, running rugby.

“The new pitch should really benefit the club long term, as it means there should be no more cancelled training sessions or matches and it will give kids and older players the chance to improve their skills and play a brand of running rugby – something I’m a big fan of,” Healy said.

“I remember playing on the old back pitch during my minis and youths days with Clontarf, and in the very depths of winter you would struggle to find a blade of grass on it due to wear and tear and the usual Irish weather.

“I just wish that such a facility as this was available when I was younger.”

On the pitch, Clontarf edged past Galwegians 16-9 as Matt D’Arcy scored the only try of a tight game.

Zack McCall tackled by Kevin O'Neill Zack McCall of Ballynahinch tackled by Kevin O'Neill of Terenure. Source: Presseye/Freddie Parkinson/INPHO

Elsewhere, there were wins for Terenure College, Garryowen and UCD while Young Munster won the Munster derby, beating Cork Con 11-10 at Tom Clifford Park.

Saturday’s Ulster Bank League Results:

Division 1A

  • Ballynahinch 6-30 Terenure College
  • Clontarf 16-9 Galwegians
  • Old Belvedere 13-28 Garryowen
  • UCD 39-10 Lansdowne
  • Young Munster 11-10 Cork Constitution

Matt D'Arcy celebrates scoring a try Matt D'Arcy celebrates his try. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Division 1B

  • Belfast Harlequins 10-32 Shannon
  • Dolphin 3-44 Dublin University
  • Old Wesley 36-22 Blackrock College
  • UL Bohemians 24-27 St Mary’s College

Division 2A

  • Cashel 23-26 Queen’s University
  • Malone 47-10 Nenagh Ormond
  • Naas 41-14 Corinthians
  • Skerries 28-22 Thomond
  • UCC 27-26 Banbridge

Division 2B

  • Armagh 24-17 Bective Rangers
  • Dungannon 13-7 MU Barnhall
  • Greystones 27-23 Rainey Old Boys
  • Highfield 29-27 City of Derry
  • Seapoint 7-10 Sunday’s Well

Division 2C

  • Dundalk 21-8 Kanturk
  • Midleton 6-14 Tullamore
  • Sligo 7-47 Old Crescent
  • Wanderers 19-21 Bruff
  • Boyne 13-16 Navan (Friday)

Munster’s fine start continues as Foley’s men hold out for win in Edinburgh

Quade Cooper pulled on a Toulon jersey for the first time today and stole the show

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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