A mini blitz hosted by Waterpark RFC brought teams from home and abroad to Ballinakill on Saturday last and a thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all.
Teams representing Waterpark, Kilkenny, Fethard, Wexford, Shannon, Cork Constitution, Farnham (Surrey) and Pirati Rugby (Milan, Italy) competed in the presence of injured Munster star Rua Tipoki.
Tipoki, out of contention for next Sundays’ Heineken Cup quarter-final clash with the Ospreys, remains troubled by a medial knee ligament injury, was on hand to offer coaching assistance to the Cork Con boys.
With his family also in attendance, the former New Zealand Maori captain clearly enjoyed himself and posed for a litany of photographs with the rugby-mad kids present.
Park ex-pat Gary McManus brought the team from Farnham, where he is club president. Meanwhile, the Pirati, formed only last September by Dubliner Dan Devine, brought a 34-strong party and added greatly to the event.
“I got great support from the local council when setting up the club,” said Dan. “We got the pitch for free, the clubhouse too, and we’ve had a great couple of months. Rugby is growing in popularity in Italy and we’d love to return the compliment by inviting Waterpark to play in Italy.”
Cork Con took the spoils in the Under 12 blitz, no doubt to Mr Tipoki’s delight while Shannon took the plate in the same section. Other winners on the day were Fethard (Under 10) and Wexford who brought the Under 10 plate home.