IT WAS A night when Caelan Doris was named the official player of the match but one where everyone involved wanted to redistribute the prize to the 1200 fans in the stands.
After 15 months away, it was a big thing to have them back, especially for two departing heroes, Michael Bent and Scott Fardy, who are set to retire from the sport.
This was Bent afterwards: “I just feel lucky to experience my last game in front of some fans. To finish like this is great. I am so grateful for the support I have had in my time here.”
Here is Fardy’s take on his final minutes as a professional: “It has been really special to finish up like this.
“To come here and be part of this (squad) has been amazing. These guys have something special going; they are best mates playing with one another. To become friends with them and share the moments is special.
“Only a few guys get to do that and I will be forever grateful to have had the chance.”
For Doris, seeing the fans return was significant as almost a third of his young career has taken place behind closed doors. “It was great having the crowd back, it sounded like a lot more than 1200 people in here,” he said afterwards in an interview with eir Sport.
Caelan Doris with his player of the man of the match award. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
“They add so much. It was still not the complete performance from us but we are moving in the right way. Accuracy has been the theme for us over the last few weeks and we didn’t get it for the entire 80 minutes tonight but this gives us something to look towards for next season.
“We have massive faith in what we are doing, belief in the squad’s ability – so I think the future is bright.”
This was Hugo Keenan: “My parents are here for this game; this is why you play rugby, for these nights.”
Leo Cullen shared his players’ points of view.