A Munster Schools Junior Cup game between Presentation Brothers College (Cork) and St. Munchin's College (Limerick) at Irish Independent Park was abandoned this afternoon after two Munchins players suffered head injuries.
Both injured players received lengthy treatment on the pitch following two rather freakish on-field incidents.
As per Ronan Calvert's report for Munster Haka Schools at the Cork ground, Pres led 5-0 thanks to a score in the corner from right winger Conor Morey after just two minutes.
Five minutes in, however, play was initially called to a halt when Munchin's flanker Dylan Higgins clashed heads with a teammate. He received attention from medical staff for roughly 10 minutes before being stretchered off and being replaced by Sean Nestor.
A few minutes later, Munchin's 12 Craig Carew was down with a head injury following a challenge with an opponent. Play was again stopped while he received treatment. At the 35-minute mark, with virtually no action having taken place bar Morey's try, both teams headed down the tunnel. Carew was still being seen to on the pitch when this decision was made.
At this point, Munster Haka Schools' Ronan Calvert wrote in his minute-by-minute analysis that the game's future was in doubt.
Pres then emerged from the tunnel back onto the field of play before Carew, like Higgins 20 or so minutes prior, was stretchered off following what Calvert described as "lengthy but necessary procedures."
The referee then blew his whistle and ended proceedings to some confusion as to the fixture's result, but more pertinently to the concern of those in attendance for the two injured Munchins players.
An official statement from Munster Rugby read:
Due to unforeseen injury circumstances to St Munchin's players, their Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior Cup quarter-final against PBC today did not recommence after 10 minutes of play.
Presentation were leading 5-0 when play stopped again due to a extended medical break for a St Munchin's College player, and the game was subsequently called off.
The Munster Rugby Schools Committee and the Age Grade Competitions Group will consult with the match referee in reviewing the fixture and further updates will be posted on the Munster website once confirmed.
Contrary to Munster's statement, there were indeed two extended breaks due to two separate injuries, as explained above. Thankfully, Munchins have now reported that both players are doing okay.
The Limerick school wrote on its Facebook page:
We wish to sincerely thank the PBC players, coaches, medical staff and supporters for their concern, support and help this afternoon. We would also like to thank the stewards and staff at Irish Independent Park and the medical personnel that attended to our players.
We are pleased to report that our players are doing well, are making good progress and are expected to make a speedy recovery.
Due to unforeseen injury circumstances to St Munchin’s players today the Munster Schools Junior Cup quarter final... https://t.co/rod5RcShgT
— St Munchin's College (@stmunchins) February 8, 2017
Great news, and we wish the two young lads well in their recovery.