Sports

Armagh ready to ‘Erne’ their quarter-final spot

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Armagh ready to ‘Erne’ their quarter-final spot thumbnailArmagh will be looking to the likes of influential centre Matthew Reaney to help push them into the quarter-finals this Saturday.

ROYAL School Armagh 1st XV coach Chris Parker admits that his side will have to move it up a gear against Enniskillen Royal Grammar School if they are to advance to the last eight of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools' Cup.

The College Hill side edged past local rivals Royal School Dungannon in the third round and they now face a tough trip to the Eisenhower Playing Fields on the banks of Lough Erne on Saturday morning at 11am.

“This Saturday will be a huge step up from the Dungannon game," said Parker.

“We have to make sure that we have improved in the areas that we identified that we could improve in after the last game

“Come Saturday we need to make sure that we will able to deliver when we come under a bit of pressure.

“We need to make sure that we 'get off the bus' and make a good start and we know that if Enniskillen get into a lead then they will be hard to catch.

“We are confident and we are really really looking forward to it."

Backs' coach Parker admitted that the intensity and work-rate in training has been upped following the 17-7 win over Dungannon.

“The Sunday after the game I sat in front of the laptop and looked at things that we could do better.

“There were a lot of positives from the game, but there were also a lot of areas of the game that we pride ourselves on and we feel that the bys didn't perform to the best of their capabilities.

“The boys have been excellent in training and they have gone out and shown us that they are capable of carrying out those skills at a high standard.

“We are in a good place ahead of Saturday, but the boys know that regardless of nerves or pressure that they have to adapt and keep up our high standards and make sure that we deliver come Saturday morning."

Last season Armagh exited the Ulster Schools' Bowl at the hands of their Enniskillen opponents and Parker conceded that they haven't fared well in the Lakeland County in recent years.

“We wanted to avoid one of the seeded teams and ideally get a home draw, but we were happy enough with the draw.

“Last year we were beaten in the semi-final of the Bowl at Enniskillen and we lost earlier on in the season down there.

“To be honest we only really turned up for the last ten minutes back in October and when we did get going we were very good."

Royal School Armagh 1st XV captain James Dunne said it was just important they got over the line and learnt from their Schools' Cup opener.

“We got over the line in the end and the start of the second half was very nervous.

“We stuck to what we have done all year and we eventually got the tries in the end.

“Credit to Dungannon, their line speed, their defence and their work at the breakdown was better than ours and they had the upper hand.

“In the second half our fitness probably showed and we got over the line and got the result we wanted."

Dunne said that his side are prepared for a battle in the trenches on Saturday morning.

“The last game we had down there the conditions were awful.

“It was a game very much played in the forwards and I would imagine it will be something similar again on Saturday.

“We know that we are going to have to front up and hopefully if we do that then we will come away with the win."

The Armagh captain admitted that the players were inspired by the vociferous Armagh support at the Dungannon game and is hopeful that they will turn out in large numbers once again in Enniskillen.

“The support was fantastic in Dungannon and in the second half they really got behind us and helped us to go on and get the win.

“Hopefully there will be another good crowd going down on Saturday and I know that they will get behind us again!"

Kick off on Saturday morning in Enniskillen is 11am

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