CIITY OF DERRY: McMaster can’t wait for Highfield showdown!

Andrew Semple clears his lines for City of Derry during Saturday's match against Seapoint. INLS0216-105KM
Andrew Semple clears his lines for City of Derry during Saturday's match against Seapoint. INLS0216-105KM

City of Derry Head Coach Terry McMaster cannot wait for this weekend’s “season defining” encounter against second placed Highfield, the only team to defeat his side in this season’s AIL 2B.

The Judges Road men are 11 points clear of the Munster men at the top of the table but Highfield have two games in hand and Derry remain bitter about that controversial 29-24 November loss at Woodleigh Park which came almost 15 MINUTES into injury time.

I always say, talent wins games but intelligence and team work wins championships.

City of Derry Head Coach, Terry McMaster

“I have been looking forward to the Highfield game since 4.15pm on November 7th in Cork and I cannot wait for next week,” admitted McMaster after his side’s 29-0 victory over Seapoint, “It’s pay back time for us. I hope we can do it but if not, it won’t be for the lack of motivation.

“If we can beat Highfield, it opens a sizeable gap but we won’t be counting our chickens before they hatch. We will look at Highfield again. We have footage of them and we’ll plan carefully for it. If we manage to get a win then our destiny will remain in our own hands. If we keep winning matches no-one can catch us but there is a lot of rugby to be played yet.”

The Derry Head Coach was particularly pleased with his team defence in the victory over bottom of the table Seapoint who belied their lowly position by dominating the league leaders for long periods on Saturday.

“I always say, talent wins games but intelligence and team work wins championships. I think you saw a lot of team work and a lot of smart play against Seapoint to get that bonus point at the end. That could be the difference at the end of the season and we are delighted with another home, bonus point win.”

A superb Davy Graham brace, added to first half tries from Stephen Corr and Ian Bratton, secured the victory and the bonus point which McMaster believes could yet prove crucial.

“That’s what they are, they’re a bonus but we had worked hard and had belief in ourselves and after the third try, I backed ourselves to get the attack bonus and it was straight off the training paddock. From a coach’s point of view, when you see that it’s great because I knew the play that they called and I knew what everybody had to do. It was like a jigsaw coming together.”