WHEN John Hodnett scored the decisive try, four minutes from the end, in Munster’s 19-14 win over the Stormers in the URC final in Cape Town, West Cork’s role in this triumph was there for all to see.
The man of the match was Rosscarbery man John Hodnett who came up through the ranks at Clonakilty RFC. Innishannon native Jack Crowley, of Bandon RFC fame, landed the tricky conversion, and was top class all through. Gavin Coombes, a product of Skibbereen RFC, was a colossus, again. Bantry Bay RFC’s Josh Wycherley – from Coomhola outside Bantry – came on for the last 20 minutes and looked at home on the big stage; his older brother Fineen was also in the traveling Munster squad. There were giant West Cork handprints all over this Munster success, the province’s first major trophy for 12 years.
That West Cork involvement should be celebrated, and Clonakilty Rugby Club – where Hodnett began his development – is rightly proud to see one of their own make a difference on the big stage.
‘It was huge. John has been phenomenal right through his career. The try was enormous and it made a huge difference to the game,’ club chairman Eoin Hurley told The Southern Star.
‘As a club, we couldn’t be more proud of him. He has always been exceptional.’
Ross man Hodnettt always stood out in the club, according to Hurley.
‘John was extraordinarily good from an early age, from U8s up. He then became a real standout in U16 and U18 levels,’ the club chairman said.
‘We always felt that he’d do well and it’s no surprise to us where he is today.
‘He’s still very young,’ Hurley added.
Malachy Boohig first coached Hodnett at U13 level and couldn’t be any prouder.
‘I think it’s fair to say that everybody that was watching, myself included, just went ballistic. When he scored, it wasn’t something that surprised me. To take the pass from Shane Daly, shrug off the tackles next to him and blow his way over. It was typical of his performance, exceptional,’ Boohig said.