HE Senior City Rugby Clubs of Galway Corinthians and Galwegians are well known in the world of Irish rugby with their respective histories long and varied, and a rivalry that is well documented at all levels with some great games over the years. This will be renewed this Saturday when the sides meet in Round three of the Energia Community Series when Wegians host their city rivals in Crowley Park (2.30pm ko).
Games between these sides are always well attended, with full houses almost guaranteed at Corinthian Park and Crowley Park. However, the Covid-19 Pandemic has meant that those crowds cannot attend in those large numbers, and the recent Government announcement to move the country to Level Three in restrictions from Wednesday means that Saturday’s game must be played behind closed doors, with only the teams and essential personnel allowed attend.
A decision like this led to initial disappointment among the large of number of supporters of both clubs, and indeed many from other clubs in the province. However, to counter this, in a spirit of co-operation, both clubs have come together to make sure that as many supporters as possible will be able to see the game by producing a joint stream that will be broadcast through the club’s social media pages.
Such streams have become the norm for clubs in all levels of sport, and recently the success of Galway GAA, Nemeton and Galway Bay FM’s streams of County Championship games in Hurling and Football have proved very successful, as have streams of Galway United’s home games and big matches in Ladies Football and Camogie. However, this will be the first time that the two clubs who are actually playing each other have come together to provide a stream of this type to their supporters.
The games will be broadcast on the clubs Facebook Pages https://www.facebook.com/galwegiansrugby for Galwegians supporters and https://www.facebook.com/galwaycorinthians for Corinthians Fans, with coverage beginning at 2.15 ahead of kick off at 2.30.
The decision to jointly produce the stream has been welcomed warmly by both clubs. President of Galway Corinthians Mr Kieran Faherty spoke of the importance of co-operation in these uncertain times. “Ourselves and Galwegians have a history that goes back to the foundation of both clubs and in those years, we have faced each other numerous times and provided wonderful entertainment for the many who have attended our games. While the intensity of the game will not diminish and there is a lot at stake in games like these on the field, we must be cognisant of the importance of co-operation between the clubs for those who cannot attend. There are many club members on both sides who would not have missed a game for many years and for them it will be bitterly disappointing that they cannot be there. This way we can still provide both sets of supporters with the coverage of the game they deserve and hopefully they will enjoy the game and still be part of their club if only virtually for the time being.”
It was a sentiment that was echoed by his opposite number in Galwegians Mr Erc Dunne who pointed out that these are unprecedented times for everyone. He said “Galwegians and Corinthians is the quintessential derby. An on-pitch rivalry that spans many years. It is wonderful that we have worked in a spirit of co-operation to bring this game to our supporters and hopefully give them an entertaining afternoon. These are unprecedented times for all of us, and owing to the current lockdown, it is unfortunate that supporters are not allowed to attend live games. However, this stream has been made possible by a collaboration between our two clubs so that we may provide members and supporters the opportunity to support their clubs during this difficult time.”
The stream for Saturday’s game will be produced by Trudo.ie. Trudo.ie is a digital agency based in Oranmore that specialises in Video Production services as well as helping clients with digital innovation. They have a big focus on sports video, streaming, match recording and analysis. Stream commentary will jointly be provided by both clubs.
As the stream is being broadcast simultaneously and for free on both clubs’ social media pages, members of the respective clubs are been asked to donate to respective fundraisers that are being run currently. The links to those fundraisers will be on the pages of both clubs and it is hoped that those who watch will donate in lieu of paying for the stream which is being provided free of charge. That is due to the sponsorship of DNG Maxwell Heaslip & Leonard, Kieran Faherty and Tom McDonagh whose kind support is gratefully appreciated by both clubs.
As sport goes into semi lockdown as a result of current restrictions, both clubs have shown incredible foresight to understand the importance of keeping their members up to date with current activities. It is hoped that regardless of the result, those who have been regular visitors to either Crowley Park or Corinthian Park will return once life returns back to normal. But in the meantime, will be able to keep up to date with the game as it happens on Saturday.