St Mary’s College RFC V UCD RFC
Saturday 6th December 2014.
AIL Division 1A
This was a double dip day of ineffable sadness, with the funeral of true Marys’ Great Paddy Bolger and the defeat to UCD.
Looking at the game, it was clear that UCD had a plan to play the game at pace. With an efficient pack, and a backline running hard and straight, passing with precision and a sparkling star in outside centre, Ringrose, that plan worked well for them; and we may have been lucky early on not to concede at least one other try. That said, we could have won,having increased intensity and got to 17 – 11 ahead mid second half, had we not got into trouble in our own 22 and used dubious tactics in an attempt to break out. However, If one aspect more than any other defines the cause of the defeat, that is individual defence.
There were some aspects with which to be happy and optimistic. The scrum was emphatically dominant and with any luck might have had at least three more penalties. Likewise, the lineout performed well and supplied some good ball. We were too, most unfortunate to receive a second yellow card, for what looked like a very good tackle, without any sign of legs above the horizontal or being tilted above the hips.
There are lesson to be learned and facts to be noted. This is now a fine squad of players and with the addition of Gerry Sexton, home on loan from Exeter, they have the ability to end the season comfortably. There is a nice blend of maturity and youth. There is no doubt but that we have a top class coaching team and a superb and committed captain. Yesterday also, the crowd did their bit fulsomely and second half, led by Rynner, Marys, Marys Marys rang out in high decibels. It would be them, who this week, I would make my Marys’ Man of the Match.
Concentration for every moment of the each game, with determined, cold ferocity will be necessary for us to prevail. Every player must focus mind and body; and the team must be as an ant colony, a unit, cohesive and directional. Never again can we be caught as we were disastrously, at both Belfield and Templeville Road, by a quick tapped penalty. Finally, we must learn to use the elements. First half today, with a driving wind blowing into Carvill Corner, and our playing with that wind, only once did we use that advantage. To be trapped in that corner, as we later found to our great discomfort, is daunting. In future, we must use advantage when available.
This is not an effort to complain or condemn. I would be, as I ever have been, confident that we will yet have a good season. As said many times, we could not ask for a nicer group ofyoung men and we have lots of talent, so we will go forward positively. Hopefully, we can have the success in Lansdowne Road that we had last season; so roll on 19th.
UCD flew into action and spent the early first half in almost continual attack. After only a few minutes, they crossed the line only to be brought back for a forward pass. On 11 minutes they got a penalty to lead 0- 3. Three minutes later when presented withy a penalty under our posts UCD got all by surprise by tapping the ball and crossing in the Cabbage Patch corner and converting. We got a Gavin Dunne penalty on 19 minutes and they added a penalty on 25 minutes but a very fine move that saw Mark Sexton break and give an inside pass to Marcus O’Driscoll who hared in under the posts and Gavin converted. That was on 35 minutes and that was the way the half finished 10 – 11.
There was improved performance in the second half, so with 25 minutes gone we scored a try through Nick Timony, from a maul.
We went behind again, when a maul followed by a series of drives and then a scything run from close in by Ringrose, gave UCD a converted try and the lead again and then a mistake landed us back in our 22. Marys had had some success in taking the ball on close in, however, at this vital stage, futile attempts were made to run the ball out wide, which was ever precarious and ended in pain. And so it ended 17 – 25 and a bonus point win for UCD and nothing for St Marys.
The Team (Rolling substitutions)
15 R Crotty, 14 C Toolan, 13 M O’Driscoll, 12 M Sexton, 11 C Lilly, 10 G Dunne, 9 D Fanagan, 8 K Sheahan (Capt.), 7 C Oliver, 6 N Timoney, , 5 C Ruddock, 4 S Bradshaw, 3 Robert Sweeney, 2 T O’Reilly, 1 B McGovern, Richard Sweeney, G Sexton, S Preston, A Bourke, N Murphy.