25.10.2009 U20 Premier XV v UCD (H)

25/10/20093:00pmJ.P. Fanagan LeagueSt. Marys U21s 1st XV6 – 13UCDHome

St Marys College U21    V      UCD U21

06                                            13

This was always going to be tough game and UCD certainly turned up in force. In spite of the excellent home support (thanks to all those who turned out in such great numbers), St Mary’s just could not raise their game sufficiently and UCD ran out deserved winners on the day.

It was obvious from the outset that we were in trouble in the pack and our inability to secure solid ball from our scrums and line outs made it very difficult for out backs to attack on the front foot.

Slower than ideal ball (from nine to 11 / 14) made it easier for UCD to stifle any attempt to break their lines. Their solid defence did the rest.

UCD were awarded a penalty after 5 minutes, the result of good UCD pressure and it was excellently converted by their NO 10. (who kicked very well all day).

Pressure in the scrums and poor line out ball remained the theme for the first half, not helped by the neck injury to Robert Ferris after (15min) who had to leave the field.

This UCD pressure paid off for them after 20min as they ran in a blind side try which was coolly converted by the No 10.

St Mary’s missed two penalty opportunities which could have changed the profile of the game significantly. It cannot be overstressed how important consistent kicking can be to a teams’ performance.

Another pressure induced penalty was converted by UCD before the interval.

Half time score 13-0

With the wind at our backs in the second half our performance certainly improved.

Our scrums improved but when Mick Hanrahan left the pitch injured, uncontested scrums were introduced. Sean Tevlin made a positive impact on out line outs and the addition of Chris Lilly (at No 9) certainly sped up the delivery of the ball to the back line however the UCD defence held strong.

Ray Crotty converted two penalties in the second half but despite the improved second half performance, UCD ran out 13-6 winners.

 The second half spirit and effort of the team was positive against a very impressive and very physically strong UCD team and I’m looking forward to the re-match.