26.09.2010 U20 Premier XV v CLontarf (H)

26/09/20103:00pmFSt. Marys U21s 1st XV25 – 29ClontarfHome

                                                   St. Mary’s V Clondarf

This was the first real run out of the season for the Premier squad and it certainly threw up a lot to think about.

St Mary’s had a dream start with a magnificent try in the first minute. Clontarf returned our match kick-off which Ryan caught and opened to O’ Halloran who crossed the gain line. Quick recycling by the pack saw Walsh off load to Toal-Lennon (who is just getting faster all the time). Steve grubber kicked the defence and Ross ran through to score almost under the posts. A well worked and finished try!

However, after 10 minutes, Clontarf came back strong and with sustained pressure and good wide ball, got a well deserved try in the corner. (but where was our covering defence??). They were not finished there.  After 20 minutes, Clontarf broke our defensive line again and this time they converted.

On 30 minutes however, following several phases, Dara Fitzgerald displayed great vision to find Walsh on the wing, who ran in a well worked try.

A penalty on 35 minutes, converted by O’Donnell, saw Mary’s take the lead again at 13-12.

On 38 minutes there was some individual brilliance by Walsh and Steve, followed good forward pressure in the middle of the field. O’Donnell kicked through and Darby won the chase scoring a well worked try.

With their tails now up, on 40 minutes and following good hands in the back line, O’Halloran broke their defence line and ran in from 25 mtrs to score under the posts.

Half time score 25-12 to St Mary’s and things are looking good right? Wrong!!!

The second half, which we lost 17-0, threw up all the good reasons for pre-competition friendly games, While this would normally be viewed as a disaster it was not all bad and there was certainly a very good team effort, good attacking work, good scrums, good line-outs and good one-on-one tackling. So where did it go wrong?

Well it came simply down to poor cross-field cover, the breakdown of defensive pillars and sub standard rucking. (Our inability to convert the tries in the first half should not be overlooked either).        

So there is certainly work to be done but the good news is that all of the negatives are very obvious, are partially the result of the new player combinations and will certainly be addressed in the short term. The positives however are very positive and will themselves improve as we progress the season. We are already a very dangerous team in attack and once our defence is addressed, we will be a very difficult team to beat. 

The Premier and Pennant play against our Nemesis (UCD) next Sunday and it will be interesting to see how we perform against them this year. Certainly, UCD have sufficient respect for our heritage that they ensured their scouts were in attendance at the Clontarf match and so they already know what to expect.

Onwards and upwards!!


The Squad:
1. Stephen Doyle, 2. Rory O’Donovan,  3. Robert Ferris,  4. Julien Cazabat, 5. Gavin Thornberry, 6. Quentin Audiffren,  7. Thomas Lamboley,  8. Mark Darby,  9. Simon O’Donnell, 10. Darragh Fitzgerald,  11. Ross Wynn,  12. Maurice Walsh,  13. Steve Toal-Lennon, 14. Ryan O’Loughlin,  15. Dave O’Halloran.

Subs: David Callanan, Darragh Devlin, J.J. Clarke, Chris Lilly, Colin Sheridan, Cormac Treacy, Hugh McGovern, Conor Neville.