12.02.2011 J5 B XV v CRAB – France (H)

12/02/201111:00amFSt. Marys J5 B XV30 – 40French Touring XVHome

After a solid week of pouring rain, it was a relief to see the sun again on Saturday morning. I’m sure our French visitors, CRAB were wondering if their flight had landed in the wrong city but once the saw the damage the rain had wrought on our grounds, they knew they were in the right country after all. Luckily John Carvill and Frank Doyle had been working on the pitch since an early hour to ensure that it was playable. Many thanks to both of them for their efforts.

As Marys J5’s had a rescheduled league game, player numbers were limited for the killer B’s and we were grateful to Hugh Hogan for providing us with a number of players to fulfill the fixture. We started playing 12 a side with 6 forwards and 6 backs each. It wasn’t long before CRAB showed us that they possessed the usual French flair and ran in two quick tries. Marys were able to hit back with some storming runs from Stu Morrin and Adam Nolan. Good offloading saw Darragh Devlin dive over to open Marys’ account. It was to be the first of three tries for the free-running forward, who also had a good day as the sole lineout jumper.

With the heavy underfoot conditions, playing running rugby was something of a lottery but the skill level shown by both teams was extremely good considering the kilos of muck sticking to our boots. CRAB were quite strong in the pack so Marys had to adopt a rucking game to ensure that the ball wasn’t lost in static mauls.

Niall Dilworth picked up an injury early on which ended his involvement and CRAB kindly loaned us one of their 12 subs who turned out to be a most excellent player for us!

Throughout the rest of the game, Marys & CRAB traded tries with Cormac Treacy grabbing two, one of which was a cheeky intercept and Conor O’Bierne scoring after an excellent line break.

Things were poised evenly at 6 tries apiece only minutes from the end but CRAB took full advantage of tiring Marys legs to fling the ball around with abandon and run over two quality tries which ended the game. Many thanks to Alan for reffing a fun encounter.

After this, we stayed around to support the J5’s as they scored a convincing victory over Bective and CRAB put their “ALLEZ LES BLEUS” chants to good use. CRAB then enjoyed a thrilling and high-skill encounter between Marys & Dolphin in the AIL.

Tries – Darragh Devlin (3), Cormac Treacy (2) and Conor O’Bierne.

Niall Dilworth, Matt Boland, Colin Burkley, Ryan Barnes, Stephen Cushen, Adam Nolan, Conor O’Bierne, Jack Ebbs, Stephen Doyle, Cormac Treacy, Stu Morrin and Darragh Devlin.