08.10.2014 J5 XV v Monkstown (A)

08/10/20147:45pmMetro Div 10Monkstown15 – 21St. Marys J5 XVAway

St Mary’s College RFC J5s V Monkstown FC J5s

23                               15

J5 Metro League 10

Sydney Parade

Wednesday 8th October 2014

St. Mary’s earned a very hard fought win against Monkstown in a very close contest at Sydney Parade. With the team getting a stern grilling from their coach Colin Burkley at last week’s game for failing to turn up on time, the team arrived on time and ready for action at Sandymount. However the coach himself didn’t heed his own advice arriving late for warm up, but obviously the players were far too polite to remind him of this on several occasions throughout the evening. Special thanks must also go to our fitness coach Rachel who was asked by an unnamed forward to treat a near fatal graze on his thumb before the game. It is reported he sustained a severe paper cut while delivering leaflets for a certain blueshirted candidate in the bye election. At the time of writing both the player and thumb are recovering well.

The first half was very even, both teams struggling to mount strong attacks with the defences getting the upper hand. There were plenty of big tackles being put in across the park with Niall Neville putting in a few crunching tackles. As the half wore on Monkstown pressed further, gaining penalties in the Mary’s 22. A brief lapse in concentration saw Monkstown score the opening try with a quick tap penalty leaving the score 5-0 at half time to Monkstown.

The team had a task ahead to recover from this setback and captain Owen Clery rallied the troops at half time, making sure he mentioned Munster’s recent win over Leinster as much as possible in the team talk. As the break ended, Clery drew his team in with some words of inspiration drawing on his knowledge of ancient warfare he quoted Sun Tzu saying: “The opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself”. Confused and motivated in equal measure, the team took the advantage in the second half. Mary’s won two early penalties from good play at the breakdown which were both well taken by outhalf Colin O’Neill to give Mary’s a 6-5 lead. However it wasn’t long that Mary’s lost this lead with Monkstown skipping some tackles to go in for a try under the posts leaving the score 6-12. With Mary’s now under pressure they got into gear and started attacking the Monkstown line with purpose. A moment of magic from Colin O’Neill saw him dance around several Monkstown players just inside their half to run in for an excellent try which he then converted. Monkstown did respond and took advantage of some of Mary’s defence straying offside to score another penalty bringing Monkstown back in the lead at 15-13. Mary’s did not falter however and the pack put in a lot of hard yards all over the field with a great break from Fitzy to put James Casey in for his maiden try. With time running out, Monkstown desperately looked for a score but the defence was resolute throughout the field with very little getting past them. This work paid off with Mary’s winning a penalty at the breakdown allowing Colin to score another difficult penalty to secure the win at 23-15.

The team can be very happy with their work in a game where the lead changed hands many times throughout the second half and the team kept at it with a professional overall performance that puts them in a good position ahead of next week’s local derby with Terenure.