J3 XV v Seapoint (SP)
Metro division 7
Saturday 14th, Kilbogget park, Killiney
Following an impressive win away to Navan our J3 squad faced into yet another away fixture this weekend to SP.
From the very start of the warmup, we had to deal with a rough gale which was to have a significant impact on the game. We had not started our warmup long when we were informed of a change of pitch at the last-minute request of the SP director of rugby for another youth girls’ game. We wrapped up in full flow and made the move to the required pitch.
The referee was a familiar face to some Mary’s lads and was previously associated with the club. Our captain Richie opted to play against the breeze in the first half and we got underway. SP are another side with a big pack and plenty of height in the second row although given the wind situation it wasn’t really a day for lineout ball with crooked ball and mis throws in the game, more from a SP point of view and our lads managed to get some nice steals throughout the game. SP we’re on top in the early exchanges and after securing early ball in the pack took advantage of their big flankers by sticking one in the 12 channel outside our 22 running a hard line and finding his way in under our posts. The conversion was scored.
7-0 SP with 7 mins gone.
Despite the big SP pressure Mary’s did get back into the SP 22 and while there were awarded a high tackle penalty on dom. We chose to hit the corner and won lineout ball, but we’re then turned over by SP. This led to more SP pressure and our lads defended well including some massive turnovers, one huge one under our posts on the 20 min mark by Richie while we were under pressure in D. Harry cleared our lines and a fantastic chase by Mattie Kennedy resulted in him intercepting the ball, but he was well defended by SP. Given the conditions it was a day for intercept ball and big chases on kicks as a lot did not come off for both teams. The resulting passages of play in the first half were quite broken with refereeing decisions at the scrum and breakdown, for which the SP were quiet undisciplined in. A feature of the game were the high tackle penalties a combination of SP indiscipline and the sheer height of their back row. We won a high tackle penalty on the halfway and Wogie took quickly, and an eventual way ward pass resulted in SP hacking the ball toward our 22 to clear their lines, jack gathered and carried but was found slightly isolated and we were penalised for not releasing. SP while still having the wind advantage took their points.
We managed to get back into the SP half and after another high tackle penalty Harry kicked for the corner, the wind kicked up and the ball didn’t leave the field of play, it was kicked back for our FB Walshey to gather and carry gaining huge yards but unfortunately falling into two tacklers and didn’t come off well. He was evidently injured but stayed on the pitch to complete the half and then leave the pitch. Latest diagnosis is dislocated collar bone and broken rib. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Given the numerous stoppages the first half extended beyond 46 mins and the strong wind was now combined with some heavy showers and awkward conditions to play in.
We did manage to get a score on the board after another high tackle penalty we had a quick tap and go with great work from Christian to get over the line. Harry converted 10-7 SP.
We regrouped at half time and despite all the stoppages and issues in the game we were still very much in this game.
We started the second half better and after receiving ball from the restart, harry cleared our lines and a great chase from jack saw him charge down the SP full back which led to a knock on with SP winning the scrum. After some carries Mary’s won turnover ball and SP were eventually carded for ongoing infringements at the breakdown.
Again we had to opt to tap and go and after some more Mary’s pressure, we got another high tackle penalty. We unfortunately missed the kick and the chance to level. After the yellow SP did get their discipline somewhat together as they were lucky not to be down more numbers. They slowed down ruck ball were required and got it out the back to score in the corner.
15-7 SP con missed.
Mary’s did get the pressure back on SP and managed to get back into their 10 m for another penalty. Due to the change of wind the resultant kick was missed. The wind was a constant factor in the game and SP used this more in the first half to effect in the game.
SP went on to score another after a very questionable grounding after a kick through.
Our subs came on with Kyle and Marius on the field and our lads continued to battle with Christian getting a huge turnover toward the end of the game. SP got a late penalty they did not convert and eventually got the red card they deserved after numerous infringements at the breakdown including some dangerous play.
We were unlucky on the day and there were situations that didn’t go our way. SP got their bit of luck with the referee and some intercept ball on the day. We now know what we have to do to beat them in the return fixture. This side is still introducing some very good new players and with the mix of experience here there are better results to come here. A huge thank you to all those players that doubled up which is needed in this group and also thanks to those that turned up to support. Our attention now turns to a good training session Wednesday and setting up for another win next Saturday. The score line here certainly doesn’t reflect the work rate on the pitch.