J3 XV v Guinness
Saturday 4th November
We started with a minutes silence on the pitch in solidarity with our team mate Dom after hearing some unfortunate news this week. Thoughts and prayers with Dom and family.
After the J4 game on Friday night and the rain that followed the back pitches were certainly unplayable. With our First XV and J1 squads away the first pitch was the option. Our J3 squad put these obstacles aside and got on with a good warm keeping their energy focused on getting back to winning ways.
Based on the above we had a slightly later kick off @14.40. Mary’s were more dominant to start and had some pressure on Guinness resulting in them conceding an early penalty for playing the 9. This was to become a feature of the day for quinny. After this very early pen, Mary’s then conceded two soft offside penalties, Guinness kicked to the corner and after winning the first lineout , their pack put together a good maul creeping close to Mary’s line. Their 9 spotted a gap and got over the line for the early score in the game. Con missed.
5-0 Guinness after 10mins.
Mary’s regrouped and put pressure on the restart. Guinness managed to turnover ball but we’re then penalised for not releasing. Malo kicked to the corner and after Mary’s winning the lineout the maul was on , however not for long as Guinness were penalised for entry from the side. A quick tap penalty was taken and the pack were charged after going a score down driving close to the Guinness line where it was now to turn of our 9 to snipe and get over the line. Try quinny. Con missed which was difficult to convert.
Mary’s 5 – 5 Guinness
The pressure was back on Guinness and their restart didn’t go 10 leading to Mary’s gaining possession and maintaining it for a lot of the first half. Due to the conditions it wasn’t a day for running rugby but rather pack rugby and slow ruck ball in and around the middle of the park. Knock ons and stoppages for scrums became a feature of the game however this was more down to the weather and pitch conditions, a game which suited our opponents better. With quinny and Malo directing the back line Mary’s took their opportunities out wide when they were on to spread the Guinness defence. In between the slow phases of play there were some great individual breaks and carries for Andre, Rory and AJ on the wing which was great to see on a heavy pitch under the conditions. After one such break Hayden was penalised for a high elbow in the tackle resulting in a further stoppage to the game and a blood substitute for Guinness.
After more Mary’s pressure in the middle of the park Guinness were awarded another penalty at the ruck. Rory won the resulting line out and after a great carry by Lucas the ball got out the back through the hands of Malo, Denis and Shero driving us deep into Guinness territory only for Rory to get there again and position himself for a great break , he still had a lot of yards to make up but got himself over the Guinness line for a great team try under the posts. His workrate was immense throughout.
The pressure was mounting on Guinness with the restart again not going 10 in an attempt for them to regain possession. After some slow phases of play Guinness were penalised for not rolling away. Most of the play at this point was in the middle of the park. As Mary’s grew more into the game , the Guinness pack was spread a bit wider and began to tire. After a great carry by Shero , he combined with jack to eventually move the ball to Denis who used his strength and pace to get over in the corner. Malo converted. 19-5 Mary’s
Malos direction of the back line and big kicks when required duely earned him the man of the match award on the day, an all round solid performance at 10.
The first half ended with Guinness picking up a yellow for a foot trip another sign that our fitter squad and pressure applied was working.
After the half time talk the Mary’s men were set to go again. This was a day when poor conditions could easily change the shape or outcome of a game and it takes a good group to get back out and finish the job not loosing sight of the end goal. Mary’s started again with great pressure and there was little or no play in the Mary’s half for the next 40 mins. Guinness did have one big break to note but Shero held firm as the last line of defence and ensured this ended in our 22.
The game slowed in the second half due to some stoppages again a part of the conditions on the day. We lost Christian next due to a knock on the knee and campo also had to follow after a bang on the head. Mary’s did get back soon into the Guinness 22 and were awarded a penalty at the breakdown, based on the slowing of the game and the conditions the right call was made to take the points on offer which Malo did.
Marys kept the pressure on the Guinness pack who were evidently tiring and could not keep our lads out. After more pack pressure captain fagan again stepped up to get over the line.
Lucas won the ball from the kick restart and in aiming to keep pressure on Guinness the box kick unfortunately did not go out. Mary’s however regained possession and continued to push for scores. After some nice backine play Malo linked with Dan mc gill who linked with Alan at 15 cresting the space for his son Jayden to score in the corner. A special try and great to see in the club, it’s rare this happens and well done to both for putting the extra points on the board not long on the field.
Marys were not done yet and up again up popped rory with a great intercept try. Malo converted.
39-5 to the good guys, game over
This result put this squad back to winning ways after a tough day out in Seapoint. The win on the day in the conditions showed great character and team work within the group. Well done to everyone who took to the field and speedy recovery to anyone carrying a knock, there’s a welcome weekend without a game to come. Massive thanks again to all that doubled up especially for these two tough games, a great commitment.