J4 XV v Lansdowne (A) – 11.11.23

J4 XV v Lansdowne
Metro League Division 8
Lansdowne Road
Saturday 11th November
(LD – Lansdowne)

It was the battle of first v second in Division 8 today as our lads took to all weather in the Aviva. While there were a few familiar faces in the LD squad from last years cup game which we won there were also some more experienced heads on the field with another big division 8 pack.
Marys received the kick off to get us underway and it didn’t take long to get in the LD 22 where we managed to win an early penalty at the breakdown. Dara had the kicking boots on today and slotted it over.
3-0 Mary’s after 7 mins
After the restart we got quickly back up the pitch piling the pressure back on LD, after only two or three clean phases of play the ball went quickly out the back and again after some clean passes the ball got out wide through the hands of Thady and rian to put Matty coughlan in the corner who kept his composure to carry as close to the posts as possible. Dara slotted over the con.
10-0 Mary’s after 10mins

The Mary’s men didn’t get carried away and with good comms from gibbo before each restart the focus was kept on doing our jobs as best we can and playing our game. We again got quickly back into LD territory. After some immense work at the breakdown from john luc , max and gibbo , quinny got the ball out to our backline. Once again with some great hands from rian, Thady received the ball close to the sideline , adjusted quickly to put it out the back with a superb change of hands to link up with Matty, Thady continued his run and Matty showed great game awareness to draw in the defender and pass cleanly back to Thady to put him in the corner for the score.
An extremely difficult con for Dara who hit the upright – very unlucky here.
15-0 Mary’s

The next period of the game had some broken play around the middle of the park and Mary’s done well against what looked like another big pack. Our scrummaging went reasonably well against this pack with gibbo, Eoin and Marius putting in big shifts. LD had a big lineout but despite this daragh, Mattie, Hayden, johnluc and max done very well here. We were soon back in the LD 22 where we got awarded a high tackle penalty after Dan mc gill used some Astro footwork to control ball and off load. Dara added the points.
18-0 Mary’s

We then lost Daragh Stapleton to a hand injury – speedy recovery to Dara. After some big pressure in the middle of the park LD then lost a player due to a shoulder injury. LD had no subs and were reduced to 14. LD were awarded a penalty in their 22 which they failed to clear, rian regathered and kicked back deep toward the LD goal line. Mary’s won the lineout and quinny again released this exciting back line. They duely stepped up and done their thing with Jack Delaney coming in off the blind side wing with a great line break to get in under the posts. Dara con.
25-0 Mary’s

In fairness to LD they did regroup at this stage and after using their pack and keeping the ball tight they used their big ball carriers to get slowly up the pitch and get over the Marys line.
25-7 Marys at half time

We only had 4 penalties against us in the first half which rightly reflects our good discipline, focus and workrate which wins big games. Offences were mainly for offside infringements in the middle of the park. Gibbo gave the relevant address at half time and while we knew there was some great rugby in the first half the job was not done and it was even more important now to focus on our game and doing what we had to do to get the result. LD had to play the second half with 13 due to their lack of subs for injuries and scrummaging rules. Despite this they had a go at at it and worked hard in the opening minutes of the second half using their big carriers again to work the ball up the pitch and got over the Mary’s line.
25–14 Mary’s

Mary’s continued with their pressure on LD who were starting to really feel the effects of the lost men and gave away a penalty for not releasing. Dara took the points on offer.
28-14 Mary’s

The fitness of the LD squad really dropped off at this stage and the pressure piled on their defence with some stray kicking. They did have one or two short lived breaks but jack did excellent in covering the back field , with one such tackle winning him a turnover and soon after a stray kick which came to Dara, was then passed perfectly to Matty who yet again didn’t settle for just getting over the line, spotting the lack of fitness in LD he scored under the posts.
Dara con
35-14 Mary’s

At this stage a few subs were entered into the game including Cian and Jayden. Dara came off and we changed up the back line a little. Cian had an early break only to be stopped short of the try line. The flow of the game changed a little and consisted of a few line breaks here and there but realistically LD could do very little only hold onto the ball to try and frustrate us when they had it. They did put on some late pressure but just like our attack , our defence was well organised with good communication and discipline. After another Mary’s break Jayden combined with Cody who then put Thady in under the posts. With Thady now taking over kicking duties he kicked his own con.
42-14 Mary’s

The Mary’s backline wasn’t finished there and after a nice chip through from Jayden which unfortunately didn’t sit up, Mary’s we’re back on attack with Thady gaining yards and shifting a great pass to Matty who again went from the corner to put the ball under the posts. Thady added the con.
49-14 Mary’s

Not long after the restart the back line were back on the attack and yet again exposed the lack of numbers. After good hands from Malo and Thady, Jayden got in the corner.
54-14 Mary’s

Soon after the final score came after a high tackle penalty on thady, Mary’s moved the ball quickly with Matty again getting in the corner and running under the posts. Con thady
61-14 Mary’s

MOM decisions are always tough especially in such efficient displays on the field however with 4 tries and some great game awareness the trophy passed to Matty coughlan. This was a more than impressive display with each player excelling on the day. Highlights again were the fitness and workrate of this squad, good discipline and ball placement at the breakdown to feed quinny and this exciting backline. The link ups and flow in back play were exceptional ,a pleasure to watch from the sideline. This side deserved this result and continues to impress taking one game at a time. Thanks to all those who helped on the sideline and those who turned up to support.

Give 3 cheers – blue and white!!!

Chris O’Connor