J3 XV v Railway Union (H) – 25.11.23

J3 XV v Railway Union
Metro Division 7
Saturday 25th November
Tempeville Road
(Ru – railway union)

After a break last weekend and given the league standings prior to this game our J3 squad came into this game knowing that a win would put us right back in the running. While the weather conditions were perfect for a game, it was underfoot conditions that were difficult to handle at times proving difficult at scrums and the breakdown at times but also creating opportunities for each side with the difficulty handling the mucky ball.
Our lads prepared properly, turned up on time and got out for a good focused warm up with Dave and murph. Lack of preparation as we have seen can lead to being hit with early points at this level making it a battle from the start and not playing the game on our terms. This is not the case with this squad and we continue to prepare with the same attitude and intent as in game time.
Fail to prepare , prepare to ….

The game started with ru kicking off deep into the Mary’s 22 where Jayden received the ball under a big chase and found himself isolated and an early penalty was given to ru for not releasing. Although we were under some early pressure the defensive workrate of our pack was immense at every ruck and we soon got out of our 22. The organisation and communication at the breakdown was a key factor in shifting the pressure back on ru throughout the game and although they had a big pack , our lads were again technically better and won the big battles where needed in the game. It was no surprise given the workrate and attitude here that it was Mary’s that put points on the board first. After a fumble by ru in the midfield Denis Daly reacted quickly here and kicked the ball through for Mattie keenedy to collect and score on the corner. Harry stepped up and slotted over a difficult con.
7-0 Mary’s 10 mins gone

The restart was again kicked deep but on this occasion Mary’s were controlled in possession and after breaks from campo in midfield we were soon back in ru territory. Campo put in a huge performance today with great supporting play and lines in the midfield gaining huge yards. A well deserved MOM award.

Back in the ru 22 we were awarded a penalty for an infringement at the breakdown, Harry stepped up and took the points on offer.
10-0 Mary’s

Mary’s were now on top and ru we’re becoming sloppy out the back due, not only to their own mistakes but some great Mary’s pressure. We were soon back up the field and after a great break from jack on the wing the ball shifted to Jayden who got over in the corner. Jayden is excelling in this squad and was a massive attacking threat throughout this game having a huge all round performance.
15-0 Mary’s 20 mins gone

Our lads were now really starting to click in the game and bar one or two handling errors possibly due to forcing it a bit too much some of the rugby played was of a standard higher than this league. After some more Mary’s pressure we again we back in ru territory with some great hands and after Jayden tracking across the pitch from his own wing he spotted the break and again got in the corner for a really well worked score. Harry con.
22-0 Mary’s

After a huge first 30 mins for Mary’s, ru got themselves slightly more organised and held onto some ball getting them into the Mary’s 22 where they won a penalty at the breakdown and rightly took their opportunity to put points on the board.
22-3 Mary’s

Despite a solid performance in defence some indiscipline crept into our game including some high tackles and being off feet at the breakdown. Ru took another penalty awarded to them making the game 22-6.

It was time for calm heads and Richie re focused the pack on the task at hand. With a more controlled approach we played better rugby and opened up gaps in the ru defence. Harry made a superb break close to the ru line to score under the posts which roused the emotions leading to a scuffle under the posts involving both teams. Again cool heads required here , the try was scored and it was time to walk away. Harry added his points from the conversion.
29-6 Mary’s

Given the fraca under the posts , the restart was now a penalty to Mary’s on the half , this bringing us to half time.

Mary’s started the second half strongly and were to go on and dominate the next 40. While we started stronger with great line breaks from campo and great turnover ball from Richie and Mattie , the ref had us now under warning for high tackle infringements. We soon picked up a yellow for a shoulder high in the tackle leading to Mattie leaving the field to put us down a man. Time for calm heads and slowing ball where possible. Time for a few subs and Dan mc gill and Lucas came off the field with gibbo and Cian coming on. Our subs slotted in well and ru were under increasing pressure getting very sloppy in the backline creating some opportunities for ourselves and Thady soon got through with a great intercept try. Harry con, another fine kick and huge performance off the boot today.
36-6 Mary’s

Ru unloaded their bench but another swift line break from Harry soon followed from almost on the half way line scoring under the posts and again adding his own con.
43-6 Mary’s

The ru subs did create a line break or two through their fb and they slowly gained yards into the Mary’s 22. The Mary’s defensive performance had been immense throughout the game however ru stuck at it and eventually got over our line for a score.
43-13 Mary’s

Mary’s however we’re not finished and done again what good sides do and came back with another score of their own , a mark of the confidence in this group. Shero scored in the corner in the closing stages of what was a huge game and great result for this squad. Harry again slotted over a huge con.
50-13 Mary’s full time.

Massive well done to this side who have been slowly building. This league is all to play for at this stage. Great work by Ryan Reilly and nils and our sub bench, a great asset to this side. Thanks to Dave , murph, Fran and John for all the support here.

Junior rugby is alive and well in Mary’s and a pleasure to be involved in. Thanks to our supporters on the line who we are always glad to see, especially our president and Mary’s legend ‘Flats’ – remember lads , you have to want it!

Chris O’Connor