J4 XV v Emerald Warriors (H) – 24.11.23

J4 v Emerald Warriors
Metro League Division 8
Friday 24th Tempeville Road

Another Friday night lights in Tempeville brought the visit of Emerald Warriors to our roadside pitch for this Division 8 game. Emerald Warriors came into this game with some impressive league form and based on their points amassed to this date we knew they were more than capable of putting scores up at this level. We knew from last year that they were going to disrupt our game in anyway they could and concentrate on the pack game. They used the bigger pack to their advantage initially putting on the early pressure in the game. However our lads were again well organised in defence recognising early when to leave the rucks and spread our defensive line. Our pillars were solid and our workrate and fitness were too much for our opposition. While warriors seemed to have the advantage in the scrum our lineout was good although they were few in the game and a lot of the in field kicks failed to find touch. Mary’s did get into the warriors 22 after the early pressure and this was due to some great hands by our backs Dara, Cody, Thady and jack. This all eventually led to a Mary’s pen under the warriors posts for not releasing.
Dara took the points on offer.
3-0 Mary’s

The conditions underfoot were quite mucky and this lead to a few ball handling errors without which Mary’s would have had more points up. However our ball handling was still superior to that of warriors who continued to play the one move out the back using their 10. They also used a similar approach in their pack but our pack were not caught out by this and organised effectively in open and set play. Warriors failed to keep the ball tight when they should have and probably forced their game a little but, their backline was inaccurate and when under pressure their kicking failed to make touch, leading to some big kick returns by Mary’s with good chases. Mary’s gradually grew into the game but it was 25 minutes in until we had the first try scored with some good hands out the back from Dara , Cody , Thady and jack putting Mattie coughlan over in the corner.
8-0 Mary’s

Warriors got back up the field at us straight away and won a penalty for not releasing, they made the right call even though it was a big kick.
8-3 Mary’s

Warriors had done quite well up until this point in the game but the fitness of our pack presenting good clean ball to this quick backline was begining to take its effect. Back in the warriors 22 we were awarded a penalty as quinny was taken out at the ruck. Harry took the points.
11-3 Mary’s

Our backs were now growing more into the game and we knew scores were on the way. Just before half time thady made a great line break getting over the warriors line after exposing a gap in their defensive line. It was great score from Thady who made some great lines and yards in this game and created space out wide for our wingers whenever it appeared. It was a performance that earned him our MOM award.
16-3 Mary’s half time

Mary’s regrouped at half time and made our points of what was working and not working in our game. Our defence was immense and our decision making at the breakdown with not over committing to needless rucks in certain areas of the pitch was working well. We knew once the ball went out the back we had a superior backline with great handling skills, but this was only half time and the main thing now was to go out and get the next score putting big pressure back on warriors. It wasn’t long until Mary’s done just that and another back line move got the ball to Cody who off loaded to Mattie , with still some work to do he got over again in the corner.
21-3 Mary’s

Soon after warriors did pick up the intensity and put us under some big pressure , in one of the efforts to clear our lines , jack kicked and chased leading to a high tackle on the warriors winger. The ref had already had us warned and the yellow card came, down to 14. We also had picked up a second yellow for Cody due to another high tackle infringement. Warriors did keep plugging away but were now in a position where they had to force the game and made handling errors out the backs leading to breaks in the game. Mary’s pack defended well on their line but warriors eventually got in for a score. We got back up the field with another few breaks ending in Ryan miller getting over in the corner.
Final score 26-8 Mary’s.

Our j4 side continue to impress with this backline and running rugby that’s a pleasure to watch. Thanks to all those who got down to support. Mary’s stay on top of division 8 and again we now focus on a good session wednesday and Bective. A good weekend for our j4 squad followed by birthday celebrations for the mighty Quinn, in a busy club bar. Well done lads.

Chris O’Connor