J3 XV v Old Belvedere (H) – 27.01.2024

J3 XV (48) V Old Belvedere (20)
Metro Division 7
Saturday 27th January, Tempeville Road
Our J3 squad also had a huge game against Belvo on the J1 pitch. After a run of 6 games unbeaten for Mary’s this was possibly Belvos big shot at the league , while not out of the race yet this Mary’s side were the team to beat for them and they certainly turned up. The competition at the top of this table is tight and producing some great games of junior rugby. Mary’s started the stronger side and were to remain more dominant throughout most parts of the game. Belvo had brought a big squad with obvious experience on the field and were determined to take a scalp here in Mary’s back yard. From the looks of their squad we were going to have a tough day out in the line out made even tougher by the loss of our captain and line out caller Richie. Our hard luck didn’t end there and we also lost Rory to a hamstring injury. It was another huge physical battle with other injuries picked up by Dan mg gill, Denis, wogie playing with a strapped hand and Shero picking up an un necessary injury while being raked in the ruck with Belvo loosing discipline due to intense workrate by the Mary’s pack.
Our scrum held up while up against a huge pack. It was a huge shift from Boyler putting in great work at the ruck , eoin who came on and off the pitch and put in some huge carries and Lucas who carried strained calves with the heavy ground but still put in a huge shift. Our back row and flankers were immense with superb D and hitting the one up runners from Belvo which on the day not only required a huge 80 minutes of physicality and fitness but also the heads to get off the ground quickly and reset to pin point the holes in our defence and minimise any yards made by Belvo. Well done to nils with some superb tackling and handling, dom with some huge carries and Richie and Rory who unfortunately both picked up injuries which may have them out of action for a few weeks. Matty and haydo came in here to keep up the pressure on the Belvo carriers. Our ever reliable number 8 Christian put in a huge game and caused numerous issues for Belvo, his experience was also vital at key times in the game to keep our game solid up front. He earned the MOM award on the day.
Moving to the backs , our half backs wogie and Harry both had another great game. Wogie again providing great cover in the backfield , using the boot when required and making a great break to step 3 Belvo players to score a great try. Harry had another superb game with tries from great line breaks and keeping the score board ticking over from the boot. There were some big conversions here with one also hitting the sticks. Dan mc gill done well at 12 while also picking up a few knocks, playing alongside Denis Daly who also had another great defensive display. Our wingers stepped up where required and there were some fantastic chases by jack and Kyle , with Kyle also scoring a try. Shero also had another fime performance and it was a day where our backs were involved a lot more in the up front battle as Belvo perhaps didn’t use the boot or backline quiet enough and looked determined to keep the battle up front for long parts of the game. The teamwork and cohesiveness on the Mary’s side was the biggest difference on the day and this was a great game of rugby. Once again our bench was influential in the game with Cian coming on immediately putting in a huge carry and bursting over the Belvo line. Walshy made a return to the field coming on at 13 for Denis after a nasty injury in the first Seapoint game and scored a well worked try.
Thanks also to Jack, Reno and Rian. There is a break this weekend for the J3 squad. Thanks to all those that turned out on the sideline and to our membership secretary Aidan who is currently putting together his own version of the popular series streaming at the moment for the six nations, it’s a j3/j4 version with the content only available on the j3/j4 watts app groups !!
Chris O’Connor